Following almost 20 years service with the Australian Army Reserve, Ian Sparke began supplying uniforms, equipment and expert knowledge to screen and live productions over 20 years ago.
Luke and Ian Sparke

Ian is now one of the busiest men in this field, with Credits on major feature films, television series and stage productions.

Ian started collecting military items at a young age and at nineteen he joined the Army Reserve as an Infantryman. Over the years of training he experienced, just some of what the men in history's wars before him would have went through: Living in fox holes, ambushes, withdrawal's, hurry up and waits and major combat exercises.

While in the Army in the early 80's, Ian's collection of militaria had grown. He started to be called upon for live displays and History lectures for schools. The latter proving very popular and had Ian travelling around Australia. Ian's unique approach to military history, put down the war but bring up the people, made it easy for adults as well as children to understand the friendships and hardships of life "back then".

The defining moment of his new business was in 1993. Australia was bringing back an UNKNOWN SOLDIER from the battlefields in France of World War One and a large ceremony was going to be held in Canberra. The Australian Army history department contacted Ian about supplying their honour guard with authentic uniforms. Ian took on the job with great passion, however army rules would not allow him to serve in the reserve's AND work for the history department. He had to choose between the two. Ian took the step and went with his business plan of supplying the entertainment Industry with the best historic military uniforms in Australia. The Unknown Soldier ceremony was a success and became his first 'professional' job.

Over the next 3 years the business grew with leaps and bounds. Ian and Crew went around Australia for the 1995 "Australia Remembers", the 50th anniversary of the end of World War 2, including Paraliment house in Canberra and help design huge ceremonies in Sydney. He also worked on history documentaries, even directing one himself: "Women In Khaki"

In 1996 Ian was employed by the history theme park 'Timbertown'. Ian not only used his now huge wardrobe/Webbing and Props for the park but was also the co-ordinator for the parks actors and became's the theme park's number one main actor, playing almost 10 different characters and featuring in all the parks T.V promo's and brochures.

As 1998 drew to a close Ian decided to make the move to Australia's Gold Coast, near Warner Roadshow's Studio. It payed off with many productions calling upon him. Ian then bought out 90% of Warner Roadshow's wardrobe department, doubling his collection to around 50,000 items!

He then went on to provided military wardrobe and Webbing for televisions series including My Brother Jack, Changi, Jeopardy and Jessica. Another next big step was being placed as main unit Researcher/Webber for the Miramax feature film The Great Raid.

Ian has designed re-enactment productions for over 30 episodes of the ABC’s Australian Story. Ian also was asked to research the German bomber Crew uniforms for The Chronicles of NARNIA The Lion the Witch and Wardrobe.

With the AIF in the Great War being a personal passion as well as a professional interest, Ian was the perfect choice for Heads Up Production designer, military adviser – and more. As well as designing, digging and dressing the trench and no man’s land where the film’s action takes place, Ian also supplied wardrobe and weapons for all ranks from staff officer to infantry private, and cast a trench full of extras from his own platoon of well-trained Diggers(Our Film Soldiers). It has gone on to win many awards, one of the reasons being the fantastic Production design.
For wardrobe and Webbing, the feature film KOKODA didn't have to go anywhere else. And the majority of the Props came from Ian.

Ian then got to put his Costume & Production designer role to the test again in "The battle of LONG TAN", an AUSTRALIAN HISTORY CHANNEL production. Ian designed the uniforms, Props and brought his well trained Film Soldiers to the production which has had great critical acclaim.

At the begining of 2007 the upcoming mini series "The Pacific", from the creators of 'Band of Brothers', hired two containers full of wardrobe, Webbing, Props and set decorating for the epic series. Ian, along with his own team, then went on to be employed by the production in the Webbing dept.
When the series wrapped in mid 2008 Ian left the show as Webbing Supervisor and went on to work for the Feature 'Wolverine' staring Hugh Jackman in a prequal to the X Men movies. Ian was once again Webbing supervisor for a short but exciting sequence having to ensure as accurate equipment as possible while having to meet the needs of an action film.

While filming the epic mini series Ian, along with Luke Sparke, also designed and supplied all the uniforms, Webbing and Props to the history channel's "Beyond Kokoda". It has gone on to be nominated for a TV logie and TV Astra award.
On returning to Queensland, Ian and Crew then designed and supplied their entire Services to "For Valour". Ian oversaw the construction of sets, costumes and traning of film soldiers who had been cast as staring roles for the TV special.

2009 brought the WW1 feature film 'BENEATH HILL 60' and Ian has the costume designer. All the costumes and many Props came from Sparkefilms. The year also bought the TV special "Kokoda" and the feature film 'The 25th Riech' to Sparkefilms, with Ian and costume Crew being employed by both.

Ian was then nominated for an Australian Film Institute, AFI, award (Now the Australian acadamy awards) for his design work on 'Beneath Hill 60' - a fantasic acomplishment.

From 2010 onwards Sparkefilms, now a fully intergrated film support studio with teams being sent out to various productions, has worked on 'The Sapphires', 'Emperor', 'Railway Man', "Parers War', "The war that changed us' and many more.

SparkeFilms has many Feature films booked ahead as Designers, Crew or Military Advisors but still never stops researching, training or expanding the mind-blowing costume house. So next time you're making a history picture turn to SPARKEFILMS.