Thursday, November 26, 2009

First Filming for New Doco

G’day to you all!

We commenced filming for ‘Old Mary’s Ride’ (working title) last Thursday night. Two elderly gentlemen, who knew something of the event and of the man, were interviewed on camera. Eric Arthur, (along with his brother), was at the scene taking photos for the family business ‘Arthur Studios’ when the car was retrieved from the lake in 1937. Eric can be seen holding the dingy in one of the photos. Collin Cameron (92yrs old) is a long time resident of Mt Gambier and was also filmed as he recalled the events of the crash and the recovery.

Of course me mate Allan Childs was there to commence his role as official photographer of the making of the film. He and Jenny raced back from Ballarat to be there just in time for the 5.30pm appointment.

My trip to Kapunda four weeks ago was highly successful and I made some excellent contacts; Joan Shultz being one of them. Joan and her husband worked at Anlaby Station for John Dutton for some 20 years or more and were able to recall some fond memories of John and indeed spoke highly of the whole Dutton family. Joan is assisting me with photos etc.

I managed to have a tour of Anlaby. For those who don’t know, Anlaby Station was the first Stud Sheep station in South Australia and was the home of the Dutton family for several generations. The Duttons also owned other properties, one of which was ‘Burleigh’ at Moorak just out of Mt Gambier. Burleigh was where John and his wife Peggy were living at the time of the crash into the Blue Lake.

I’ve been in touch with the current owner of the Vauxhall 30/98 (Old Mary) and he has agreed to let us film the car as it is today. This will take place in Sydney early next year.

The Mt Gambier Vintage Car club have invited me to their monthly meeting this Friday night to discuss how they may be able to help with the documentary. At the least, they are willing to provide cars for re-enactments. Hopefully, among them is a roadster that will suffice as a stand-in for the Vauxhall.

Jeshua, my youngest son, has created a 3D animation of the Vauxhall and it is hoped that possibly, maybe, he can create an animated re-enactment of the plunge into the Blue Lake. He is a learner at this medium but he is keen to have a go.

Other things are falling into place and photos and information are being sourced and collated. I am really excited about this project (which those who know me will tell you is not a new thing) and I think it will be a wonderful film to make. The title song is well on the way in its recording and the team that provided incidental music in the Admella documentary are standing by to roll again.

We’ll probably recess for the Christmas period now, (although sourcing and planning will continue), and we’ll kick off again in the New Year.

Hope all is well in your camps! I do hope you enjoy the festive season with your families and I hope you can dodge all of the commercial hype!

All the best

Thursday, August 27, 2009

New Recordings

The recording of Ode to William and Sally, The Wordsmith and Flowers in a Basket is coming along very nicely. I'm really impressed with the combined vocal sounds of the Vanguard. It seems that we have just the right singers with just the right natural pitch for the task; giving us a lush and at times, intensity, helping to create the mood. Bo has performed some beautiful piano sounds on these recordings. We've been experimenting with drums on 'The Wordsmith' but haven't hit the spot yet.
Every project has its obstacles and this is no different. The string players I had lined up for recording sessions have completely pulled out. So, I am in need of some quality string players for this job. I need a cellist and two violinists. In the meantime, I will continue to lay down the basis of another three tracks and we'll record all of the parts that we can.
News just to hand is; we are about to launch into our next documentary. More on that later!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Back to the Studio

G'day! The busy season at the camp is over so myself and 'The Vanguard' are resuming our recording plans. I've booked time at the recording studio for the 16th of June! I'm going to lay the foundations for three tracks; The Wordsmith- Flowers in a Basket- Ode to William and Sally. I wrote the arrangements a long time ago and 'The Vanguard' have already rehearsed them so it shouldn't take too long to get the tracks down.
For those who don't know, we lost our Reverend in the Admella documentary. Graham Smith passed away peacefully at home in May after a short battle with a terminal illness. We've added a tribute to him on the 2nd edition of the documentary due for release on the 17th of August.
Cheers for now!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Film Premiere

Well it finally came to pass. After a year of intense work i.e. all of my spare time, the film was finished and we all headed out to a special premiere for cast, crew and support team. It was held at the Wehl St Theatre in Mt Gambier and over a hundred people turned up for drinks and nibbles followed by the very first screening of the documentary and then my wife Sandra hosted the giving out of special recognitions. It was a very jubilant night and the film was received with great acclaim. The bloopers, that were added for this group only, went down a real treat and much laughter was heard throughout the theatre.
The public launch is in two weeks time and the DVD will be on sale through the District Council of Grant from then on. Cheers!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

6th Admella Update

G’day folks, I have taken the step of changing the date for the premiere from Thursday April 9th to Wednesday April 8th, simply because I know some will want to head off for Easter hols on the Thursday night. I hope this fits in with everyone. If you can’t make it to the premiere, there will be two screenings of the documentary on Sunday the 26th of April during the Wehl Street Theatre’s open day (one at 10.30am and the other at 2.00pm).
Tomorrow Rob T and I start the editing process.
If any actors still have in their possession any period clothing from the filming, could you let me know so that I can collect it up please? Thank you! I will be returning all of the clothing to the owners in the next week or so.
All the best

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Admella Update No 5

Well my friends, we have finally arrived at the end of the filming and what a day we had! We were on the job by 8am Saturday to film Paul Barry recite Adam Lindsay Gordon’s poem ‘From the Wreck’. Paul is an excellent orator and did the poem every justice. I could hear the wonderful inflections in his voice as they changed according to the mood of the poem. We filmed him sitting at ALG’s desk in Dingley Dell.
After we finished there, we had an appointment at 11am at Carpenters Rocks with Dave Miller who is a fisherman there. Dave took us on his boat ‘Dusty’ out to the actual reef where the wreck occurred 150 years ago. Dave pointed out the exact spot that she lay trapped on the reef. We had a moderate swell (in my estimation) of 1.5- 2 metres but it was enough to make you hang on at all times. We got within 100 metres of the reef. The sea swells to greater heights as it hits the reef. I have to say it was an exhilarating yet sobering experience. I stood on the deck of Dave’s boat imagining what it must have been like for those poor people who were watching waves up to 9 metres high coming at them at around 35kms an hour. How anyone survived is an absolute miracle! We collected some footage of the sea and the reef and returned to shore.
After a quick lunch my group ‘The Vanguard’ arrived at our rendezvous point and Allan Childs loaded us into a 4WD. He got us in to the Admella Flats where we filmed the final part of the music film clip in our period clothing. It was a great moment when we finally announced we had finished. A couple of rounds of drinks at the Rocks Tavern capped off a very successful day. (Thanks Paul, Racheal and Allan for the drinks).
So, we’ve now only got 5 weeks to put all the footage into shape, prepare the DVD cover and get everything printed and produced in time for the premiere. This coming Sunday we begin.
Thanks everyone! I’ll keep you up to date with our progress and please, keep in mind Thursday evening the 9th of April.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

4th admella update

G’day to everyone! Well it is getting close now. We reckon we have one more day of filming and we will then start the final editing. Yesterday we filmed over an hour’s worth of interviews with people who discussed varied aspects of the wreck and those involved. The interviewees were excellent. I was completely surprised to hear the quality of conversation and conciseness of everyone who braved the process. Thank you to all those who fronted up (10 in all)! A special thanks to Brendan Jarrett who travelled over from Portland especially.
We also had more really generous offers of help during the interviews yesterday. Dave Miller (aka Captain Pugwash) has offered to take us on his cray boat out to the Carpenters Reef to film from seaward and John Magary (great, great, great nephew of James Magary) has offered to 4WD us into the Admella flats to capture some footage. Very exciting!!
We are starting to plan a private launch of the finished product for all those who have been involved; I’m thinking end of March/early April at this stage. Some people are asking where they can get a copy of the DVD and the answer is they will be available from the District Council of Grant (Admella 150th Committee). Just ring the office there and ask about it. They will retail for $20. I’ll let you know when they are ready for sale. The committee intend to put the proceeds from the sale of the DVD towards the funding of the Admella Trail and other functions during the commemorative period this year.
Once again I am so grateful for everyone’s support. This has been a fantastic collaboration of many people including cross border connections. Just like 1859, the two states are contributing resources to the project.
All the best

Monday, January 26, 2009

3rd admella update

G’day to one and all!
Well we resumed filming in 2009 with a major push. Last Thursday night we filmed Knapmann and Leach along with Ben Germein at the Cape Nelson Lighthouse. It was blowing a gale which was great for us. Ben scanned the sea and land, and spotted the men coming towards the lighthouse. He runs down the steps and opens the door to the men who fall into the building totally exhausted. It was a wild night and the scenes of the blokes with their shirts blowing around wildly were fantastic. We are really grateful to Stephen Campbell who is one of the tour guides but also is the proprietor of ‘Isabella’s CafĂ©’ on site, for his patience and his time, and for staying back to open for us especially. If you’ve never been to a lighthouse, I highly recommend visiting this one. It is one of only a few left that you can access and look through.
Yesterday, Australia Day, we filmed over the lunch time period on the beach at Nelson. I couldn’t believe how many people were on this beach where I am usually the only one. Later I found out that the dead whale that had washed up had floated down past the area we were using for filming which caused a lane of traffic totally unexpected. There were so many people, (some carrying eskies); I thought the next thing I would find would be a hot dog and ice-cream stand. Nevertheless, the actors focused and were oblivious to the crowd of onlookers that gathered from time to time.
Here we filmed the hardest hitting part of the vignette so far. We called on the talents of Belinda Taylor and Michelle Sylvester who became dead children washed up on the beach. Both did an outstanding job. At the same scene we filmed the grave diggers (Don McBain and Stuart Oakley) burying people in the sand hills. Again, both of them were terrific.
We stopped briefly for lunch before driving to the Warrnambool Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village.
At the Village we were hosted by Peter Abbott (former CEO of the Limestone Coast Tourism Board), and after closing to the public, allowed us free run of the facility. We filmed Chelsea running through the dock looking for her fiancĂ© to persuade him not to go on the Admella- to no avail. Extras supplied by the Village were Peter and his two children, as well as Ron and Carlyn, who provided just the right atmosphere for the setting. Stephen (Chelsea’s partner in real life) made his acting debut and came out a natural. Well done; everyone was impressed!
After the dockside scene we moved over to the ‘Reginald M’ which floats in the water adjacent to the village. Here we recreated a scene where survivors were clinging to the wreck of the Admella. The scene was extremely difficult to shoot because of the tightness of the shot to remove trees etc. in the background, and waiting to get the light right. The Warrnambool CFA came in with their fire truck and blasted the ship with water for us to create the illusion of waves hitting the remains of the ship. Hannah Thompson, whom we all admire greatly for her acting skills, as well as Jeshua Manser and Nathan Waters (from Nelson) were fantastic as they genuinely shivered and shook, as three of the survivors, during the filming of this scene.
We gratefully acknowledge the prep work done by Peter Abbott and his team and I do highly recommend a visit to the village to everyone. It is outstanding! A wonderful experience!
We finished off the day by having an evening meal out of the boot of the car, sitting in the car park, before journeying home.
It was a huge day of activity and I congratulate all who were involved for their patience and willingness to get really uncomfortable.
A huge thankyou to the support team who have quite naturally formed for this project.
All the best