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