Thursday, 24 May 2007
There’s no doubt about it - four o’clock is an ungodly hour to be starting the week’s proceedings.
However, since Warbo had informed me that he’d be on the doorstep to collect me at five-twenty I figured that the chance to move into the new day at a leisurely pace outweighed the risk of sleeping in and having to rush, I climbed out of bed, fixed myself a cup of industrial-strength coffee, and sat down to check my e-mail.
An hour and a quarter later I was ready to go and checking that I had everything I was likely to need later in the morning. In fact, once I was sitting on the front porch, I’d hardly selected a track on the iPod before the Warbo Wagon was pulling up outside and we were off....
Arriving outside the barricades around the crew, it was only a matter of ninety seconds before we were inside, rubbernecking through the predawn gloom as we headed towards the catering tent where the rest of the morning’s volunteers and breakfast were supposed to be waiting for us. Around us various trailers were disgorging the multitude of bits and pieces that are used in making a movie.
It was the first day of filming the Bowen segments of Australia, the new Baz Luhrmann movie and later in the day we were going to be helping out with the PR interface between the movie, the local community and the hordes of out-of-towners we were told would be inundating the town.
I’d hardly finished the cereal component when assistant location manager Mary Barltrop was joining us with the day’s shooting schedule in hand and explaining that they’d be making the call on whether to go with the preferred fine weather schedule or its wet weather alternative at six o’clock.
After an assault on the masses ranks of sausages, bacon, mushrooms and eggs that had materialised during the briefing it was off to the base station - the footpath outside the Grandview to work out how we were going to operate.
The original plan had been to set up three posts with three volunteers on each, and the co-ordinator floating between them, but a quick evaluation of the situation indicated there were only two spots where the public were going to be able to see anything happening on the set, so three posts was reduced to two and there was no question of any co-ordinator moving between posts without crossing the set.
Since the alternative would have involved compasses and cut lunches, once the film crew indicated they didn’t want anyone going THAT way, it soon became apparent whoever was manning the spot at the Front Beach were going to be left (more or less) to their own devices.