Sunday, 20 May 2007
Apart from the presence of Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, Baz Luhrmann, almost every big name in Australian film over the past decade (or at least it seems that way)....
For a start, we’ve got a big budget movie being filmed in the middle of a small country town in north-eastern Australia. On Wednesday I went for a walk from the movie set to a local newsagents in search of liquid refreshment. It was too early to take the shorter/closer alternative and walk into the Grandview....
It was like walking back seventy years and shifting a thousand kilometres in two hundred metres.
Down THERE (pointing to the Front Beach) it’s Darwin 1938. Right HERE (pointing to the ground at my feet outside the Coral Gem news agency) it’s Bowen 2007.
If they were making the film in Sydney, for example, a 400-strong film crew on a closed film set in a studio complex would hardly raise a ripple apart from the odd news report in the entertainment section of the media, together with the odd publicity shot when filming started. There would be the occasional story while filming went on, then the blaze of publicity around premiere time.
As the song says No one knows what goes on behind closed doors.
Here, although the set itself is closed to the public and the media, you can stand outside and see something of what’s actually going down in there. On Day One you could see a bloke on a horse twirling a parasol and apparently taking the mickey out of the aristocratic English gentlewoman under the white parasol.
There have been a goodly number of locals with time on their hands spending an hour or three standing outside the Grandview or on the other side of the toilet block at the Front Beach. Over the past week I doubt there’s been a time between eight-thirty and five-thirty when there haven’t been at east thirty people on the footpath outside the Grandview.
When shooting started on Monday, we had camera crews, reporters and photographers from all over the country looking for a story. I counted at least five TV crews that morning.