Returned on Saturday from a week shooting deep down underground. Filmmaking takes you to some pretty cool places, but I'm still trying to comprehend not only where we have been, but how on earth we got there. To even step foot in an underground mine is difficult enough, but to gain access and take fifty cast and crew for a week of filming under ground is a thought almost to crazy to consider, particularly on a schedule and budget as tight as ours. Mines are dark, wet, small and full of safety, technical, geological and physical considerations. A crew member with over 25 years in the industry said to me during the week that what we were doing was the most logistically and physically tough shoot he had ever been on. Which on one hand excited me, and on the other made me realise just how hard everyone was working to make this happen as smoothly and efficiently as it could.
The underground environment goes against everything a film crew needs to work; flexibility, accessibility and time. But what the mine took away from us in logistics, it gave back ten fold in providing a location that visually and structurally we could never have recreated in a studio. Speaking of which this week sees us back in Melbourne filming in the relative comfort and convenience of a set built in a huge warehouse in Footscray.
A huge thanks to A1 Consolidated gold mine, tucked high up in the hills about 4 hours drive from Melbourne (just near Woods Point, which is dying for a Deliveranceremake to be filmed there!). A1 essentially shut down for the week to facilitate the shoot and give us mostly free reign on their very cool place. And also a huge thanks to location manager Chris Stanton and the rest of the production team who help seal the deal!
And a massive thanks to the cast and crew who endured the cold, the mud, the dark and the insanity of it all.
More snaps after the break...
Director of Photography Toby Oliver, grinning and bearing it...
Make up designer Fiona Rhys-Jones doing final checks on Syd Brisbane. Everyone below ground had to wear a helmet, cap lamp, steel cap gum boots, safety vest and most importantly an OxyBoks self rescuer that thankfully no-one had to use!