A Little Tourism Project

9 Mar 2015

If you follow me on Instagram you would have seen a couple of posts about working on something involving film cameras. This something is a TV commercial for my region (including the cities of Clunes, Maryborough, Castlemaine, Bendigo and my hometown of Ballarat). It has involved a whirlwind trip around quite a few places, lugging a bike along with, and capturing the heritage icons of each location. The above and below shots are from the Bendigo town hall, which has a very grand ballroom which I had never seen before.

I convinced my sister to come along and help out as stylist, and of course she ended up being in a few of the shots too.

The Bengido Tourism team organised for this beautiful open tram to come out of storage just for the filming. This was the most challenging scene as so many things had to fall in line for the shots to work, and not all of them were in our control. The tram was in motion for the shots, and if the take had to be done again, the tram had to be turned around, run back down the track, turned around again and run back. This was all done in traffic, so we would do a good take only to have a truck rumble past in the background, blocking the view of the historic building we were trying to capture.

Another issue was the wind. When styling my hair we wanted it to look natural so spraying it until it wouldn't move in the wind couldn't be done. This meant trying to nail takes in between gusts of wind. One particular shot on the moving tram that seemed easy in principle, turned out to be a nightmare to capture. The scene was meant to have the above fountain running water, but the fountain has a wind measuring device on top. When the wind reaches a certain level the fountain shuts down to stop water being blown on to nearby traffic. There's no manual override for this function. We sat for quite some time on the tram waiting for the wind to stop for long enough that the water would start again, to drive the tram and hit record on the camera and capture the shot. Once it got to the point that we were holding up other trams on the line, we decided to run the shot without the fountain running and moments after making that decision, the fountain sprung to life, just long enough for us to get the shot we needed.

Below is the Maryborough train station which Mark Twain apparently said was a train station with a town attached. One of my friends also pointed out the apparently it's so grand because the builders were sent the wrong plans. It's a stunning building.

Above is a fun car I spotted whilst walking between filming locations. Below is one of my favourite pieces at the Bendigo Art Gallery. I did a shot standing behind it, and I found it hard not to let my eyes flicker down to it when I wasn't meant to. It's disturbingly real and I always feel like the creature is about to breathe in and out at any moment.

Above, a moment before our last session of filming began at the Sunday High Tea session at Craig's. Below, the High Tea table and menu, pre teapots and tiered cake stands. Our final filming session.

Saw this awesome chap at the information centre on the first day.

One of the most challenging shots was in Castlemaine at a gorgeous cafe in the Old Gaol. First it was raining so we couldn't shoot outside, then the rain cleared up and we sat at a table with umbrellas over our hair every time the drizzle started again. Then the sun came out and with it, a family of wasps. We first thought they wanted the cake we had been give as a prop, so that was moved. Turned out the wasps must have just been lonely, because they were much more interested in us. So we sat, as calmly as we could, while no less than five wasps hovered around our drinks which we were meant to be drinking for the shot. At one point we started rolling and my sister very carefully went to take a drink when a wasp decided it really liked her tea and tried to get into the cup. She lowered it pretty quickly but by then it was fixated on her mouth. It was pretty challenging sitting there while the guys set up the shot, feeling the wasps touch onto your back, then take off and fly into your hair, or brush your hand, all the while trying to move slowly so as not to inadvertently make any of the wasps feel threatened. I'll be interested to see the finished footage to see if those shots made it in.


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