My volcano stranding in London stretched on for a frustrating 6 days. Most of this time was spent on the phone on hold with my airline trying to secure the first available passage home. I also needed to find alternative accommodation, and moved in with my friend Alison Limerick, and her 4 cats, in Hackney. I was very fortunate that my next film in Australia, The Eye of the Storm, remained faithful to me, deciding to have producer Greg Read shoot stills in my absence, rather than employing another stills photographer who could have potentially poached the job.
When I finally arrived on set, a week late, it was immediately apparent that I was working on a precious jewel of a project. Quality actors in wonderful costumes embracing a poetic script under the watch of a consumate director amongst beautifully dressed locations. We filmed mainly in Melbourne, but also shot in Sydney before finishing up on the beaches of the Gold Coast, on the N.S.W and Queensland border. It was director Fred Schepisi’s first film in Australia for more than a decade and I feel extremely confident that it will be a very classy and engaging piece of cinema. Fred’s next film is scheduled to be The Secret River, based on the book by Kate Grenville set in colonial Australia. I love this book and was very keen to impress the director and his team and hopefully land this second prize, destined to be a classic.
Most of the films I work now also get me to shoot their gallery/specials photography. Generally this requires me to build a studio on location and borrow some lights from the gaffers, usually for the standard cost of a slab of beer. Studio photography used to scare the hell out of me, my art school photography tuition neglected this area, but I am slowly gaining confidence and beginning to enjoy the challenge. All of the actors filed through my studio at some point during The Eye of the Storm shoot. The portraits of Geoffery Rush, Judy Davis and the lovely Charlotte Rampling, famous also for her erotic modelling work with Helmut Newton, will certainly become precious images in my future portfolios and publications.
Good times at the DVD store. It was amusing to find both Where the Wild Things Are and The Boys are BackDVD’s sitting together on the new releases shelf at my local. Where.. had gone with a new cover, using one of my favourite stills unaltered, as opposed to the heavily photoshopped cinematic poster. The Boys..now featured 4 of my stills on the DVD cover and I was delighted to also discover a 17 minute featurette in the specials section called A Photographic Journey. This proved to be a well made animated montage of well over 100 of my stills with narration by the director Scott Hicks. It doesn’t get much better than that for the humble on set stills guy.[IMAGE] Good times at the DVD shop.
It has been the most consistent year of employment that I have known in my career. Although I love my job I felt the need for some pure fun, and took advantage of a 4 day gap to take off on a bicycle adventure. Kangaroo Island of the coast of South Australia has to be my favourite place in the world, I want to live there. Over the last couple of years I have been fine tuning a bike route whilst inspecting blocks off land on the remote South Coast, which I can only dream of buying. Although it rained a bit and was very cold at night I enjoyed some fantastic cycling and camping amongst the stunning scenery and wildlife. I inspected a block that I love, so special that I am scared to tell anyone about it. To purchase it now, my career as precarious as ever, would be big, risky commitment, but I hope next time I update this blog it will be mine. You will all be welcome to come and camp, but only if you can get there on a bike.[IMAGE] My cliff face camping spot above a secret beach on Kangaroo Island’s south coast.