July 24th, 2011 by Glendyn
We are half way through the shoot. This week we shot all the scenes of the boys in ‘the cage’, all 62 of them! We built a set that was the exact dimensions to what the real cage was, it’s such a small space that Todd and Brant had to endured for over two weeks. All the news reports at the time, depicted the cage more like a prison cell size, or a least a space they could sit up and casually sit back in. But it was more like a coffin sized space that two big guys could just fit in, when lying down. They could not straighten out, nor sit up, and had the constant threat of thousands of tons of rocks hanging just centimetres above. I think it was Brant who described the situation as similar to having someone point a loaded gun at you for two weeks. Never knowing when or if they might pull the trigger.
I had my mind set to build our cage exactly how the real one was, or as close to as possible. And even though we could remove walls and the roof etc to assist us with shooting it was still a really tight fit. It was built on quite a complex rig that could be shaken, jacked up and dropped. It was like this living thing, a bit like a theme park ride. The real Todd Russell dropped onto set and gave us the thumbs up, which is good enough for me. He joked earlier that we was going to get into the cage, but after he had a good look around it, I suspect that he didnt need to re-live the experience even if in the realms of make-believe.
Above: The Cage
We have been shooting between 10-13 scenes a day and I think we got up to up to 13 minutes of screen time on one day. I thought shooting in such a restricted space would reduce time, but because it was so small and there were so many special physical effects (rock falls, dust, water, ‘seismic’ activity, blasting etc) everything took much more time than I expected. But we got most of what we needed in the end. I hope we have captured some of the true horror of what it would be like to be trapped and buried alive a kilometre under ground.
Despite the long hours and the pressures of the schedule, I’m really enjoying myself. Fingers crossed the good experience continues for the next 2 weeks!
Lachy and Shane Jacobson (below, who plays Brant) are doing a great job as Todd and Brant. I’ve been so impressed with their approach to the characters and their performances. It was hard to shoot the scenes when they actually left ‘the cage’ I wish I could have spent another day or two with them on that set!
We are heading to shoot in a working gold mine this week for five days. A very cool but remote location about four hours drive from Melbourne.
July 24th, 2011 by Glendyn
Last Thursday night Hoaxville disappeared. Some angry nerd and his bots hacked in and deleted the entire site and left a lovely (read shitty) message proudly stating they had done so. I contacted the host company in the U.S and they confirmed the site was indeed just ‘not there anymore’. They asked if I had a back-up of the site and the terrible sinking feeling began to well and truly, sink in.
I know in the scheme of things losing a blog is not that huge, but I felt gutted (not unlike the pigs above which I snapped in Beaconsfield recently). I quickly began the process of trying to see it from all angles, trying to console myself with ‘it’s just a blog’, ‘you can start again…’, ‘surely there is a positive in this somewhere’ etc… but it began to hit very hard the importance of not only this blog is to me, but the whole concept of irreplaceable ‘data’ is. Especially when it’s personal, and has been amassed over time. I have been lucky enough (unlucky enough?) to have had my home broken into just once in my life (touch wood!). The thieves didnt get away with much, but one of the things they did take was my back-pack that had a camera, my laptop and most importantly the notebook I had been using for over a year. I didn’t care about the laptop or the camera, they were insured and backed-up, but I still feel bad sometimes about that simple back moleskin notebook. It was useless to the the thieves but had the most value to me.
So it was a really similar feeling to being robbed, even if what was stolen is just my random ramblings and to cut a long and boring story short, after being told by a few people that the site was ‘gone’. I received an email from the host on Friday evening saying they did actually have a back up of the site from the previous week and within an hour or so Hoaxville was back on the internet map. A huge sigh of relief. That night I installed a back-up utility and changed and reinforced my passwords.
I’m actually pretty good with backing up (I have back ups of my back ups!) but I foolishly thought that because a blog is already in ‘the cloud’ the need to back-up was less important. But there are some lessons we learn the hard way. So… if you have a blog, back it up. Now!
July 11th, 2011 by Glendyn
Just finished day one out. Fast and furious shooting to say the least… A good day though and a good start to the next 23 days.
July 10th, 2011 by Glendyn
Last day of pre was on Friday. Shoot starts tomorrow. Weekend was spent soaking up some family time and last minute script tweaks with writer Judi McCrossin.
There was a good energy in the office on Friday. Everybody seemed reasonably calm and on track as much as could be expected. I’m usually pretty nervous the night before any shoot, but I’m actually pretty excited! I’m looking forward to getting on set and getting some of this story out of our heads and into a camera!
July 4th, 2011 by Glendyn
Spent last week scouting and tech recce-ing locations with the crew. Which included a trip to Beaconsfield in Tasmania. Toby, camera assistant Chris and I stayed on for an extra day or so to shoot some landscapes that I hope will become an important part of the film. Much of the film takes place underground in the deep dark of a gold mine, so the moments where we can break out and show the world above will provide a much needed breath of fresh air in more ways than one. It will give both the film and the audience a moment to breathe. It was nice to get some beautiful images ‘in the can’ or ‘on the drives’ so to speak (shooting the film on the wonderful Arri Alexa). Tasmania is such a amazing place to shoot these sequences, especially in winter. Low sun during the day and a morning fog that hangs thick in the air well into the day. So nice!
One final and very short week of pre to go… it really doesn’t feel like there will be a enough hours, minutes or seconds in the days to get everything done. But I know in these situations even if we had another 4 weeks, it still wouldn’t be enough time. You got to take what you got and make the most of it!