Tags: sunsetstar



Today I saw a white breasted sea eagle, an echidna, dolphins, sting rays, a dragon (of the eastern water variety), a very large brown bird (collared sparrowhawk or australian brown hobby maybe), more sea slugs and a whole lot of lorakeets. I also saw a flock of kookaburra's yesterday. I have video of those and some of the others, but uploading video takes forever so I'll do that at home.

I walked a very long way today, or so my feet tell me. I walked right round the Byron Bay headlands walkway which goes to the utter east (of Australia) and up to the Byron Bay lighthouse and from up there you get to see dolphins and sting rays. I tried to take video of the dolphins, but I couldn't tell what I was actually filming in the lcd screen and so I thought I wasn't really getting anything. Turns out the camera saw them fine, I just couldn't tell what it was seeing so I kept moving it about. I didn't get a decent photo or video of the echidna cause it was in the shade and then it hid, well it hid it's face anyway. I have a great photo of its butt. It was cool though, cause it's the only mammal I've seen here (well monotreme/marsupial, I've seen no kangaroos, wallabies or koala bears and only one dead dasyuridae of some sort that had been hit by a car). Animals are generally not very co-operative when it comes to getting their photo taken. Especially birds, birds are the worst. Giant lizards rock, they just sit there and pose.

Anyway after walking pretty much from 10.30am or thereabouts I then decided to walk home, I got back to the beach exit for our street with very little time left before it was too dark to tell which exit to use. The tide was really high cause it's nearly full moon.

It took forever to get these photos to load and I can't be bothered digging the code out the gallery page to paste in here, so you'll just have to go to the gallery to look at them - http://www.marysia.com/gallery/australia?page=3

I am very tired and must sleep. Tomorrow I have the last bits of filming to do and then Thursday morning I fly home!

Brain Eating Aliens from the Deep

Today the beach was full of oceanic monsters attempting to find that one genetic mutation that will allow them to invade terra firma and become our poisonous polyp overlords.

Pelican on Tallow Beach Sea monster
Sea monster (Glaucus atlantica) Sea monster (Glaucus atlantica) Sea monster (portugese man o' war)

Behold a giant dinosaur-esque pelican (not from the deep I'm afraid), a blue mystery thingy, two extremely poisonous sea slugs (the beach was covered in them, they're actually kind of cute, but they eat portugese men o war and collect and concentrate the poison from them) and a portugese man o' war (lot's of these too, I think there was a giant man o war vs sea slug battle just off shore last night).

All I need is to make them 20 feet tall and I have my own B movie script.

Australia also has things that are not sea related monsters...

Purple flowers Tree monsters Tree monsters Ibis?

Shot a scene this evening at a youth hostel pool. A hot Canadian guy played the youth hostel security guard for us. He even comes from Toronto, Andrew. Do they all look like that over there? I may move too.
Pagan are you high man?

Photos instead of words

Sorry folks, I suck at film blogging. A still from the shoot in Nimbin Hemp Museum and some video of the interior and then some photos of pretty things.

Nimbin Hemp Museum

Orchid in our garden Flowers in our garden Flowers in our garden Orange Butterfly End of Butterfly Season

Heard you have been buried under a pile of volcanic ash in the UK, turn my back for one moment and you go all Pompei on me. Do try and clean it up before I have to fly back!

Giant Lizards

More awesome wildlife. On arrival at Minyon Falls today there were two lace monitor's hanging about the car park. Lace Monitor's are the second biggest lizard in Australia. They were not the slightest bit afraid of us. Minyon Falls is lovely, I'd like to have just gone there on my own for the day to walk.

Lace Monitor Lizard near Minyon Falls Lace Monitor Lizard near Minyon Falls Stony's Grasshopper Bus Filming at Minyon Falls


Baby Lizard

Tomorrow we start the tricky bit, 3-4 days shooting the hippy bus trip to Nimbin through lots of different locations with about seven extras and small speaking roles that we need to show up for all three days, most of whom are just guys on holiday cause it's so difficult to find actors here. There are two main male speaking parts for two English guys and the one English guy we found just bailed on us cause he can't get the first day off work. He wasn't an actor, we can't find any actors!

It's incredibly hard, if you post a feature film job offering even a small daily pay rate in the UK (we're offering about 30 quid a day) you'd be drowning in applicants. Here we've had about 10-20 people apply, most of whom were in Sydney which is too far away and then others who turned it down for not being enough money even though we said in the casting call exactly what the money was. Either actors in Australia have it pretty easy and don't need to do low budget films or they just don't care about building up a portfolio, either way it must be hard to do low budget films here with so few actors to pick from and as far as I can tell it's the same with crew.

The DoP is putting up photos from the shoot on his website at http://www.steadimotion.de/ so check that out.

It's been an exciting wildlife day. First a lorikeet flew into the windows at high speed and I had to call Wildlife Rescue to come pick it up. Then I found a baby lizard on the carpet in the living room and took it outside.

Hurt Lorikeet on our balcony Baby Lizard in the house!!!

Me with our fake lifeguards Me with our fake lifeguards Crew on Tallow Beach Filming the lifeguards scene Filming on Tallow Beach at sunrise Filming the lifeguard scene Cafe Scene Cafe Scene in Byron Bay
Pagan are you high man?

Actual Lines 'n' Stuff

Today we shot our first proper scene with more than one actor and buses and the people of Byron generally getting in the way. We have so far shot backwards, which doesn't bode well for my developning tan. I may start the movie brown as a berry and finish it only lightly tanned. We needed a big bus for the farewell scene so we headed down to the main Byron bus stop and shot in front of a couple of big coaches on their way out of town. The drivers were all really nice and didn't protest at all when I started getting on their buses without a ticket or even asking them first, they were really cool about it. Unfortunately the bus stop is where all the dodgy guys and drunks hang out so we weren't so lucky with the locals. One of them almost got in a fight with the director. But it was only a short scene so we got it done alright.

Yesterday afternoon we met up with a lot of potential actors for our Nimbin bus trip scenes. Looks like we're nearly sorted on filks for that. We just need one more guy in his 20s to play a banker type and an older sleazy hippy guy to play one of the bus drivers mates in Nimbin.

But the best news of all is that after we were done filming the scene today I found a lizard. Lizard on a rock! A lot of the wildlife here will let you get pretty close, the birds come and land right on the table.

Lizard on a Rock, Byron Bay Lizard on a Rock (close up)

Painting the Bus

Spent all day painting a mini-bus/van to look like a hippie bus. Got up at 5am cause my body is determined to fall asleep at 7pm for no particular reason. That's 9am in the UK so it's not like that's a pre-programmed time to sleep. The bus belongs to a witch called Sarah who lives up in a town inland. Once you go up into the hills the landscape becomes a lot more like the UK except sunnier and with the odd palm tree, it's not as humid as the coast and there's lots of rolling pastureland and trees. It's very beautiful.

The bus isn't quite finished yet, but I feel I am all painted out on the bus front and will leave it to Andreas to finish tomorrow. I'd like to go walking by myself tomorrow down the beach and into Arakwal park to explore the flora and fauna.

I'm feeling quite homesick, for the people though, not the country. I think a mixture of being so far away and not having anything in common with the people I am here with. The sound guy, David, arrived last nigt, but I haven't seen much of him as he didn't come out with us today and he wasn't here when we got back. It's all guys except for me, so it was nice to hang out with Sarah a bit today while we were painting. It's strange who your brain decides to miss when it's a bit off balance, strange but in a way it makes sense.

It's autumn here, but I can't get a sense of that. The weather is too much warmer than the UK for me to feel as if I'm somewhere that winter is approaching. It feels too much like summer to me. Even if it does insist on chucking it down very loudly (the roof seems designed to amplify rain noise) most of every night.
goat on a pole

Houston, we have Internet

So here I am in balmy New South Wales. It is seriously humid. The house is really nice, the weather is warm and mostly sunny and the house has wireless!

Etihad Airlines fell at the last hurdle by serving me a breakfast that was completely inedible just before my descent into Brisbane. Other than that they were pretty good. I watched the Sandra Bullock football movie on the last leg, very enjoyable.

Byron Bay is mega touristy and has a huge Blues Festival and a Surfing competition going on this week. Prices are really high but it looks nice, unfortunately I'm about 2 hours walk out of town.

The bathroom appears to be coverd in ants, not sure why. There's no food there. The DoP says there are roaches, but I haven't seen any. The house seems pretty clean, but I think in this climate there are going to be insects no matter what you do. It's a big house but I think we will end up squabbling over rooms as two of the rooms have single beds only and one is a bit scabby and everyone wants their own room. I currently have the nicest room. We are currently four, Andreas the director, myself, and a two man camera team from Germany (Patrick and Marco). Tomorrow the sound guy arrives from Melbourne to find all the best beds taken.

I don't seem to be too badly jet lagged. I got in just after 9am here and had a short nap this afternoon. I'm going to try and hold out till 10pm before I go to bed, won't be able to read though as it'll make me too sleepy.

There are lots of butterflies and parrot/parakeet-y looking birds and a giant multicoloured spider outside my bedroom window.

I spent £4 on butter and a few mushrooms at the local Spar.
goat on a pole

Up In The Air

Here I am in Abu Dhabi airport with an 8 hour wait till my connecting flight. It's 2am here. At first the middle eastrn chanty singing was nicely ethnic, now that it's been droning on for over an hour I have most definitely had enough. The airport is nice, but cold. They are overcompensating for the temperature outside by refridgerating the interior.

Everything went swimmingly in London, got to the airport with no problem, got on the flight with no problem. Etihad airlines may have been voted best catering 2007 by someone or other and have the largest tv screens in economy than anyone else but the dinner was too salty, the seats have as little leg room as everyone else and the large screens are actually too large given that they're about a foot from your face. I'd take a smaller screen with better resolution over them. Watched Up In The Air and Surrogates, Up In The Air had extremely bad dubbing over any time they used swear words. If it's the same movie choice on the next flight I plan to watch New Moon. All the films have subtitles on them, though the tv doesn't.

So as I have nothing of interest to report beyond the unlikelihood of me getting much sleep over the next 20 hours, I shall leave you with a brief report on Sunday's filming with fight team Impact out in Bedford. We shot all day, 5am-5pm, on a short fight based film based around rapier fighting. It went very well, we got all the footage we wanted and nobody got even scratched. I couldn't make the rehersal day, so I learned seven phrases of a rapier fight at 5am in the morning after two hours of sleep and even managed to get them right come the filming. You'll have to wait for the official release of the photos and videos for anything juicy, but I will put up a couple of snaps as soon as I can find a connection fast enough to let me upload them. Cause I can barely read my email on this one!