Featuring: Rachel and Ben. Their guides are Sammy and Sarah and the artist is Christine.
The story as it unfolded:
“A young couple look out at the majestic Uluru, discussing which spot on the horizon they will see the sunrise. Their Anangu guide points out to the distance… and as if by magic, the sun explodes with warm light at that exact spot. It illuminates Rachel’s face and she smiles as if seeing the world in a new way.
Later, Rachel smiles as Christine taps her finger playfully as they sit painting a canvas together. The contrast is striking as a black and a white hand work harmoniously together on a dot painting.
Next Ben and Rachel walk along a track next to Uluru accompanied by Sarah, an Anangu guide. Rachel stops and looks out in awe – they are so close to the Rock as it looms majestically over them.
A stick carves a design into the dusty ground. Rachel and ben are spellbound as Sarah draws figures and concentric circles in the red sand. It’s a Dreamtime story… She points up to the Rock to complete the story. We cut to a high angle to reveal the full story that has been drawn in the sand.
As the sun sets over Uluru, Rachel and Ben are questioning Sarah, trying to learn a few words in her ancient language. There is much laughter as they all try to reach a common understanding and hone their pronunciation. It is a beautiful connection, made that bit more special by the last rays of sun lighting up Uluru in all its stunning glory.”
Behind the scenes…
It is often the little details that create the greatest memories for me when travelling, particularly interacting with our wonderful guides and hearing stories which really bring the landscape and wildlife to life. As an Australian, I tend to think I know a fair bit about nature, but hearing some of the finer details and nuances gives me the chance to form a much great understanding and connection with nature.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Thorny Devil isn’t thorny or devilish. It was actually quite soft to touch and surprisingly at ease in my hand. It was very easy to fall in love with this little critter, and the crew and I had a great time getting to know our two ‘devils’ who were to feature in the film footage. I did notice that they had a funny gait, and asked my guide why they walked that way. He explained that they mimic the moving grass around them to camouflage themselves. I also learnt that they eat just one particular type of black ant, and seeing it spot one of these ants and launch itself off after it was quite a sight!
Our guides had picked us some Quandongs, which are my favourite bush fruit (Quandong pies from the Quorn cafe in South Australia are still unforgettable)! They’d also cooked us some Kangaroo tails, which are quite a delicacy. Our guide, Sammy, refused to eat the muffins in order to better enjoy his Kangaroo tail breakfast. I watched fascinated as they cooked the tails in the fire (see the video below).
At the airport it was great to have a few spare minutes to chat to Ben and Rachel about their impressions of their experience at Uluru. Their comments were:
“My experience at Uluru was a once in a lifetime, spiritual experience. Aside from the stupendous aesthetic beauty of the Rock itself, our Indigenous guides added so many extra layers to the experience by pointing out some of the amazing connections they have to the land… connections stretching back 40,000 years! I was impressed to find out how modern and comfortable the facilities were at Ayers Rock Resort. Far from my expectations of uncomfortable heat, dust and thirst, I found the area to be very well equipped for adventure – though it certainly is hot when out of the air-conditioning. Meeting our guides, Sammy and Sarah, was a real treat. In the big city of Sydney I’ve not had much close contact with Australian Aboriginal people and I was uncertain how we would relate to each other. I was pleasantly surprised to find our guides extremely warm and engaging. They were animated and forthcoming, genuinely friendly and astoundingly knowledgeable about their history. I can’t wait to come back!” Ben.
“I loved meeting Sammy, Sarah and Christine and gaining a different perspective of the environment from them. Christine told us about her painting, its symbols and what they meant. She taught us how to do the brush strokes …although we didn’t quite reach her level of expertise (Rachel’s laughing as she says this)! The painting was of Uluru in the middle and then of the different waterholes around Uluru and representations of the animals e.g. wombat footprints and snakes. Sammy told us about his spear and how he put it together from the sinew of Kangaroo (cringe!). He showed us how to use the spear by putting it in the palm of his hand and balancing it in between his thumb and index finger. I couldn’t believe how accurate he was with the spear. I just can’t imagine how someone could spear a moving animal from such a distance. The whole day was amazing, and at the end of the day, watching the sunset over Uluru with Sarah bought it all together. I just loved talking to Sarah as she was such a kind and gentle person, and we got along so well”. Rachel.
With all this great footage it will be interesting to see what makes the final cut.
To read more about the behind the scenes shooting in Uluru from our location scouting, visit here.
Next we are off to Sydney, stay tuned for the next shoot update … Kristi!
Behind the scenes filming: