Featuring: Diane Young, Mark Hodge and their guide, James Tipungwuti.
The story as it unfolded:
“The small plane lands on the remote airstrip. The couple pull their bags from the plane. He’s visibly excited, she’s a little anxious having not travelled remotely before. A bush Toyota arrives… and James, the Aboriginal guide, beams at them with a charming smile which instantly puts them at ease. They drive down a track in the 4WD. Diana looks out admiring the Pandanus. It is wild and beautiful. Her husband, Mark, is sharing a laugh with James.
WHOOSH! Flames lick up a roll of paperbark that James holds in the darkness. The flames light up a labyrinth of catacombs around them. An evocative place, a mysterious place. Diane is amazed. James gives the paperbark torch to Mark and they walk through the catacomb system – fascinated. Mark and Diane Walk around a corner and stop in awe and wonderment at the panoramic mega-gallery of ancient rock art.
ROOOAAR! Mark and Diane tear across the wetlands on a boat. It’s a stunning vista – James points out flocks of whistling ducks as they erupt in front of them. Diane grabs Mark’s shirt as the wind ruffles her hair – she’s invigorated. Crocodiles, jabiru and magpie geese are just metres from the boat. Just before sunset James provides some wine and canapés to enjoy whilst looking out over the breathtaking views of the wetlands. Mark and Diane are mesmerised as they watch the changing colours with the setting of the sun, and James enchants them with ancient stories until streaks of pink and orange criss-cross the sky.”
Behind the scenes…
The shoot has now officially kicked off, starting in Mt Borradaile and we now have the full cast and crew of 12. As it’s nearing the end of the dry season, as suspected many of the visually spectacular floodplains had largely dried up. Such is the ever changing beauty of the seasons up here, the drying floodplains allowed us to film in parts of the rainforest, which cannot be accessed until the end of the dry season. So instead of filming the floodplains we borrowed a couple of push bikes (oddly fitted out with buckets as baskets), and captured a leisurely bike riding scene in the forest. We covered all the scenes in a day and part of a morning! And as usual, the staff here could not do enough to help!
I always really enjoy hearing the first impressions of the talent and film crew on these trips, as many of them have not experienced destinations like these before. Here’s some of the comments from the crew and talent:
“I guess the great thing about the camp itself, is that whilst it is really beautiful, it’s got a real rustic and open feel about it… as you’re actually sleeping under the stars”.
“I love the diversity and how different it is compared to southern Australia, which is really quite unique. I love the isolation and ancient culture mixed with ancient creatures”.
“Our Aboriginal guide, James, is great, gentle but still quite jovial and entertaining. He’s very knowledgeable about his culture and the land”. Both Diane and I thought Arnhem was an Aboriginal name but found out from James that Arnhemland got its name from a Dutch ship, the Arnhem.”
“When I was here last back in June 2009, the landscape was quite different. There was more water and access to Mt Borradaile was over the water. We weren’t able to enter the rainforest at that time, though the flood plains were a highlight. This time there was little water – but we could get into the rainforest, so at different times of the year there’s different advantages of being here”.
“This place now has to be in my top five travel destinations. I had no idea what to expect as I’d never heard of Mt Borradaile. The place is healing and peaceful – words can’t really describe it. I kept saying the word ‘surreal’ to myself because it’s hard to put your finger on it – it takes you out of your normal everyday life and transforms you”.
“All of it was amazing. I loved meeting James as he bought it all together. He told me that we are all connected and we are all brothers and sisters. I loved the connection they feel with the land and the people”.
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 Mt Borradaile from our location scouting, visit here.
Next we are off to Uluru, stay tuned for the next shoot update … Kristi!