Tuesday, August 28, 2007

What do you do....

...On your day off?

Well if you’re a part of 2nd Unit, you head out to the salt-flats location, and play cricket as the sun sets.

During the day – a mild-mannered carpark...

...On Sundays: playground for the gladiatorial heroes...
as the sun sets, it gets progressively harder to see the ball, yet they soldier on

Ready... aim...



You could also grip it and rip it (good luck finding the ball)

Well, 2nd unit has almost finished; and soon I shall re-join the main shooting unit in Kununurra, which ironically enough, may be then moving out here to Diggers Rest...

Cool Dam, where I managed to record some eagles, and crows....

The Equine Influenza scare, has halted any movement of horses... so we can’t even transport our thoroughbreds from their holding area, to the shooting locations. (keep in mind I’m not that well informed on the ACTUAL restrictions, all I know is that it’s not good for us)

Bowen had rain, Kununurra was delayed, and now the horses are inadvertently changing our schedule... at least none of them are sick.

Sunset Tree.

I'm too tired to write anything else, so I’ll leave you all with a PHOTO FROM THE ARCHIVES

...which is from an Ice hockey game in Vancouver 2001, I think the Canucks won...

Ok, possibly going internet-dark when I move back into town, and my 3-phone still doesn’t work – but I can actually check messages from a land-line now.



Wednesday, August 22, 2007


...are normally pretty relaxed.

So sometimes cattle properties have to use use Helicopters to Muster (round-up) the cattle.

We’re doing the same thing...

The pilots are usually VERY nimble in their little craft, and pull some serious turns

2nd Unit is going well – the camping is turning out to be great, catering is still Fantastic; and I’ve been able to drive around and collect Atmospheres and sound FX using the uber-cool Surround-sound microphone.

As a part of my FX collection, I’ve been hanging out near the cattle guys when they collect the cows at the end of the day.

Here are a few shots.

The stockman’s 2nd best friend (behind his horse... of course) is the trail-bike

Aforementioned Stockman – closing the electric fence at the end of the day.

I finally went through the rest of my Emma gorge photos, and picked a few of the actual gorge...

Bonus shots

Arty-shot of the Cockburn (pronounced CO-burn) ranges; a fitting backdrop to our cattle action...

...and a shot of the local emu that stalks guests at diggers rest.

Ok that’s it for the moment.

I’m back on main-unit at the end of this week (2nd unit continues, but without any sound recording)

my 3-phone still doesn’t work in Kununurra, so email is best.



Photo from the archives...

...Is a shot of customs house in Brisbane

Thursday, August 16, 2007

2nd Unit...

...is fun.

Normally reserved for things that are either too dangerous for main cast (big stunts); or something that doesn’t involve main cast (pretty shots of landscapes/animals/buildings).

I’ve been lucky enough to be sent onto 2nd unit as the sound representative.
The BEST part however; is that most of the shooting, will involve NOISY equipment to get the visuals.

This noisy equipment means that rolling sound while filming is not really a requirement (it’ll be designed/replaced later), and I’m free to record Sound FX/Atmosphere tracks.

This is the purest form of sound recording for film (the collection of sounds that are not directly related to a picture, but are used creatively to support those same pictures)

I’m rambling now, but in short; it’s like I’ve won the sound recording lottery...

To make things even better, I’ve been given the Surround Sound mic. So I can capture the natural soundscapes of these amazing locations.

Post-Sound Supervisor recording a sound-scape, whilst being recorded by the Behind the Scenes Crew...

Nice Boab on the Diggers Rest property...

Early-morning sun through the trees...

Sunday was a bit of an anomaly – we got the day-off (due to some scheduling conflicts between main and 2nd unit) – so a bunch of crew headed off to the local races...

3rd race – coming off the final corner

Local race-goer, checking out the starting line-up

I think our safety-supervisor and paramedic won a bit on this particular horse...

I’m told that the Wyndham races are one of the few; if not the only, races that are held on Salt-plains

Time for the usual PHOTO FROM THE ARCHIVES

This week it’s a shot of a toll-gate for the local “city-cat” ferries in Brisbane

Ok that’s it for the moment,

Keep safe, and happy.



The only time that it’s really important to record sound on 2nd unit; is when main cast are present, and today was spent sitting on a tracking vehicle, pointing a mic at our male lead – charging along on a horse. Fun times

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Digger's Rest...

...is insanely pretty!

2nd Unit are “camping” at diggers rest. About an hour and a half away from Kununurra.

I throw the air-quotes around the term “camping” because it’s actually quite civilised.

We have a 4-person tent each, a nifty camp bed, chair, and light.

There’s running water for showers (if you get in early it’s hot), flushing toilets, and even facilities for washing the dust out of your clothes (‘tis quite dusty up here in northern WA)

Here are some more photos from my little day-off excursion to Emma Gorge and El Questro.

Amalia Gorge – in the El Questro Park. Swimming here was a little cold – but worth it.

Awesome tree on the way out to Emma Gorge

Rock-pool reflection of the sun setting on the walls of the Emma Gorge

Arty photo of the week

Tent-city; there are over 80 tents in a small area – so people are getting quite neighborly.

last night a whole bunch of the crew tried to stay-up and see the meteor shower.
one massive one, and a bunch of little falling stars, caused many to abandon the vigil at midnight; turns out it was a smart move on their behalf, as I didn't see any more spectacular ones at the "scheduled" time...

Another angle of the tents at night.

Time for that regular segment known as

This week it’s a shot of the summer ski-jump training jumps on Blackcomb Mountain, Whistler BC, Canada circa 2001.

Well, it’s time I got back to planning my recording requirements for the next 2 weeks

See ya


Saturday, August 11, 2007

Is a "rest-day" spent NOT resting...

...still considered a rest day?

After travelling out to 2nd unit on friday, I was forced to have today off (to start shooting tomorrow).

So today was spent driving around to the local “beautiful-places” a.k.a. El-Questro.

Many more photos to come, but in short it’s some of the most beautiful landscape in the world.

Swimming holes are quite chilly in winter (even in the FAR north-west of Australia); but extremely worth the pain.

More info on my life as a 2nd unit sound recordist a little later-on...

I know that I forgot to include a photo from the archives in my last post...

So here’s 2

First up is a shot of New Zealand’s South Island, on the way to Milford Sound in 2004.


The local church on my home-street in Brisbane

Ok, more to come soon.


Monday, August 06, 2007


... is also pretty.

Much like Bowen before it, we have completely taken over, another gorgeous Australian township.

After arriving on Friday; most of the weekend was spent bumping into every-other crew member in the middle of town. Most were grocery shopping, some were grabbing a bite to eat, strolling around the various art galleries, and just checking out the town in general.

I should clarify my previous post re: the cell phone not working. Telstra neXt Generation phones work EVERYWHERE that we’re staying, and shooting (except for the most remote 2nd unit locations – for which we have access to a satellite phone for emergency situations). MY phone doesn’t work in the city – or out on set. Given that I’m moving off to 2nd Unit on Friday for 2+ weeks of camping, I’m not going to bother getting this issue solved.

On to brighter subjects; My excess luggage arrived today (Sunday), so I picked up my camera before heading off to “bump-in” the sound gear (sometimes we unload the equipment onto the location the day before we start shooting).

The roads out to set (roughly a one hour trip each-way from the township) are pretty good, all things considered; they’re freshly graded, and pretty smooth.

As you can see, there’s just no substitute for Northern Western Australia.

Cattle roam the property (as it’s a working cattle station), so all gates need to be closed behind you, and, as always – the big slow living things get right of way.

The set IS fantastic, the location perfect, and pretty much breath-taking in every way imaginable.

No photos taken... so nothing to show.

After the return trip, we headed off to the local look-out “Kelly knob”

Typical WA landscape

The rock here is so solid, it just oooozes history; very spiritual land.

Every photo doesn’t need a caption, does it?

Anyone able to identify the flower? (it’s pretty common, and blooming in winter)

Even the Graffiti can look photogenic (no it’s not traditional art, just a bunch of kids with paint, as evidenced by the rest of the look-out)

Boom-op and sound-attachment (sponsored by WA film commission) looking over Kununurra

A Boab-tree; this one is massive, and right on the road out of town.

2nd angle of the mighty-boab.

Okey dokey, I’m off to bed now; got a 0400 wake-up for a 0445 departure, for a 0600 start...

Day one is finished - just got home at around 1930 - so not as long as first thought.
too tired to make a major update though.

see ya