Monday, January 19, 2009

02_First week with Filmview

So the first week of work in Sydney has finished. 5 days of work came as a bit of a shock as I hadn’t worked on set since Scott Hick’s film ‘The Boys Are Back’ which finished early December.

On Tuesday I did my first day in the Filmview office in Alexandria. Tim showed me around; pointing out the important things like the coffee shops, the best restaurants, the local pub and free parking. We ventured out to the warehouse where all of our equipment is stored. Later this week we are relocating the warehouse to a bigger premises. Can’t wait for 2 days of moving and lifting. We’ve got over 7km worth of cables to get into the trucks!Tim also gave me a long introductory lesson on how to use the kit we take out on commercials so that I can be trained up and sent out to operate the video playback on TV commercials and feature films.

On Wednesday I assisted Tim on a KFC commercial out the other side of town. A 6am start ensured we had use of the most daylight without being out in the heat too long. The humidity is taking a while to get acclimatised to. We shot at a KFC store and a supermarket before finishing for the day at 2.30pm. A great first day on set!

On Thursday I left the KFC shoot to assist the Daemon; the partner operator of Filmview, on a commercial for a new VW car model. We were shooting on the Phantom camera which has the ability to shoot at extremely high frame rates so that when played back the footage is in super slow-mo (the same camera used for the Schweppes balloon bursting ad). Unfortunately this shoot wasn’t as straightforward and successful as my previous day. Simply, the day was a write off. After reviewing the slow-mo footage in the post house, the director, cinematographer and producers found that the footage was not useable. Whether an equipment malfunction or lack of experience with High Definition on the cinematographer’s behalf no one knows or will admit. So the shoot has been postponed until further notice.

Friday I was back with Tim and joined him for the next two days to complete the KFC TVC. By Friday afternoon Tim had me operating on set alone, so decided to get me to operate solely for all of Saturday. I was nervous as hell about the day, but managed to fly through without hiccup. After the shoot I went to the Jazz festival in the Domain with Sim to enjoy some great music from the Gypsy Kings and Queens. As Tim told me, because Sydney is so expensive, any free event held attracts so many people. So once again the park was packed with thousands of people, and there was a surprisingly large fan base of gypsies that came out of the woodwork for the night!

The Jazz Festival in the Domain

So after five days of work I had three days off - tough life! I spent Sunday in the sun with Sim back down at the Bronte sea pool near Bondi before retiring to the humongous 13 story Westfield in Bondi to see Frost/Nixon at the movies. 

Sim and I at Bronte

The sea pool at Bronte

Bronte beach

Then that night there was the family dinner back at the Atkin/Haddrick household. Cousins Sandy and Chuddley joined us for Johnnies mustard Salmon and fruit salad.

Yesterday I rode down to the ferry and headed into the city on my bike. With little geographical idea about the city, I somehow managed to find my way to Darling Harbour where it was packed full of tourists squeezing in last minute trips before school recommences.

My ferry stop on the harbour

A regular scene on George street

Back at home it was my night to cook for Judy, Johnny and El. I created Euge’s famous spag-bog with chilli and red wine with fresh garlic bread. No one has come down terminally ill yet so it mustn’t have been too bad!

This week I have began to slip into more of a living pattern, having been given jobs from Judy, doing my own washing, swimming with Sim at Bronte each morning, having breakfasts with Johnny and wallowing through movies and countless episodes of the OC with El. Not to mention loving my new employment with Tim & Daemon.

Tonight I’m heading out with El, Hugh, Sandy & Chuddley to see The Curious Tale of Benjamin Button at the cinema in Newtown, then having Judy and Johnny join us all for dinner at Hugh’s new place.

Hope everyone is keeping well.
Drop me a message is you have time. I’d love to hear what everyone is up to


Sunday, January 11, 2009

01_Moving to Sydney

So begins a new adventure on the Eastern coast!

After dropping Claira and Mum at the airport, Dad and I began the 2 day drive across the border through Victoria and on to NSW on Tuesday 6th Jan. My new car ('Liquid Magma' - preferably pronounced in Dr Evil voice) was packed to the roof with clothes, my guitar, a bike, countless boxes of DVDs and my computers. Staying in Waga Waga overnight then taking a more scenic route through the Blue Mountains, we arrived in Sydney late Wed afternoon. Post 2 days of retail therapy in Sydney city, Mum and Claira met us at my new home; with the
 Atkin/Haddrick family in Hunters Hill.

My new home in Hunters Hill

Toocooya Rd, Hunters Hill

My new room

Having the family come over to help me settle in was great. We spent our couple of days together in and around Sydney, discovering its many shopping malls and tourist attractions. The Chinese Gardens in Darling Harbour were particularly amazing; a green oasis in the middle of an urban jungle.

We ventured out across the city to the NSW art gallery to see the Impressionists exhibition. Then in stark contrast Dad drove us through the crazy Sydney traffic out to visit the Westfield at Bondi. Standing 13 stories high packed full of shops, food courts and cinemas, it makes Marion seem quite insignificant.

Dad also decided to test out both his and my GPS on a trip out to my new work. With me in the driving seat trying to wade through traffic and Dad alongside in the passenger seat, Mum and Claira were left to panic in the back seats. Regardless of both conflicting GPS directions and that of a 2009 Sydney street directory, we got lost. Many times. We eventually arrived in Alexandria at the offices of 'Film View' where I was able to meet Daemon, 1 of the 2 owners and operators of the company. I will be working between the office and the warehouse, and out on locations around NSW. 

Then early on Sunday morning, after a big night out with 2 Adelaide friends at the opening night of the Sydney Festival, I took Mum, Dad and Claira to the airport for a sad farewell.

So my honeymoon period is almost over. I start work tomorrow (Tuesday 13th) on a 4 day television commercial. 1 day to prepare the truck and equipment for the shoot, then 3 days out on location for principal photography. So my expectations of only 2 days of work are out the window which is great news for me!

I'll keep this blog up to date with my new Sydney life!

Henry xx