MAY 2018 | Sharon Webb
FORTY CREW and actors hit Mole Creek last month to shoot atmospheric footage at the Old Wesley Dale property and a motorbike crash in a Sassafras forest, complete with stunts.
The Collider Films crew blanket-booked accommodation in the small town, raving about the dramatic countryside offering scenery that, unlike the rest of Australia, could be in Europe or the US.
Producer Matt Dooley described the “elevated aesthetic” as eminently suitable for the spy thriller he is creating.
“Overall, Tasmania has a much more international feel simply because of the climate,” he said.
“With its lush forest and great architecture it could be anywhere.”
The movie, which Matt was unwilling to name, is set in an anonymous location and will be released online after doing the rounds of the film festivals. Its production designer is Stephen James Evans, who worked on the 2012 movie The Hunter, also filmed in the Meander Valley.
Filming for only three days following Matt’s earlier scouting trip, the crew soaked up the friendliness of the Mole Creek locals and the stunning environment.
“The dramatic countryside and climate gives wonderful variations of scenery,” Matt said.
“It’s hard to get a sensational backdrop like the Gog Range, the trees’ splashes of colour and the morning mist anywhere else in Australia.
“We filmed inside and outside the barn at Old Wesley Dale, the building feels European, there’s an ambiguity to the architecture.”
The environment and super-helpfulness of accommodation providers and individuals like Chudleigh resident John Hawkins who gave access to his antiques for props, has Matt thinking that for him a move to Tasmania is an option.
“Lots of film production people have moved to Tasmania but there’s no organisation of the skills they offer.
“It’s expensive to come here and shoot, with fares and freight, so it would be great to be able to pull together all of those people and the equipment, and offer apprenticeships in lighting, stunts etc.”
Photo | Matt Dooley