Week 3 With week 3 done and dusted, we got to see a few different faces of Melbourne yet again as we explored more locations for our film.
The Gatwick Hotel is an iconic part of St Kilda and infamous for its run down, forgotten look and its seedy inhabitants, but getting to see the inside of those walls and the characters that are portrayed so negatively was an eye opening experience for not only myself but I think the whole team. We were introduced to a world that few get to see, by a women who has owned the place with her twin sister for longer than any of our crew have been alive. Her mother owned the hotel before that and her grandmother before that - the history of the Gatwick alone is an amazing story but unfortunately the negativity surrounding this location doesn’t really pay homage to what those sisters are trying to do for the weak, the weary, addicted and down trodden in this world. As the crew huddled in alarm at the behaviour of the inhabitants, the owner embraced it with care and acceptance and stern guidance. In the end, we realised the location would not be ideal for our purposes and gladly left that world behind exchanging one claustrophobic environment for another…
...Pentridge Prison has been around since the 1800’s, another iconic and infamous spot in Melbourne’s history, what little remains of the prison, remains intact and unchanged from the days when prisoners walked down it’s long sections and huddled in its wet cells. This was the go to prison when it was operational, there was even a women’s and children’s division back in the day. Aside from some cute little feral kittens wandering about the premises, the place is a haunting reminder of an old system that took in everyone from petty thieves to the worst criminals Australia has ever seen, arguably the most infamous of which, Ned Kelly, still calls it home, albeit, six feet under. We tried a few cells on for size but the creepiness took over and we hightailed it out of there.
Returning to more familiar territory, we found ourselves back in St Kilda and checking out two more locations, the Oslo Hotel and Day of the Dead bar. The Oslo was very popular back in the 90s but has since become a little worse for wear and now spends its days as a retreat for backpackers from all over the world. With its narrow corridors, wobbly stairs and a nice view of St Kilda, it certainly has a lot of character!
The Day of the Dead Bar gives you a true Mexican vibe as you walk into it and we soon agreed that we wanted to use this location for one of our scenes, tempted to stay and order a few rounds of tequilas for the crew, we thought better of it and settled on staring out the massive front window that looks out onto Fitzroy Street and across to one of the two apartments we checked our for another scene in our film.
Just a few blocks away was our next location, STK Apartments - sitting high in the sky with an amazing view, our potential apartment location took our breath away and though it requires a lot of work by our Art Department, it was too good a location to pass up.
One of our last scouts for the week was back at the Docklands Studios - Rosie and Rod made us feel very welcome and their support of Indie film is second to none. We are very fortunate to be able to call Docklands home for a month during our shoot and the various locations it provides will be a tremendous help in getting our film made. The Studios are beautiful, well equipped, spacious with offices, makeup rooms, green rooms and everything you could ever need on a film set, we're very excited to be filming there!