Hounslow – The Legend of the Mountain Witch

Last year in November I had the privilege to work as First Assistant Director on the Teaser for Australian film Hounslow. It was a fast shoot. I was working around the clock in pre-production to ensure that everything was in order in time for the shoot. Here are some stills from our first script read. It was here that I met the whole cast for the first time, and also got to snatch up the Director to talk about the shoot schedule.

L to R: The first script read with all cast. Quick production meeting with, from top left; myself, Michael (Producer), Carolyn (Hair) and Neil (Director)

The shoot was a very tight schedule; 13 pages of script, 8 locations and only 5 days to do it. A lot of the scenes needed to be shot at night, which made juggling locations even harder. Day 3 was one the most intense, but also most amazing days of shooting. We were in the middle of nowhere in Blue Mountains National Park (it literally took an hour to drive there once we got off the highway). We then had to lug loads of heavy equipment through the forest, everyone putting in a helping hand. The eerie lights and smoke machine really made being on set an amazing experience. Luckily it was summer so it only got really cold once it got dark. Here are some of my favourite pictures.

L to R: Actors checking they look Ok on Camera; Ben Willis, Giselle Van Der Wiel and Christopher Price. Adjusting the Camera in the ‘Hounslow Forest’. From left: George (Clapper), Kieran Fowler (DOP), Zoltan (Camera Assist / Steadicam), Dmitry (Runner), Neil McGregor (Director) and myself. Janine Penfold as The Witch.

Filming on the RED Epic made shooting until 3am in the forest a breeze. We only needed to light to create a mood and every shot looked amazing. That, though, didn’t stop me from having to make some major decisions on day 3 of the shoot. Due to unforeseen fog machine hiccups the Director and I had to cut a few scenes. It was devastating to see them go, but that’s all in the name of the shoot. The last day of the shoot was a long and emotional one. Everyone had to part and say goodbye. It was amazing to work with such a dedicated and talented crew with everybody putting in above and beyond. Our Director has since moved to Canada and I hear he is owning the media industry there. Here’s some more pictures just for fun.

L to R: Set-up at the house loc. From left; Kieran (DOP), myself, Mika (Audio), and George (clapper). Our Extras getting crazy on Three Tree Hilltop. Romantic Interest? Ben and Giselle wait while something else needs to be adjusted.

You can view the Teaser here. To find out more about Hounslow, visit the official webpage at: www.hounslowmovie.com.