Home and Away's fantastic locations set it apart from other dramas on our screens.
We are treated to beautiful scenes shot on Sydney's northern beaches, and this week we get the red earth contrast of Outback Australia.
We asked Series Producer Lucy Addario and Supervising Script Producer Louise Bowes about this epic storyline.
Who came up with the idea to create a storyline in South Australia?It was very much a team effort… we all knew we wanted to do another a big 'away' adventure (after going to Hawaii last year) so ideas were tossed around for months before the storyline was actually created. Once we settled on the idea of going to the Outback, it was time to shape a story outline that would be satisfying dramatically and make the most of the amazing landscape we'd be filming in. That took several more weeks to get right and to get approved. Then came the task of actually writing the scripts!
What was the reaction from the cast and crew when they found out?
We were absolutely busting to tell everyone what we had planned but until it was all locked in and approved, we couldn’t say a word. When the time finally came to break the news, it was to the cast first – and it’s hard to tell who was more excited – the cast or us!
Did you have to look at many locations during the recce?To tell this story it was vital to find contrasting landscape to the backdrop of summer Bay. We needed to find a location that was vast, desolate, dry and red! Before heading to the Flinders Ranges we did look into other outback locations including Broome, Kalgoorlie and the Kimberley’s but then found 'the South Australian Outback' - Flinders Ranges which provided a perfect backdrop for the story to unfold. We were fortunate enough to find a property called Nilpena Station approx. 45 mins from Parachilna which had a huge variety of locations that ticked all the boxes, desert, sand dunes, salt lakes, mountains and a township. It was all there!
Describe the feeling of seeing your written words come to life on the screen.Louise: There’s nothing better than the feeling of watching something you’ve worked on for months come to life. In this situation, it was particularly exciting for me because I’d had the luxury of visiting the location myself and crafting the story around what was out there visually, the vibe of the place etc. It was a really different way for me to work… and so I felt incredibly bonded to the material. When I started to see the shot footage coming back, I was beyond thrilled.
What were the main challenges and pleasures of working at that location?
The main pleasure of working at this particular location was waking up to the sunrise of the majestic landscape of Flinders Ranges. The way the landscape changed throughout the day as the sun moved was captivating and mesmerising. The sunsets were like nothing we had ever seen. The flies were definitely the biggest challenge, our cast and crew were literally swatting flies in their sleep!
Do you feel the cast did a good job?
Lucy: All the cast did a brilliant job. I was so excited to watch them bring life to the story we had been working on for so long. I was so proud of them all, particularly, Lincoln who was literally handcuffed to that car for a day and half, covered in a sugar based fake blood, swarmed by flies, in sweltering heat. As challenging as it was he got on it with it and delivered an unforgettable performance.
Louise: From a writer’s point of view, I couldn’t be happier with how the cast handled the material. There is so much emotion and action and tension in every minute of what’s on screen and that was exactly how I was feeling when I was writing the scripts. I have so much respect for all of them and feel honoured that I get to write for such incredibly talented people.
Did the locals enjoy the visit from Home and Away?
One of the highlights of the shoot for the cast and crew was meeting the locals of Parachilna and the Prairie Hotel. They were part of the Home and Away family for the two weeks were there. From accommodation, catering, providing help on location flying planes, transporting cast and crew; they were with us each step of the way and really helped to ensure a very smooth shoot and a time we will never forget!
What reaction do you hope to get from the fans?
Most of all, I hope the fans enjoy the ride; a story of family & loyalty and lengths we go to protect the ones we love.
I’m hoping they respond to the heart of the story as well as be blown away by the stunning visuals and performances.
See the interview with Lincoln, Nic and Steve on The Morning Show. There will be more behind the scenes interviews on the website tonight, Friday, Monday and Tuesday including one made by the cast themselves!