Working alongside Bondi Rescue

So the past few days I worked as a runner for a tv show. As part of this one of the shoots we did was on Bondi Beach.

I got up EXTREMELY early and picked up various crew members. By 5am we were standing on the beach and wondering where everyone else was. Other than an unnatural crowd of people exercising no one else seemed to be around.

The three of us waited in the dark until a cafe opened and we could grab some breakfast. Tummies satisfied, and some time later the people we were waiting for had not arrived.

A few phone calls later we were greeted by a jeep and an array of lifesavers. It was The Bondi Rescue film crew!

They unloaded about 6 surfboards and a bunch of gear and started to set up. It seemed that we were working alongside the crew for the morning. Doing the old ‘switcheroo of footage’. I thought that was pretty fn as I hadn’t really heard of different shows doing that before. So each show would feature another within an episode. Pretty cool.

The other intern and I were particularly interested in all the gear that had been set up. We went and introduced ourselves to one of the camera operators who was holding what appeared to be a cmera in underwater housing. He explained that it was an EX1 and that they had had a housing unit specially made for it as often pro housing tends to weigh down the camera. This one had been made of fibreglass so that it was light for working/filming in the surf. He kept the cameras focus set and then just adjusted the iris as he went.

We then met a woman (I can’t remember her position, but it was along the line of producing or managing or something… I wrote it down somewhere) Anyway, she showed us the GoPros. She explained that the gopros were attached to each surfboard as well as the jetski and the jeeps. Some had two on one vehicle so you could get a POV of where the vehicle is going and also a shot of the person driving/surfing.

They had a mixture of the old and new go pros, the new ones apparently having better image quality than the first models. In total the show had about 26 cameras running simultaneously.

Each camera was then fitted with a battery extension pack which added an extra 8 hours to their filming time. That way they could be out for 10-12 hours a day to get footage for the show.

They also had a roaming camera operator for the land shots. The operator explained this was for interviews, land stuff and wides etc. This was an EX3. They explained they had alot of problems because of the sand and salt and just had to grin and bear it when it came to wear and tear of the gear. I guess after such a long time on air they can afford the repairs!

We spoke to the host as well who seemed to be pretty nice. He, the sound guy and the main camera operator invited us to visit another time and they could show us more gear and stuff. Cool!

Once the two shows were running it was pretty interesting to see how they worked together/against each other. It was obvious that each show was doing whatever they could to get the best out of the situation. At times this meant that it was to the detriment of the other show. It was quite a spectacle and drew a fair crowd.

Due to nature of each show there were about 3 sound and camera guys roaming as minimum. This grew at one point to about 6 of each department. It was insane. You could hardly see what was going on amongst the mass of crew.

Finally the filming wrapped and we headed to the next location.

Overall a very fun experience. I met some really lovely people.

This is a pic before everything was really set up, but it gives you a beautiful setting for where the drama unfolded.


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