Filming Motherhood

Tuesday 21st March 2000 Page 5 of 12


Copyright: Adrian Petford  21 March 2000 I continued to walk down the track away from the camp until I reached the main Waiti Stream path and, once out of sight, headed back around the large bank and was soon within sight of the action again, albeit further away. As I had been walking round, I heard the sound of the fan starting up, which could only mean one thing... that they were actually shooting!

A long way back up in the dunes, a figure was leading a couple of horses down, one of which also appeared to have a rider. I couldn't recognise either person, the costumes or the horses at that distance. The fan was being used to create wind effects or to whip up the sand and, as there didn't appear to be a boom microphone present anywhere, I suspected it could be a linking shot with the dialogue to be dubbed in later.

After this, I decided to make my exit, because I knew by that stage it would be highly unlikely I'd be able to get any closer or see anything more specific in the way of filming. I returned to the reserve's entrance and sat in the car musing. Although I'd seen a lot more than the day before, I was still feeling unbelievably frustrated as, unlike yesterday, I now knew for definite that the film crew were there working on Xena: Warrior Princess... a chance in a million for any fan!

It was maddening to think that I was this close to the action and yet still couldn't really see anything! I didn't know the context of what I'd witnessed and also hadn't seen any actors I recognised either, so was still really none the wiser about anything. I wondered whether it might be worth going back for a second look, and even briefly toyed with the idea of going and asking them whether I could watch from close up, but in the end I thought I would just have to be satisfied with what I had seen and call it a day. After all, I didn't want to be a distraction from what they were doing, and they might not have liked the idea of a fan hanging around, even though I had just had a stroke of incredible luck in finding them there the previous day in the first place.

I had been sitting there for about half an hour agonising about what to do next, when I noticed a few of the large trucks coming down the approach road from the private farmland where they'd been parked up. This only made me feel worse, as it looked like my chance of seeing anything more had definitely gone for sure now. Over a short period of time, more and more vehicles began to move out, and it immediately struck me as odd how, while some of them were turning left into Bethells Road and heading back towards the production centre, others were turning right and heading in a direction which could only lead to Bethells Beach itself. A couple of very plush trailers went past, which caused me to raise a quizzical eyebrow, and once I saw Tilly's horse box (which she now has to share with Gabrielle's horse, incidentally) follow suit, that definitely clinched it. They must be changing location to the beach!

I love Bethells Beach - as well as being an incredibly stunning location in its own right, it is also one of the most distinctive backdrops seen in Xena: Warrior Princess and has been featured in many, many episodes. I had already been there four times previously before this, so in light of where the film crew appeared to be bound, it didn't take me long to decide to go back there and have another look!

It turned out to be one of the best decisions I've ever made in my life...

Xena: Warrior Princess filming in progress

Note the figures up in the dunes
to the left of the picture


Click for large version (750x500 - 62K)
Copyright: Adrian Petford  21 March 2000
Xena: Warrior Princess filming in progress

The large fan was started and stopped
periodically during this time


Click for large version (750x500 - 60K)
Copyright: Adrian Petford  21 March 2000
Xena: Warrior Princess filming in progress

It looked like one person was leading
two horses, and one of these had a rider


Click for large version (750x500 - 62K)
Copyright: Adrian Petford  21 March 2000
Xena: Warrior Princess filming in progress

I couldn't recognise either of the people involved
and the costumes and horses were also unfamiliar


Click for large version (750x500 - 60K)
Copyright: Adrian Petford  21 March 2000
Xena: Warrior Princess filming in progress

The pictures were all taken in very short succession
so should be representative of the finished scene


Click for large version (750x500 - 66K)
 
 
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