Filming Wagner
by Ann Reddecliffe

Tuesday 8th August 2000 Page 3 of 8

I had already done a lot of walking and climbing in the area, so I knew my way around by now. Waitakere Bay, like most of the beach areas along the coast, is overlooked by cliffs and lots of hills all of which are public areas and popular with walkers and climbers. I had climbed up to the cliff tops two days previously and knew that there were various places on the way up to the top where you could look out over the bay.
So I told the security guard that I was leaving and he walked me back to the car (going along the allegedly explosively mined area) and practically waved as I drove out of the car park. I drove to a nearby car park and walked back towards the coast and started to climb. The hills are riddled with walking tracks, big and small, it was just a case of finding the best place to go. I was up and down hills and climbing through undergrowth for quite a while. There were numerous places where I could see them, but finding somewhere where I could take photos was the problem.
After doing about 2000 feet up and down I found a reasonable place and settled down for the day. There were animal things moving in some of those bushes and I kept getting dripped on as it had rained heavily the previous night. I was already soaked to the knees with wading through so much very long grass and unidentifiable plants and I got bitten by insects. But at least I could now concentrate on what was going on and get my camera out. I was so far away that I had to put 400mm of lens on my camera and use it as a telescope just to see what was happening.
The trouble was that I was so far away that I couldn't make out what was going on. I couldn't tell the difference between rehearsing, filming or just general setting up. Worse, still I couldn't see either Xena or Gabrielle.
I took a few photos anyway. I reckoned that I would figure out what was going on eventually and then I could look back at the photos and know what it was that I had seen. I still don't know what was going on in some of the photos.
Close, but no cigar
Close, but no cigar

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Well, they were doing something Eventually I worked out that the reason I couldn't spot Xena and Gabrielle was that they weren't wearing their usual costumes. Xena was wearing a long white dress and Gabrielle was wearing a brown uniform (visible under Lucy and Reneé's robes in the shot below):
Xena and Gabrielle's costumes (visible under Lucy and Reneé's robes here)
Well, they were doing something

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Still doing unexplainable things - that tent moved around a lot!
Still doing unexplainable things
- that tent moved around a lot!

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