This has got to be one of the highlights for January 2014! I've been a tutor for AFTRS (Australian Film Television Radio School) before for workshops in MacArthur &; Hornsby but this is the first time I get to venture out rural NSW on the good word of teaching the fundamentals of filmmaking amongst the local youngies.
|On Market St, Mudgee|
|One of the workshop participants|
I love adventure and I've never been to these two places so I was set up for the road trip with budding filmmaker Brendan Toole.
My road trip journey began on a Sunday morning (12th Jan), filled up petrol at Cessnock and checked into the Red Cedar Motel.
|Red Cedar Motel|
Muswellbrook is a suburb located in the upper part of the Hunter Region with a population of approx. 11,000. It is a place known for coal mining and horse breeding as well as gourmet food and wine production.
|Driving the AFTRS van|
|Loads of fun!|
The following day we had out one off workshop at the Muswellbrook Library and has a total number of 14 kids to workshop facilitate. The outcome was great! We has kids making really quirky comedy short films.
Post workshop I had to log myself into Anything Fitness and go for my daily 5km run just to unwind and de-stress. The heat was blazing and there's not much going in this little town but I'm glad there's a reliable gym and pool facilities for big smoke folk like myself.
We checked out at 10am the following day, dropped past the local tourist hub - Hunter Belle Cheese Factory and the Vietnam War Memorial. It was then a scenic 2 hour drive to Mudgee.
|Hunter Belle Cheese Factory|
I have to say, Mudgee is an amazing place! It felt like someone sliced off a piece of Newtown and plonked it outback. Mudgee has a smaller population of about 9,000 but there's a lot happening at this place.
|Streets of Mudgee|
I stayed at the Wanderlight Best Western Inn and was within distance of everything; shops, fancy restaurants, gyms, pools, RSLs, library etc... The buildings have a funky new vibe too it and people were in and out of places.
Some recommend places to eat include:
The cafés are hip and trendy. The most recommended is The Quick Brown Fox Cafe (opposite to the theatre space that I was facilitating). I have now adopted the soy milk cappuccino into my daily staple diet now because of this place.
|Mudgee Library & Cinema|
Some things that I couldn't get about Mudgee is this store selling these dolls. It was literally a full store of them and they seem to be wearing outfits that I've seen in the movie "The Colour Purple". I don't want to say it, but are they slave/ servant outfits on "blackfaced" dolls? Who would buy this stuff? Why a store that specialises in this? Is there a "demand" for it? Makes you wonder doesn't it?
Back to the final day of the workshop; it was a crazy mad dash 3 hours of final video exports, documentary making and the coordination of a public screening of the films. Then a "go-go-gadget-go" last few moments of farewells and a non stop drive back to Fairfield.
Overall, I has a great time, flexing my teaching as well as filmmaking muscles. Super thanks to AFTRS (Coordinators Lynette & Abigail) for taking me out for this project!