A Postcard from Roger Lanser ACS

A postcard from

 Melbourne, Victoria

It all begins with a ginger snap biscuit and a warm cup of tea all served up by a beautiful hostess with slightly too much make up, but her eyes were clear and piercing and the colour of golden sapphires.

I’m off to Albury on a regional airline to do a weekend recce for ‘Cliffy,’ the tele movie about Cliff Young who won the Sydney to Melbourne Marathon at age 61.


You’ve gotta love this job. One minute you’re in Melbourne shooting a tele-movie about police corruption in the late 60’s and the next thing you’re standing in a field in the beautiful Kiewa Valley of Victoria. You drive through Yackandandah, Tangambalanga and Kergunyah. The bright country light falling in perfect harmony with the rolling hills and crystal blue skies. A refreshing change from grey Melbourne hospitals and police stations.

We’ll be shooting here for 4 weeks and this part of Australia is very familiar to me as I’ve shot 3 movies in this area before. I’m going to focus on the odd exercise we do on recces, of just walking into people’s homes and their lives. We go in and walk around their home, taking photos of their rooms and furniture, their bedrooms and hallways, their possessions and trophies. All received with trust and open arms by the kind-hearted country folk. All the time checking the sun, looking at the way the light is falling and the time of day.


We found a great location for the start of the race and end of the race, a great cottage and dairy for Cliffy’s place – all within easy reach of each other. This production needs to be able to move swiftly along in its shooting day as it’s all about the running. The road shooting will be the most difficult, what with all the OH&S that is involved with filming on roads now, so some clever angles and CGI might be involved.

The director Dean Murphy and I do some night recces to check out the end of the race location, which occurred at 2am evidently, and all is fine. This event happened in the 1980s, so we have to be careful to keep within the era with signage and street lighting.

I got up very early in my country motel and re-read the script to keep it fresh, as Dean will have it imprinted in his brain and it’s good to keep on top of it.

I tried to tether my iPhone to my iPad to show the director some videos of camera mounts I was suggesting, but the connection was too slow and I had to draw diagrams. I’m not a great artist.

We drive back to Melbourne in the afternoon, talking excitedly all the way about all that we have seen, and ways to overcome all the problems that will arise.

Production begins after Easter and I’ll have more news then.

Roger Lanser ACS