How Australian Story completed episodes under curfew

At one stage during Melbourne filming, neighbours even called police on an ABC crew.

Producers of the recent Australian Story had to get very creative to film a recent two-part episode during (both) Melbourne lockdowns.

An article at ABC Online details how a profile of stalking victim Di McDonald was challenged by rules around social distancing, curfews, work permits and COVID-19.

Classified as essential workers, we had permits that gave us an exemption from the stay-at-home orders but no guests were allowed to visit the ABC’s studios and we were banned from going into anyone’s home.

We could travel more than 5 kilometres but we had to all drive to filming locations separately.

On one occasion, that involved three of us driving in different cars from Melbourne to Benalla, a five-hour round trip.

Of course, we all had to wear masks except when actually speaking on camera.

“This story threw us many curve balls,” recalls Belinda Hawkins.

“There was always a question mark about whether we were acting within the rules.”

At one stage neighbours even called police.

Producer Belinda Hawkins recalled, it “scared the living daylights out of me” when a police car pulled up behind her.

Everyone scrambled to find their work permits.

You can read more about how they completed the task here.

3 Responses

    1. It’s called audio description (AD) – it’s a narration that describes what’s happening onscreen so that people who are blind or have low vision know what’s going on. Like captions make TV/film accessible to deaf people. The ABC and SBS are both providing AD on certain shows. Shows with AD have a message before they start. You can turn it off. On my remote, there’s an ‘Audio’ button that turns it on and off. But it depends on your TV.

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