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Old August 9th, 2011, 07:26 AM   #1
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"red dog" the movie.

When Red Dog comes your way, take time to see it. If any of the older among you recall "Old Yeller" this one won't disappoint.

Although it is rather a different sort of film, strongly based on and faithful to a true story. Nevertheless, the more sensitive and soft among you should take the box of Kleenex along.

It was shot in some of the actual locations of where events took place, the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

Unlike many other residents of the region when I was there, I failed to stop and pick him up when he was hitch-hiking. He was on the trot intent on going somewhere and not trying to stop cars.

I passed him on what we then called the Karratha Road between the Karratha Drive-in and the Karratha Caravan Park, where he was likely headed.

I understand, maybe not correctly that the movie was also shot on the RED camera - kinda fitting, given the title and red earth setting of the iron ore country.
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Old August 10th, 2011, 03:20 PM   #2
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Re: "red dog" the movie.

Saw 'Dog Yeller' at the cinema as a child. I cried. It was the second billing to something or other (in the days you got two films), possibly 'Aristocats'.
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Old August 10th, 2011, 11:02 PM   #3
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Re: "red dog" the movie.

I saw it here in a mid Tuesday afternoon screening and there was a good muster of people of the older demographic (yeah, my lot). I thought at the time it was exceptional that they had been motivated to bother, then the penny dropped.

Like myself, they are now the age of people who more than likely would have been there during the early production period of the mining projects and would have had a connection.

The movie takes a lighthearted approach to the characters as a counter to the emotion of the story and they got the balance pretty right.

In truth though, some of the brawling and fighting that went on during the early days was exceedingly vicious, beerjugs and knives, if you get my drift.

There is a whole slew of amazing stories and characters from up there during the mid 60's and 70's constructions and early production. Red dog was an individual who knew some of them and caused the stories to be brought together. At the time, no one would possibly have dreamed such a movie would come out of it.

The production designer got it pretty right. One iconic car of the time, popularly bought by workers once they raised a bit of cash, was the two-door Chysler Valiant Charger. They did not have one in the movie but their depiction of other types including much older secondhand used models, then populating the area was right on the money.

During Red Dog's time, Rick the vet moved closer to Dampier. The old stone church in the movie was a quarter mile or so from his home in the old historic town of Roebourne.

The shark story is well valid. A different story not part of the movie - a maintenance man came off one of the shiploaders and was pulled up by his harness about 70ft above the water, give or take high or low tide which can make up to 18ft difference there. He was out on his own as he had decided to work on another 5 minutes to finish the job rather than come in for his break and had told his workmate he need not hang around waiting.

He contemplated climbing up the harness but it would be an awkward hard go in the heat. He decided that cutting free and dropping into the water would be easier. He unfastened one steelcapped boot and let it go. A huge shark eased out from under the jetty the moment it hit the water and took it. He dropped the other boot and the shark ate that too.

Last edited by Bob Hart; August 10th, 2011 at 11:08 PM. Reason: error
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Old August 14th, 2011, 10:28 PM   #4
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Re: "red dog" the movie.

Yep Bob great times. My father came here from Scotland in the mid thirties, cut cane in Qld and worked up there in that part of Oz for a time. He never talked about it much, but as a kid I found about a dozen faded prints which kinda told me his story.

Just saw Red Dog .. billed as a family film, the theatre was packed with all ages. Took me about 20mins to get into it, loved the opening colours, green exterior lighting on the hotels corregated iron walls, brilliant! Great editing, nicely paced. A shudder went through me at the scene where that guy gets bad sunburn, terrifying skin cancer from that time finally got my dad.

A continuity blunder when Nancy (Rachel) first alights from the bus .. in a different dress. Sounded to me like there was a fair amount of ADR, it was well done. Multiple Red cameras on animal features looks like a successful formula ..

‘The chance to work on a broad canvas’ – Kriv Stenders on directing Red Dog | AFI blog

And this fun ..
Koko's RED DOG Screen Test - YouTube

I look at all films like that now and think, can I bring my 4yr old grandaughter to see this? Yep and she'd notice the dress :) .. 8/10 :)

Cheers.
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Old August 15th, 2011, 11:17 AM   #5
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Re: "red dog" the movie.

Allan.


An offtopic aside. Quite a few years back, a friend visited Scotland and was amazed to see an old Australian Ford Falcon. He approached the driver to ask about it. The driver had worked on the mining construction and had bought the car in Australia as a runabout, liked it so much that he shipped it to the UK when he went back home.

The older secondhand cars like FE, FB, EK Holdens were bought in NSW where there were strict roadworthiness requirements, driven across to the Pilbara by workers who would make their money and either abandon the cars or give them away and fly home.

When CRRIA moved the carpark at Cape Lambert, there were apparently 52 cars which had been left there.

A lot of those old cars were in fairly good order when they arrived but the fierce sun, heat and red dust tears any car up in about two or three years. Sadly many of them which would now be almost heritage items were consumed in the local speedway by amateur racers.

Last edited by Bob Hart; August 15th, 2011 at 11:18 AM. Reason: error
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Old August 20th, 2011, 06:56 PM   #6
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Re: "red dog" the movie.

Thanks Bob, yep in some areas it's a totally different world up there.

It'll be interesting to see how Red Dog performs if they secure world release. Much as I'm for Oz successes, the 'Australia' thing still hasn't registered with the cinema goers of the world. Maybe not enough continuity of product.

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Old August 21st, 2011, 12:56 AM   #7
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Re: "red dog" the movie.

As for world release, they were canny enough to use an american actor for one anchor character which should make it a bit more marketable as they won't have to redub his voice.

It has enough of a "Gods Must Be Crazy" style "different world" aura about it to garner interest. In the US, a distributor might not have the patience to wait for it to build a cinema audience following as it did here.

I would guess it will do better internationally than in the US unless they get a major like Touchstone or Disney to market it with some committment.


Offtopic once more.

The SAS some years back did an exercise in the near-desert northeast of Marble Bar where they were left and had to make best of what they could find and form an effective fighting force. As part of their solution, they caught wild camels and trained them.

When the exercise concluded they rode into Marble Bar, which still has the wide streets which were made so to enable large haulage teams to swing around to the opposite direction in a main street.

An old cameleer in his eighties, by then blind, was very moved and expressed that in that in his lifetime, he had never expected to ever hear the sounds of working camels in Marble Bar ever again.

Well writ and expanded, it would make a good film in the "Red Dawn", "Tomorrow When The War Began" genre don't you think.
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Old September 17th, 2011, 02:25 AM   #8
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Re: "red dog" the movie.

Yes I do. Did you see the latest Red Dog news today. It's off and running! (no pun) sold in half a dozen countries.

The producer has taken KoKo under his wing and RD (the movie) is well on the way to be the highest Aust grossing movie of them all.

Look for a Red Dog series, maybe a TV show, Lassie and Rin Tin Tin made it, woof woof!!

Cheers.
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Old September 19th, 2011, 05:17 AM   #9
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Re: "red dog" the movie.

Been helping with a long hours night shoot and mains power off for four days so missed the latest on "Red Dog." Smallworldly - turns out my boss at the casual workplace is a friend of the producer. You just never know about those levels of separation.

Hopefully Red Dog may create a few offshore openers for some other Aussie product.
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