The Macca team were kept busy filming for the 48-hour film festival, and are embracing some wild winds and heavy snow falls.

Station update

Over the weekend the Macca crew participated in the Antarctic 48-hour film festival. This is an annual international event on the Antarctic calendar, with around 20 stations across the subantarctic and the Antarctic continent agreeing to participate this year!

Stations are given 48 hours in which to conceive, script, cast, shoot and edit a movie around five minutes long. The movie must also contain four ‘elements’ which must be incorporated into the film. On Friday evening our elements (nominated by the previous year’s winners) arrived. They included: peas (the vegetable), a ‘boing’ noise, a toilet seat, and some dialogue — “It’s a very complicated algorithm”.

Friday evening commenced with a brain storming session, our original ideas amassed around a style of film that would allow everyone a chance to tell a story within the story. The next big challenge that emerged seemed to be how to actually tease ideas from people’s minds, and what media to transcribe these to. Paper, note pad, butchers’ paper, whiteboard, the dreaded Post-It note, all appeared as competing suggestions.

Within a few hours we had enough content to loosely assemble into a concept, and agreed to have an early night ready to start shooting our individual packages on Saturday morning.

The station burst into action on Saturday morning with a flurry of acting, prop building, scouting locations, technical production, hair and makeup, and catering. Despite the challenges of some very gusty conditions our cameramen got all of the shots that we needed in the can, leaving Sunday free to dedicate to post-production. The editing was all done in the mess, with people adding suggestions and ideas as they moved through to make a cuppa, hang out and cook lunch, in a free-flowing collaboration.

All stations are loading their films to Google Drive and we will now have two weeks to view and vote. Categories include — Best Film, Best Acting, Best Love Scene and Most Novel use of Elements.

Macca is throwing all of the weather excitement that she can muster at us this week. Just as we all assembled for smoko on Friday, the pressure plummeted and we were slammed by winds over 60 knots, gusting 85 knots for over two hours. Having been pinned down in the mess waiting for the winds to abate, we finally ventured out to assess the situation, and were pleased to find only minimal damage. Just as mainland Australia was blanketed in snow early this week, so too were we covered in a thick blanket of heavy wet snow.

This week we are celebrating Ranger-in-Charge Andrea’s birthday. She celebrated with a walk down the island, enjoying the beautiful Macca weather.

North-west feather bed SMA closes

The first of August marked the closing of the north-west feather bed special management area (SMA). This area is restricted between 1 August and 31 May, to minimize disturbance to breeding giant petrels and wandering albatross habitat, and extremely vulnerable peat land vegetation.

Most expeditioners have enjoyed exploring this part of the coast of Macca for the two months that the SMA was open. Highlights have been visiting the Eagle Cave area, walking the tracks through the quaking bog to the north, and cobbled beaches of Half Moon Bay, Eagle Bay and Langdon Beach.

This west coast area, shaped by prevailing winds and surf is such a contrast to the east coast, and adds another dimension to our experiences of the weather, environment, and wildlife sightings on Macca.

Those with an interest in marine debris, made many ‘treasure’ finds during the open season. A few surfers spotted incredible surf breaks, lamenting the fact that they will never be ridden. Some enjoyed being exposed to the full force of the southern ocean’s elements. Others embraced walking on the featherbed, for its bouncy feeling underfoot, through to the helplessness of being bogged up to the armpits.

All who experienced this part of the island have been grateful for the opportunity to experience another aspect of this magnificent place.

The last word…