My dreams of a productive month of researching/editing/rewriting have been waylaid by the distractions of the Commonwealth Games (held on the beautiful Gold Coast where I just happen to live – Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! Oi! Oi! Oi! etc), Bachelor in Paradise (Australia) (the DRAMA) and the latest season of Call the Midwife (I mean – I usually cry at least a few times during that show but the last two episodes of Season 7 BROKE MY HEART) – where was I? Oh, that’s right. I was DISTRACTED.
Anyway, today I finally did something productive Camp-wise. I read a book. But not just any book – it was Charles & Elsa Chauvel – Movie Pioneers, written by their daughter, Susanne Chauvel Carlsson. Charles and Elsa Chauvel were behind some of the most successful Australian movies from the 1920’s to the 1950’s, including Forty Thousand Horsemen and The Rats of Tobruk. They cast a young Errol Flynn in In the Wake of the Bounty before he became a huge Hollywood star, and introduced the world to Michael Pate and Chips Rafferty. The book is filled with photographs, newspaper clippings and film posters too, and it gave me a real sense of what it was like to make movies back then – which is handy, as I have a draft novel that has been sitting on my hard drive since 2013 about the silent movie industry in Australia! The parts about set building, and the logistics of filming on location, were particularly interesting to me. The cast and crew often suffered great physical hardship to bring these movies to life.
I’m also reading The Great Movie Stars – The Golden Years by David Shipman. This is a book filled with mini-biographies of just about everyone you can think of – from Fred Astaire to Rudolph Valentino. There were some pretty juicy scandals back in the day – and although the book mainly focusses on American stars, I think there’s lots of inspiration there to spice up my own little story…
But now it’s time I went to bed. Hopefully I’ll get some actual writing done tomorrow!