Daily Archives: 26 June 2009

My Place on our street

For a little while now, a clump of big white vans has been turning up a block or so along our street. Marquees have been pitched in our nearest pocket-handkerchief park. Bevies of young women in long skirts, lace-up boots and bonnets have been ushered across the road by what should probably be described as school-marms. Yes, someone has been shooting a period film in Annandale. My curiosity wasn’t particularly piqued. We may not be New York City, but over the years our suburb has contributed its bit to the big and little screens, and we may have become a little blasé.

Then on Wednesday this week a letter appeared in my mailbox from little leaf pictures indicating that the action was about to move closer to our house, and that there would be ‘stop/go traffic control’ between 8 in the morning and 5 in the afternoon today. But here’s the interesting bit:

We are producing a children’s television series to be screened on the ABC, called ‘My Place’, based on a book by Nadia Wheatley. [Each of thirteen episodes] tells the story of the changing physical and cultural environment of a Sydney suburb from 1888 to 2008, seen through the eyes of thirteen children (a decade apart) whose common element is the terrace they all live in.

I love that book. I bought it because I’d known Nadia when we were both a lot younger, and read it with Penny in a state of high excitement over a hot drink in a Glebe cafe: how much history, of class and colonisation in particular, was worked into its pages! I wept into my hot chocolate at the last page. It’s wonderful that it’s being made into a television series, though they seem to have decided to leave out the first 100 years, which will surely risk pushing it right out of shape. And I’m not sure that broad, leafy Annandale Street can really stand in for the narrow lanes of Newtown (or was it Redfern?) of the book.

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So I was out there today bloggerazzing.

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Sadly, on my morning walk-past all the action was inside the house. The black shrouded thing on the porch is a monitor and the people in the foreground seem to be keeping track with a vast array of tech gear.

The afternoon was marginally more interesting: filming was over for the day. One or two children were hanging about in pyjamas and dressing gowns, but such are the times that I wasn’t game to take their photos. The ABC’s press release mentions a dozen fabulous actors, but none of the ones I would recognise were in evidence. I did spot one elegant 50s housewife ducking into the costume van and she graciously posed for me:

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They’re filming all next week, but I can’t promise any more images. A man in a three mile jacket told me the series will be screening on the ABC in January next year.