Friday, February 11, 2011

SANCTUM Star Says Shooting the Movie was no Picnic

A physically demanding film about a physically demanding way of life.

TREADING water in scuba gear in the dead of night while waiting for a 3D camera to be fixed, actor Richard Roxburgh weighed up the benefits of 3D technology.

The 3D element made our lives just a little more difficult," says Roxburgh of his experience on the Gold Coast Movie World studio set of action thriller Sanctum.


Roxburgh and fellow cast members Rhys Wakefield, Ioan Gruffudd, Alice Parkinson and Dan Wyllie went to work on an elaborate, lifelike set. It was manufactured, but that didn't make facing 1000 litres of water while scaling its walls in scuba gear any easier.

Roxburgh plays an uncompromising cave explorer leading a group of divers through a deadly flooded underground caving system. They fight raging water, deadly terrain and rising panic as they search for an escape route to the sea.


"3D was a nightmare," he says. "Its camera is famously slow, and because it is new technology, it's fraught with issues. For instance, the camera runs very hot, and when it breaks down, it has to be rebooted and that takes time.

"Consequently the actors were paddling in water the whole time in wetsuits and we were freezing while waiting for the camera to be fixed.

"Also we had to shoot all the underwater scenes at night. I still don't know why. It was just one of those weird things. A lot of the time actors don't ask questions, you just do it."

Roxburgh had only a resort-holiday diving course in Fiji under his weighted belt when he took on Sanctum between two other major acting gigs.

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Be sure to read the SANCTUM review and if you didn't see the film last weekend, be sure to do so this weekend.

A film by divers, for divers.

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