I’ll be honest. I had to Google ‘Bedarra Island’ when I got off the phone to my client. It was early July 2020 and I had just been booked to travel there to film for the first season of Hotels by Design TV. Googling locations was something I was about to start doing quite a lot of over the coming weeks as I travelled Queensland as a one man band video production unit for TV.
The video shoot at Bedarra Island Resort was the first of 11 hotels that I was scheduled to film in just a couple of weeks. This was going to be a massive project and one that was going to test me in many ways. I was to shoot full production for a television show, solo as a one-man-band. I was responsible for professional audio, camera operation and lighting when/if required. I would work alongside series producer, Mike Chapman (MWC Media) for the first week of production, taking in Bedarra Island, Mt Mulligan Lodge and the Eco Lodge in the Daintree.
I met Mike, along with series Judge and Presenter, Richard Munao and his wife at Cairns airport before we all jumped in a hire car and made our way to Mission Beach to catch a boat to the resort. Richard is the founder and managing director of Cult, an establishment offering premium furniture and lighting.
Bedarra Island is one of the family islands group that includes Dunk Island, Wheeler Island and Bowden Island. When you arrive at Bedarra you are welcomed by groups of beautiful blue butterflies that have been used to market Dunk Island for as long as I can remember. You’ll see these butterflies at around 0:09s into the video during the opening sequence.
We stayed the night and we treated to some wonderful food, wine and conversation. Truly a wonderful place to relax and unwind. The morning sunrise was incredible and it was so nice to spend a good 30 minutes or so taking in the views with my camera before getting straight back to work filming interviews etc.
Some trivia for you!
I fell into the water when getting off the boat! (Note to self, don’t wear a backpack and step off boats into water, backwards.)
In the opening shots, we didn’t have a line out for microphone audio in the chopper, so I had to put Richard’s lapel mic inside my chopper headphones to record his audio. We didn’t know if this would work, but it did!
My Mavic 2 Pro drone was damaged by sand and had to be replaced!
Hotels by Design (Series 1) premiered in Australia on September 12, 2020 on Channel 10. The series focused on hotels, environments and experiences and it was a pleasure to be involved with.