Sep 26, 2012


I have lucky enough over the past 10 years I suppose to have been involved in a handful of 4wd and camping DVDs that have featured the Coffs Coast and surrounding areas. This has involved a stack of hard work, from track clearing, collecting local history facts, points of interest for the trip, camping areas, permits, maps and more. The work leading up to getting the crew here is defiantly a long and arduous task, but seeing the DVD come together is well worth it. 

Over several posts I will try to recall our daily routine and where abouts. The most recent DVD was made with EMG, or as most people know them, 4wd Action. It isn't as simple as the crew turning up here in coffs, there is nearly 6 months worth of work to get to this stage, and they just don't randomly turn up, some one has to take the first step with a proposal. It takes a huge planning effort to get them here, ie proposal with tracks and conditions, what will be the main focus of the trip, starting points and finishers, and more. 

This DVD the plan was for an extreme trip, focusing on the harder side of 4wding on the coffs coast. We are lucky here to have so much at our doorstep,and a lot of folk take this for granted. Did you know that all the hills behind coffs were the direct result from a volcanic eruption some 40 million years ago ?? ... This was possible when the massive Mount Warning volcano erupted, and thus the vents , one near Ebor and several north of Brisbane, now known as the Glasshouse Mountains, spewed lava , and with the earths upheaval it pushed the current ground up. That's why the soil is so red and rich around the Dorrigo area. 

So several weeks before the due trip date we ( DVD production manager ) decided to have a recci run. This was decided as the crew cars are not set up for extreme 4wding and a plan could be put in place.  All went well on the day, except for some heavy rain, which turned out to be the start of a weeks worth of rain and flooding. 

The trip was put back for around a month as there would of been track damage and it would of been too dangerous. 

The day finally turned up for the start for the shoot with the film crew, stills photographer, and the talent... John Rooth ( Roothy to his mates ), Jamie Hazelton from DDS solar, Glen Haddon and my other good mate Graham Cahill from WA. Now Graham wasn't supposed to be here, but on a recent DVD shoot down the coast, he broke a bone in his hand and really couldnt drive or do too much, hence Roothy turning up. Having both Graham and Roothy in one spot is rare. 

So day 1 was spent some 5 mins out of coffs, tackling some of our hardest terrain. Because we were shooting so close it was decided to have lunch per organized in the morning so wedding have to make it track side, just find a spot with some shade and eat. It was great, but let's just say that I am not a big fan of subway after eating it for 5 days straight for lunch everyday. 

Another factor about having so many close tracks was that we could come back to the motel ( well I came home ) every night for a hot shower and comfy bed. 

The tracks that we hit were and are hard, and that was how I set it up in the proposal for the crew. Big tyres, big lift and at least one locker. From the first day, first hill we had to winch !!!!!   It was going to be a long week.  But that was all part of it.  I recall the first day we only did one hill all day as we had vehicle damage and one of the cars roll onto its side !!

The second day was spent around the back of woolgoolga, hitting several infamous creeks, hardly seen tracks then onto a great lookout. It was decided here to do e closure for the DVD. It all takes time. 

Day 3 we spent at coffs harbour south in an area known as the bears !!.... Where several hills were tackled with some more vehicle damage then onto some huge mud ruts. It was here that we found several large trees down, so a segment was shot around track clearing and the correct way to handle a chainsaw, etc. guess what ?? Back to the motel .......nice

Day 4 was spent chasing parts and fixing several cars which took most of the morning, but these things happen. After a late start it was decided to shot some driving shots of the general area, then as dusk fell we found a camp location for the cooking segment. After dinner some bright spark decided to speak out re a night drive and night shoot. After a camp pack up we headed north some 7 km out of coffs to hit Rover Trail, for some product testing and night recovery techniques. It was a 1am finish but with a great group of mates, the time isn't a problem. 

Day 5 we decided on a late morning start as last night was huge. One final area needed to be tackled so we headed out for the last hill just west of coffs through the rain forest. Hill done and dusted with success. 

The only thing missing was a fun factor for the shoot, and after a quick call to a 4wding nut mate of mine, it was decided to jump on some go karts for a few hot laps.... Man that was a great way to finish off a tough week. 

I say tough as it is stressful doing these DVDs, making sure everything runs close to the original plan, everyone has food and drinks, no hold ups, no other traffic around and track conditions. After the final dinner on the Friday night, the weekend was spent doing boing at all as I was totally trashed, maybe I was so relaxed to. But knowing that I put in 110% defiantly makes me fell that I put In my hard yards. 

These guys are professionals and having worked with them quite a few times, you need to be able to get along with all, jump in and help where you can without being a total goose and being able to give local knowledge where and when your asked. 

Would I do it again ??.... Yeah maybe in 12 months time, as every time I do one I always say never again due to the work factor. But I always do put my hand up or start to organize another one. 

Enough of my small talk. I have a stack of pics, but here is a selection of the week.

Thanks all. 


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