My California Adventures Part 1.

Hello Friends.

I’m in California for a bunch of different film activities including…

The Revenant

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio & Tom Hardy. Based on actual events that were experienced by Hugh Glass, a fur trapper mauled by a Grizzly Bear in the early 18th century.

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Point Break

A remake of the 1991 classic featuring incredible stunts and a whole new story. And no Keanu. Or Flea.

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The Big Short

Another true story, this one with an all star cast and quality director that is frankly mindblowing, abut the subprime mortgage crisis. By another true story, I’m of course referring to The Revenant. Not Point Break. At least I’m pretty sure Point Break is made up. Isn’t it?

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I’m currently at Harrah’s Casino in San Diego, on an Indian Reservation. Which is not so great given I am a gambling addict. So I’m staying locked in my hotel room. Hello internet.

I traveled to the USA in comfort onboard Qantas QF11, an A380 aircraft…

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Checked in to the InterContinental Century City… That’s the Hollywood sign in the distance.

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Watched The Good Dinosaur, seeing as how I’ve just created a TV special on the making of this stunning Pixar film for the 7 Network to air on 19th & 25th December. Review to come.

Then I watched The Revenant – review to come. Spoiler alert – It’s freaking incredible.

On Tuesday I headed out onto the LA freeways with a bunch of European journalists – destination “Wilderness Survival Boot Camp” run by Clay Landry – the technical advisor to The Revenant in the areas of historical accuracy, and survival authenticity.

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If only we HAD journeyed by horseback, we might have avoided this…

It wasn’t long before we realised the first truck on fire was actually small time compared to this rather larger truck, full of petrol, which was ALSO on fire…

You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet…

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That’s right friends. Two hours spent attempting to exit a Freeway along with four other lanes of traffic onto one little local road.

By the time we made it a few miles up the road we were in desperate need of…

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Soon we reached our destination for the evening, where the room service menu was on the TV.

You stay classy San Diego.

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This morning I awoke and hopped in a large van to go and spend the day with these dudes…

Meet The Mountain Men…

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Clay Landry – Historical Expert and Top Bloke.

 

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Me and The Germans. And an Italian. And my horse Doc. And their horses – Schnitzel, Rammstein, Gesundheit and Fettucine.

 

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Blacksmiths stoking the fire. Hey! Wake up! You might burn your….

 

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Richard who took me target shooting with an 1820 style flintlock rifle. These guys were awesome. Find them here.

 

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Me after shooting at targets with a flintlock rifle. And missing.

 

Meanwhile up the road a few hours an actual shooting claimed over a dozen fatalities.

The reaction I got from the Californians I encountered following this tragic and disturbing event was definitely not in support of the gun control measures that we are fortunate to live with in Australia. The right to bear arms is so deeply woven into the American psyche that it seems to me, the feeling is that the more people that have guns the better as many Americans believe it makes everybody safer, but all I can see is the more guns, the more shootings.

A further consequence of today’s horrific mass shooting (The second one of the day in the U.S.) appeared to be a deepening of mistrust for the Islamic community, which of course is one of the primary goals of the maniac Doomsday Cult of Daesh.

Sigh. Always an experience spending time in this country. We have it so good down under. Go anywhere else in the world, and you get a fresh appreciation for everything Australia has to offer.

Including trees like this…

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Love you Australia.

X J

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