|COMING TO A PRISTINE DESERT NEAR YOU|
I am as surprised as you are to find myself writing about the film Mad Max Fury Road.
The Mad Max films, which feature an apocolyptic world, have to find an apoloclypic looking place to film, you know. This time they chose Namibia. You see the film was to be shot in Australia, but the weather intervened when as the Namibian reports:
...unseasonal heavy rain rid the Australian desert landscape of its post-apocalyptic features and turned it into a bed of wild flowers.
But that's another story....
At first, everyone figured that was bad news for Australia (economy wise, I suppose) and good news for Namibia (economy wise, I suppose again). The film costs one hundred million dollars or so to make, so I guess people figured some of that would get spread around.
Well, seems that is not all that got spread around, but more of that later.
Extras always get a little cash and they often come from amongst the "locals." The film shooting in Namibia was no exception. They needed about fifty children between the ages of 16 and 18, for example, and sent out a recruiting scout to track down some kids who, as again reported in the Namibian, were, "tall and skinny and had a certain look in their face". They found these tall skinny kids with that look at three Namibian high schools. The produces checked things out with principals and parents and requested the kids sign an employment contract. From there it gets a little dicey.
A parent said they were promised that most of the work would be done during the May school holidays. This arrangement changed, according to the parent. The second term exams were approaching and work on the film was increasing, putting pressure on the children. Call-outs were random, with no real schedule.
The extras said on a few occasions they were called at 06h00 in the morning to meet at the production headquarters in town (the old Swakopmund municipal building) and be shuttled to a set.
"There would be no breakfast. We were just hustled into a changing room and jumped into action. We would have to stand bare-chested on moving cars. It would be freezing," one said. On one occasion they were out for two days near Henties Bay for about seven hours a day.
The desert where the film was prodiuced is so sensitive and so dry that
he Guardian reports;
A leaked environmental report claims film crew damaged sensitive areas meant to be protected, endangering reptiles and rare cacti.
The independent researcher appointed to write the report, the ecological scientist Joh Henschel, says public consultation prior to filming was insufficient.
"It all happened without an environmental impact assessment," he said, "so it's difficult to assess the extent of the impact without a baseline."
Henschel said the decision to grant permission to film was made before the country's newest enviromental legislation was promulgated. This, he says, which would have prohibited it.
Namibia Film Commission (NFC) has absolved the production team of the film 'Mad Max: Fury Road' of any environmental wrongdoing and attacked the report as incomplete.
welcomed the whole mess with open arms and dollar signs in their eyes.
It's called cover your ass and pocket your cash.
A failing and flailing Empire has a million ways to mess with you, with your well being, with your planet, and they do it with no shame. They don't care. They don't even always get it. They just roll along. Global capital is global capital whether it is heavy industry, the computer game, communications, services, agriculture, or FILM.
Global capital is on a mission of seek and destroy..
The following is from the Pacific Standard by way of Slate.