Behind the Scenes with The Offroad Adventure Show
Back in 2015 I led the guys from The Offroad Adventure Show around Tassie while they filmed a four episode TV series. It was a fantastic experience which I thoroughly enjoyed and I even managed to get my ugly mug on a couple of episodes. The ORAS is owned by Dave Luke and Rick O'Brien, both of who had previously worked for 4wd Action. Jamie Hazelden, the other host of the show along with Ricko had also featured in quite a few DVD's with 4wd Action. Along with those three was camera man Luke Adams. Later on when Dave had to head back to Sydney Paul Zielinski also ex 4wd Action joined us for the last few days.
When your only experience with people is seeing them on TV it's a little surreal to actually interact with them in person and realise that they are actual people. Years ago when I lived in Sydney I worked side by side with Dieter Brummer (ex Home and Away star). That was the same, it took me about two weeks coming to terms accepting that he was a 'real person' (Dieter owned a SWB GQ back then and loved his 4wdriving and camping!). It didn't take two weeks find out that Ricko and Jamie are great, good blokes who love to travel and go 4wdriving.
One particular instance that has stuck with me from the trip involves Jamie and goes to show what a down to earth, all around great bloke he is. We stayed at the Tarkine Hotel one night and a guy came up to chat to Jamie and told him that his son was a fan and wanted to meet him. Jamie told him to bring him to the barge early in the morning so they could meet. We left early the next morning on the barge across the Pieman River when Jamie looked back and realised that the guy and his son had turned up just as the barge was half way across the river. We continued onto the other side and when we got there Jamie asked the barge operator to take him back across so he could meet his young fan and then bring him back across again! The father and his son were most grateful for Jamie's efforts!
Prior to the trip I had worked with Dave coming up with an itinerary and discussing what tracks they wanted to do and the type of 4wdriving they wanted to experience. During the trip my duties included providing info on where we were going, what they could expect on each track, background info on the tracks and the area in general and advising on the best campsites.
Dave and Luke would be out the front in a Defender, always on the lookout for good angles, background, scenery - pretty much anything that would make for great TV. Ricko had the 60 Series Landcruiser and Jamie drove his Landrover ute. I was really keen to take my 60 Series as well, but decided to take the Hilux as this is the vehicle that I was using for the Tagalong Tours. For a lot of the trip, it was just like 4wdriving with a group of mates. Plenty of banter over the radio about all things 4wdriving!
Dave had told me before the trip that the tracks would take twice as long as usual and he was right. There is a lot of down time while filming while Dave and Luke were searching for the perfect shot. Throw in some 'do overs' to get everything just right and there is a lot of time spent sitting in the car on your own. Easy to go a little crazy.... just have to remember that there is a camera on you at all times!
It didn't take long to realise how much hard work and dedication is required in filming the ORAS. We pretty much started at 7am every morning and setup camp at around 6pm. Once at camp everyone pitched in setting up camp and getting gear ready so Ricko could be filmed doing promos for various sponsors. I was stuffed at the end of every day and would go to bed fairly early as would Ricko and Jamie. Dave and Luke would still be up editing footage and transferring footage from sd cards to hard drive. I didn't envy their job, they put in a lot of long hours.
Dave was in charge of lunch every day. We had wraps.... everyday! Ricko was the nominated camp cook and cooked for everyone every night. He's a great camp cook..... he cooks meat.... just meat! After a week or so I started pitching in supplying and cooking vegetables. I love my veggies, Ricko isn't a big fan. I still remember the look of disgust on his face when I offered him broccoli with dinner. His words, 'I'm really dissapointed in you!'
On the last day we were very close to my home so I did a quick trip to grab my 60 Series and my son Ryan, who was really excited to meet the guys. We had a play on the dunes and grabbed some photos of the two 60's together.
All up we spent 11 days travelling, 4wdriving and filming around Tassie. All of that equated to 45 minutes of TV footage....... not a typo.... 11 days for 45 minutes of footage!
That's the abbreviated version of behind the scenes with the ORAS. It was a real experience that I am glad that I had the chance to opportunity to do.