You don’t want to get in ‘Ado’ Ogle’s way on set. As the eyes and ears of the art department on set, she moves around with a sense of urgency that never slips into panic. Her job is to anticipate every item that the director will want to see in shot and to make sure it is ready- from a shovel to a gun to the nightmarish challenge of making sure the hundreds of specially made double-wick candles used to light tunnel scenes are all matched up from shot to shot. ‘I can’t tell you relieved I am when we are using electricity!’ she says with feeling.
With ten years as a horticulturist and sales rep for a nursery, Ado had a truck licence which came in handy as a way into the film business: she started out driving unit vehicles in 1997. ‘My first film as stand by props was a low budget Australian film called Angst. It was aptly named because I was a nervous wreck on it!’
‘My job means I am the front runner for ten or eleven departments, who can all be saying or wanting different things at the one time. You have to be able to cope with a lot of pressure and be obsessively organised and one step ahead, in all situations.’ Which is not so very different from the world of the military. She regards the atmosphere and
team spirit of the Beneath Hill 60 shoot as unique. ‘People have offered to help each other in ways you don’t often see on other shoots, perhaps because we’ve all been stuck in the same hell-hole conditions in the trenches and the tunnels. There’s a very special bond with this mob. I’ve never come across anything quite like it. We’ve all endured the mud together, and the awful claustrophobia of the tunnels, the rats, and we all know it’s nothing compared to what the real soldiers had to deal with.’
Her personal career highlight was another military project, the mega US TV mini series Pacific, shot around Port Douglas and to be screened next year. ‘There are not many women who do this job, maybe four in the country. I had a team of five blokes working under me, carpenters, painters... but also scenes involving five hundred men running across an
airfield , lots of testosterone and aggression and a US military advisor who treated me a bit like a nobody until I acquired the confidence and authority to step up to him and say ‘Look Captain, this is how it is.’ That was a real turning point for me. This is a job where you are continuously having to prove yourself and earn respect every day.’
Not surprisingly, Ado admits to finding it hard to relax at the end of a day of being keyed up on high alert. ‘It’s hard to wind down. I have a beer and shower, but on these night shoots, you never really sleep properly when you get home at six a.m. I love swimming and surfing, but there’s no surf up here and no time anyway.’ says Ado, who was captain of the crew team at a recent cast versus crew cricket match but was forced to retire early with a recurrent hamstring injury that occurred on set in the second week of the shoot.
She’s loving the Townsville climate. ‘I prefer to work in the warm, although I am a snow and ski freak. My next job has me up here till Xmas, working on the Sea Patrol TV series at Mission Beach and that suits me just fine.’ Art least on that job she can be pretty confident that she won’t be wrangling candles.
Ado setting the props at the Waddell Homestead.