Beach. Sun. Surf. Christmas down under is hot.
Fresh seafood, flat whites and fairy bread may not conjure up Christmas, but when the temperature soars and you develop the menu with a couple of two-year old soux chefs, Christmas down under is a festive smorgasbord of iconic and lesser known Aussie foods.
Twelve Tastes of Christmas Down Under
It may have been created in New Zealand, but what’s a few thousand kilometres between mates.
2: Fairy Bread
Not exactly Christmas, but a staple at any celebration with Aussie kids.
3: Chiko Rolls
The ingredients are a mystery, but it’s a miracle cure for a Christmas-themed hangover.
4: Flat Whites
Did you know Aussies invented the flat white in the second half of the 20th Century.
5: Meat pie
The small Australian meat pie is a unique size – bigger than a party pie, smaller than other ingredient pies.
6: Vegemite sanger
A tuckshop basic.
7: Granny Smith apples
The humble Granny Smith apple was created in Eastwood, Sydney in 1868.
What’s a movie without rolling a few jaffas down the aisle?
The BBQ staple.
The Aussie Christmas tradition
11: Musk sticks
A long loved childhood favourite.
12: Sydney rock oysters
Merry Christmas from The Film Bakery!
Director: Clara Chong
Cinematographer: Ben Allan
Special thanks to Dane Alan Watts and Annabelle Hankin
Many thanks to Alex Brooks & Jolanda Waskito
Surprisingly, a one-year old understands most everything that is being said. My two toddlers for ’12 Tastes’ were 2 years old and on this project, discovered directing toddlers is more about keeping them interested. Again, it comes back to casting where you can gauge whether you’ll be able to connect with the child and parent into directing the performance you need. If the aim is to have the child playing, then play with the him/her so you can learn what they respond to. I cast these two because I knew they really loved food and had cooking experience with their mothers, so I figured it was a ‘safe-ish’ gamble.
Toddlers & Pre-Schoolers are inherently curious, so I wanted to just shoot them reacting and doing what they do. I tried not to rehearse as I realised they would lose interest very quickly. When working with a group of talent involving toddlers, I try to rehearse without them and bring them in at the last minute. Another trick I’ve learned is to try and make it seem like they’re ‘acting’ on their own – independence is a big thing with this age group. I also often find myself deliberately keeping the elements of a scene as a surprise so you can shoot real reactions. It’s pretty obvious what does and doesn’t work, and as long as there’s a Plan B, Plan C and sometimes even a Plan D, you should be covered – my shot list for 12 Tastes was more a series of props & ‘things for the kids to try to do’. The only scenario in 12 Tastes that I wasn’t able to get was the cooking for the ‘Snags on the barbie’ – we shot them waving their toothpicks like flags, but it just didn’t work, so I left it out of the final edit.