Saturday, 15 March 2014

The Mitchells head to Hollywood

We have stayed in a variety of accommodations on our world tour, but our stay in Glenorchy at the Funky Bunker, won the award for being the quirkiest yet.  Not to mention the career opportunities it has opened up in Hollywood for us, yeah that’s right, I said Hollywood, baby!  Just think, one day when we are rich and famous… you will all be able to say, “Hey, I knew those guys when they were teachers, travelling the world with their daughters!”    

It all started when we stayed at the Funky Bunker for a couple of nights in Glenorchy.  The building was created as an ammunitions bunker for the mountaineering movie, Vertical Limit.  How cool is that!  The bunker housed the nitro glycerin required to blast through an avalanche to rescue climbers who had fallen into a crevice, climbing K2.  In actual fact, the movie was filmed on Mount Earnslaw, the mountain we could see from the front deck.  We were practically movie stars, standing in the very spot the nitro glycerin had been! I had goose bumps just thinking about our future film prospects!  I was sure we would be getting a call from Hollywood any day.

Dinner in the Funky bunker.
Enjoying a fire in the front end loader!
The mountain where Vertical Limit was filmed, you could see it in the background of the photo above as well!
Hamish, was the fellow that built the bunker, and has worked on the sets of The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, and Avatar, all of which were filmed in New Zealand.  Again, very cool! When Hamish was not working on movie sets he could be found living off grid in the Funky Bunker.  Can you believe it, we were actually staying in the bunker where a man lived that worked on major Hollywood movies.  I told you we would be famous!  We even signed our name on the chalkboard wall next to the film credits!  Ok, we didn’t get to actually meet him, but we were practically family, staying in his previous home, let’s be honest here folks!  The Bunker has made its way around New Zealand, appearing in the movie Mount Cook, dangling below a helicopter, and arriving at its final resting place in Glenorchy by the same means.

We signed right under the window in the empty space, but I didn't
take a picture after we signed, I was too busy practicing my lines!
We spent three days in Glenorchy perfecting our acting skills, waiting for our big break.  Mark’s stunt work continued to improve as he had everyone believing he impaled himself on the metal plate securing the front door of the bunker. The makeup work on the bruise was spectacular! The smoke affects were even better, when we burnt the toast and frantically had to open the emergency hatch to clear the air.  We gave the smoke affect another go with burnt popcorn and found it even more convincing than the previous attempt, we were on fire! In the movie, the bunker blows up, but luckily for us they had a stunt double for that scene. We felt indestructible in the funky bunker!

The 1940's trailer that Mark and I stayed in.
 Mark’s physical humour was guaranteed to be award winning.  When he stubbed his toe on the block of wood holding the door closed to the 1940’s caravan parked beside the bunker, he had everyone in hysterics as he hopped around the room.  When he went to lift up the steaming kettle from the propane powered element, you could see the pain in his eyes.  Mark was definitely ‘hot’.  Hollywood was going to want him. He even tried his hand at cinematography, and was up at the crack of dawn capturing the view.  He then woke the rest of us up for our morning runs, we had to keep our Hollywood bodies tip top, you know. 

Meg on our morning run.
Glenorchy, the gateway to the outdoors, amazing!

We felt like hippies in our new digs, unemployed and living off the land, it was quite the change from the presidential suite in Wanaka! We even had a long drop toilet with a million dollar view, to allow us to get right into character!  As we studied our lines, we were visited by our mouse friend, who would cheer us along in his search of food.  We were set, and had just about as much money in our pockets as a new budding actor does when they start out in this biz!  When Hollywood didn’t call, we started to doubt our abilities; perhaps we had made a mistake leaving our jobs and routines for Hollywood.  Many new actors don’t make it, but how could we possibly be them?  We had done everything right.  We’ll give it a couple of more days in New Zealand before we head to Australia, surely our big break will come.


  1. You're living a glamorous life that's for sure. I didn't think you'd leave NZ. Australia might take a year! Enjoy it.

  2. Think maybe you should be a screen writer and Ally can do all the research for you as she is just the most prolific reader . Meg will do well being the editor or director as she has to keep everyone in line anyway so why not get paid for it. Mark the Stuntman of course.
    Auntie Marilyn


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