Guerrillas in the Dust

Sometimes you got to do what you just got to do.

We had the perfect location up our sleeve for the Guthrie music video, part of the ABC Open’s Blues Reels project. But as we got closer to the last shooting day, it felt like it was going to fall out of our reach.

The location – a dungeon. A real live dirty, danky, dark dungeon with bars on the windows and years of dust and debris on the floor.

It is a convict left over from Van Diemen’s Land, a forgotten part of a Tasmanian town’s history. Not many people know it is there, and yet, it is in the middle of a proud and busy community. It is part of the ancestry of this island and its lays quietly under the feet of its descendents.

I had heard about it, I knew it was there. I had access but no permission. Permission to access, but not to use. Look but don’t touch. Well not yet. What do you do when the Dungeons gatekeeper gives no one his phone number? When you have messages coming and going, with a phantom, who wants more time to clean it up.

“Oh, he was just here, you just missed him, did you see him… ?”

It is getting closer to the shoot and there is still no official word from the “Phantom of the Dungeon” and his dust and debris removal plan.

“You wont get his phone number, he doesn’t want to be found. The last time I saw him actually was on…”

My friend tells me about a hard hitting current affairs show investigating a dodgy rort and how he saw the “Phantom’s” photo on a shame exhibition at the end.

Oh, well.

Oh well, three days to go and…the place is still full of dust and the debris remains.Still there is no contact.Three days to go and well, oh, well…

The town will remain anonymous, the “Phantom” unnamed. The dungeon is resting again but maybe one day, someone else will venture down there and make the place come alive, again. They too will raise the dust with dance and song and the beating of drums.

Sometimes you got to do what you just got to do.

It’s in the can. And it looks great!