A dog’s life

This handsome pooch just cost a major motion picture studio ten million dollars, and I’m referring to the creature with the fur. Let’s just say a certain person was slated to make a sea faring epic in the antipodes, Australia, to be precise, and due to quarantine laws their furry companion would have to spend its days and nights in lockdown.

Tax incentives and volumes of water in its natural state (not a tank) would have brought the movie’s budget into doable range.

However, citing an unusual degree of kinship to his animal, “he’s like my child”, the actor balked, the location was scrubbed, dollars were spent, and the epic was made stateside on the back lot. The flip side of this intransigence was that for once the industry stayed home, hundreds of people were employed, and for my money this particular actor was dumb like a fox. Hooray for Hollywood!

When the director heard of this development he gleefully exclaimed, “(insert likely name here because I can’t divulge) will never say action in Queensland!” Forgive me, my friends on the other side of the world, but how to best describe Queensland — maybe — all beach no town? The land that shoes forgot? It’s no Sydney?


  1. I’m from Queensland 🙂 There are many, many towns here – Brisbane (Queensland’s capital) is the third biggest city in Australia, after Sydney and Melbourne. More country and bushland than beach too, I think 🙂 Very nice beaches here, though. We’re a little spoiled by them.

    • Thank you, I’ve only heard the stories of disgruntled, jet lagged, Californians who don’t want to leave home 😉 Now tell me, are there really tides full of poisonous box jellyfish? Hope your holidays were merry and the waters were clear!

      • The box jellyfish are nearer to the north of the state, I think. Closer to Cairns. They put up signs on the beach if they’re around. I’m on the border with New South Wales, right by the Gold Coast, actually 🙂 The north gets all the nasties – box jellies, crocodiles … the works. We sometimes get beaches full of blue bottles down here, which are ouchy and best avoided, but I don’t think they’re lethal, usually.

  2. Plenty of international actors come here and leave their kids on the other side of the world for the duration… The actor was obviously more emotionally dependent on the pup than is good for him!

    What makes me laugh the most is that the studio didn’t notice this dependence might be a problem earlier, we have had hugely strict quarantine laws in Aust for a very long time, surely they would have encountered that problem before. This wasn’t a case of someone mistakenly believing they were important enough for the laws to not apply to them was it! 😉

    • They were thinking of building a compound, a kind of quarantine, in which the actor would reside and the dog would never leave… But, of course, that didn’t really fulfill the legal requirements!

      • I expect he wasn’t the first to think he could circumvent the rules, and I am sure he won’t be the last!
        If he had been required to fulfil his contract and leave the pooch it might have been the fastest shoot in history though. Done on the first take and no melodrama, the faster it gets done the quicker he gets home to his beloved!

        Oh well, I’m sure there were many on the US film crew who were happy to be employed.

  3. Amazing! As Metan says, the quarantine laws have been around forever, almost. Same can be said of NZ but it is astonishing how many folk don’t seem to understand how seriously they are enforced. Great for the film to be made in the US though. Our Govt has just offered incentives to James Cameron to make the next Avatar here and some of us are wondering why it’s okay to assist the film industry and yet deny other industries assistance with tax breaks etc.

  4. A man after my own heart (actually, he was my first crush, so perhaps he had it already!). My husband and I gave up a job offer in London in the early 1990s for similar reasons. And it worked out brilliantly. We ended up moving to Switzerland (with our dog). When he died, we got a dog who was already named by the breeder — Gary Cooper. We kept the name!

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