KINGSWOOD RIDES AGAIN

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE -

THE phrase ‘‘bloody Kingswood’’ is about to re­turn to the Aus­tralian lex­i­con thanks to Paul Ho­gan’s new movie.

Char­lie & Boots hits the big screen on Thurs­day with Ho­gan star­ring along­side Kenny ac­tor Shane Ja­cob­son as fa­ther and son.

How­ever, the real star of the film is the iconic Holden Kingswood.

The story is about Char­lie McFar­land (Ho­gan), a man in his late 60s who has suf­fered a dev­as­tat­ing loss, and his youngest son, ‘‘Boots’’ (Ja­cob­son).

Boots de­cides to cheer up his griev­ing fa­ther by tak­ing him on a fish­ing trip — nearly 5000km away at Cape York in a 30-odd-yearold Kingswood.

The road movie takes in beau­ti­ful lo­ca­tions and land­scapes as well as young, beau­ti­ful hitch­hiker, Jess, played by Mor­gan Grif­fin.

But the sheer beauty of Aus­tralia’s land­scapes and young women are no match for the beauty of the old Kingswood.

Steve Lack, action ve­hi­cle co-or­di­na­tor for the film, had the job of find­ing three Kingswoods and mod­i­fy­ing them.

‘‘Not the Premier; it had to be the stan­dard Kingswood,’’ he said.

‘‘I found three that we could use and made them all look ex­actly the same in colour and in­te­rior.

‘‘They were all au­to­matic and ba­si­cally all we did was mod­ify one from a T-bar shift to a col­umn shift.’’

One was used for wide shots, an­other for ‘‘drive- up’’ shots and the third was used on a ‘‘low loader’’ trailer.

‘‘The low loader car is all for the di­a­logue and the close-up stuff so the boys don’t have to worry about steer­ing and miss­ing ob­sta­cles while they’re act­ing,’’ Lack said.

‘‘We took out the en­gine, diff, sus­pen­sion; the whole idea of that was to get the ve­hi­cle as close to the ground as is nor­mal ride height.

‘‘We hung cam­eras all over it and it looked like the real deal.’’

Lack said the Kingswood was a big hit with Ja­cob­son who is a car fan and spent much of his down time dur­ing film­ing play­ing car racing games on Playsta­tion in his van.

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‘‘Shane just keeps fall­ing in love with it,’’ Lack said. ‘‘It takes him back to his roots as a petrol head.’’

Ja­cob­son has com­peted in sev­eral tar­mac ral­lies and was so smit­ten by the Kingswood, he bought one of the cars when film­ing was fin­ished.

‘‘He would have done some of the driv­ing stunts, too, but we couldn’t get the in­sur­ance,’’ Lack said.

‘‘As far as driv­ing goes, the boys weren’t re­ally happy with the car in 40-de­gree heat.

‘‘The low loader car had a house­hold air­con­di­tion­ing unit un­der the bon­net to cool the ac­tors, but we couldn’t get air­con into the oth­ers be­cause of a lack of time and bud­get.’’

Lack said the cars went through a few stunts, but the big­gest was called the ‘‘pig stunt’’.

‘‘The boys are driv­ing down the road and there is a woman jog­ger com­ing to­ward them and they eye­ball her and she looks back and calls out ‘pig’,’’ he said.

‘‘They think she’s hav­ing a go at them but when they turn around there is a big pig right in the mid­dle of the road, so they swerve and go through the bush and come back on the road through a group of let­ter­boxes one of which is dec­o­rated as a pig.’’

The stunt was co­or­di­nated by Danny Bald­win from Queens­land and used stunt driver Clint Dodd.

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