Muster beautifully portrayed
NOLAN COUNTRY: THE ANZAC MUSTER by Dave Asher and Dave McCarlie South Coast Productions RRP: $35 Reviewed by Nathan Burdon
THE ingenuity of New Zealand’s musterers has been beautifully portrayed in the latest offering from South Coast Productions — Nolan Country: The Anzac Muster. Southland film-maker Dave Asher and Dave McCarlie tell the story of the Nolan family muster in the spectacular Awawhata Valley in South Westland.
As it has been for more than a century, the annual cattle muster centres around the horse and dogs, but modern technology has seen the jetboat and helicopter used to good effect.
The Robinson helicopter also proved vital in putting together the stunning, sweeping shots of the area, cameraman McCarlie said.
‘‘I only had to get on one of those four legged dog tucker machines once. I’d ridden a bit but it was a long time ago and it really wasn’t the place to be doing it.’’
The access provided by the Nolan family had been superb and the film-makers had worked hard to stay ahead of the muster and ensure they did not spook the wild cattle, McCarlie said.
‘‘A lot of the shots through the trees and that, we’ve gone in front and then moved well out of the way because they are all wild cattle. It required a lot of thinking. Trying not to get in the way of people was pretty important. The calves basically haven’t seen anyone and you become very unpopular very quickly if you get in the way.’’
Some of the best scenes in the 55min DVD come around the campfire with the likes of run-holder John Nolan holding court.
‘‘A lot of it is through Dave Asher. Dave has known the people on the West Coast for a long time, without his prior knowledge and his acceptance amongst people on the coast you just wouldn’t be able to get that story,’’ McCarlie said.
McCarlie and Asher put the Nolan muster story together while also working on the high definition audio visual display for the Riverton Heritage Museum, which meant a demanding time of the production team.
They have also re-released three previous stories on the venison industry as a boxed set and plan to look more closely at the tale of the Wapiti.
NolanCountry is available from CRT and H & J Smiths and most hunting and sports shops.