Nicole's appearance on Canowindra set no mere (dust) storm in a teacup

WATCHING a feature film being made is like watching paint dry, but when there is action the Canowindra residents are knee deep in it. 

On Monday afternoon a little boy was lost and his parents frantically searched for him in the middle of a dust storm, in a scene from the Hollywood feature film Strangerland, being filmed in Canowindra and starring Nicole Kidman, Hugo Weaving and Joseph Fiennes. 

The dust storm was being fed by Canowindra residents throwing shovels of red dirt into giant fans pointed at  the town’s main street, Gaskill Street. 

Physical effects supervisor Lloyd Finnemore has been working with Canowindra residents to set up the main street to look like the massive dust storm had just swept through the town. 

Residents taped up doors and windows to protect shopfronts and threw dirt over cars and footpaths.

Then they took up positions in stores to watch the action unfold. 

“The locals have been fantastic ... we’ve been going from cafe to cafe and everyone’s really friendly,” Mr Finnemore said. 

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Someone who loves watching how things happen behind the scenes is 13-year-old Nicholas Hamilton. 

Nicholas was lucky enough to score the role of Tom Parker, who is the missing child. 

“When my mum told me I got the part I cried like a little baby,” he said. 

Nicholas, from Alstonville near Byron Bay, auditioned for about four months to score the job.

Watching the dust storm scene was exciting for the boy, who has never been in a feature film before. 

“I played Elvis Presley in Year 5 and after that I was hooked,” he said. 

Nicholas said his mother nearly choked when she paid the $500 fee for a head shot for his portfolio, but it certainly paid off. 

He said there was a lot of sitting around and waiting when on a movie set, but he was interested in how everything came together. 

Nicholas said each of the three main stars were wonderful people and happy to help him out.

“Hugo’s just been walking around like a local,” he said.

nicole.kuter@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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