FIJI, you might cruise into Lautoka, if the weather is OK
Quo have done a themed Rock The Boat Cruise, funny how things work out. Because we at Doris Visits make cruise travel films and took them, yes the rock band, to Fiji to make Bula Quo, a feature film for Universal Pictures. Small world! True story, the results of the storm we will show you in blog three in this series, but first an introduction. When we arrived in Fiji to recce the sun was out. As the crew heads of department followed us out it all changed. We were hit by the worst cyclone in the Islands history. Tarmac roads were lifted up, bridges destroyed and as it hit we were in a bar. They pulled the hatches down, bolted them and we could only sit by candle light and drink beer while the building rocked. (not from music). It was scary, but seemed to get easier the more we drank, but then it was not our homes being destroyed, though all our film locations and ideas were destroyed. If you want to see what the after effects of a hurricane like ours, or Maria which is tearing through the Caribbean, then stay with us. First think about making a film days after and start the story here.
Lautoka is the second largest city in Fiji, to Suva, the capital. But much of that is irrelevant, as Fiji is a collection of 330 islands and not many people will ever see Lautoka or Suva. So, to explain, Fiji is like the Maldives. Fiji is a huge number of islands, around 330. Mind you we could say the same of Sweden, it is just islands – even the capital Stockholm is a collection of islands. So, you get my drift (wave, swell, tide, or rise). It is in the middle of the Pacific. The rock bands management rang us a few days after we escaped the bar and got back to our hotel – no water, no electricity. They were watching news stories of people being airlifted from hotels and flown home. They asked if Francis and Rick should fly. “What storm?” We asked, “No problem” and we Face-timed them from a hotel that still looked great. The guys fly, it was not easy, but we filmed.
Denarau is not an island – it is now!
How do I get to the ‘island’ of Denarau to get my boat….. Denarau is not an island. Well it is sometimes, it was now and that was where the rock stars hotel was. The road had gone! Looking at the map Denarau is a western piece of Fiji. It only becomes disconnected, and trust me it does, when the rainy season washes the roads and connections away. No joke, it did. Tarmac floating at quite a pace! So, as you can see, this paradise which is ‘(Fiji is) to Australians as Spain is to the British’, comes with some serious codicils. Number 1; do not go there in rainy season !!!! When is that? That is a good question. The rainy season in Suva claims to be different to that of Nadi (3 hours apart by car). However, they are both hugely destructive weather periods that I have personally tried to make a movie through, and I have been in some war zones and some disaster areas. None like this. But later ……
So, how the film Bula Quo was ever made is a tribute to those involved. Like the 12 knights of the round table, the 16 crew flew from London expecting the sun. The story is now going to be, as Status Quo fans have long been promised, a web series. Much will be revealed. Much, much very much. Please share, SHARE and SHARE! This is actually a great knock about light comedy film as planned, the figures were only bad at the box office as it played 220 cinemas ONCE, an even showing, the night Andy Murray played his semi final at Wimbledon to 2120 hrs at night and 13.5 million watched him on TV…. so this film was doomed. However, as ill as Rick was then, and loosing his hair as the film went on day by day though only he noticed – we did it.
The film Bula Quo did many special things as you will learn. It rewrote the future of Status Quo. No new albums were planned when we did this – we not only got an album of great songs but we fused Quo rock music with Hawaiian music and brought an unplugged music that Quo never imagined. That spawned two more albums and there is more to follow.
As for the storm, we are getting there, part two shows more of the making and a little of the storm damage. Quo Fiji episode 2. Part 3 is the actual storm damage. Bula Quo is on Amazon and these links are to the cheapest prices, look and see. The film and album are now cheap. Check it out below. Our other feature film FREIGHT is on Netflix.
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