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McLeod's homestead

About Production - McLeod's Daughters

'Inside Story' featurette
See the 'Inside story' featurette that takes you behind-the-scenes of the making of McLeod's Daughters on the Series 1 DVD or VHS available NOW. More about the DVD or VHS

About the location...
McLeod's Daughters is filmed on a working property located in the Light Regional District, between the townships of Gawler and Freeling, one hour north of Adelaide.

The property, Kingsford, is surrounded by 135 acres (55ha) of farming land, which Posie Graeme-Evans refers to as "our very own backlot".

Although originally part of a 30,000-acre (12,245ha) property, Kingsford has been used in recent years by the South Australian Government as a wheat research station. The Nine Network purchased the property in 1999.

The historical house was built from Edinburgh sandstone, transported to Australia as ship ballast. It took over 30 years to build and was finished in 1856.

Production Designer Tony Cronin (Shine, Innocence) says the position of the property is perfect for filming. "It is isolated among the hills and gives a clear 360 degree view."

On set Although Kingsford was a grand property in its day, it is now quite run down - a look that was important for the production design of the series, as the McLeod family has no money for maintenance.

"The character is something you would spend a million dollars trying to re-create. The old buildings have warm orange colours in the stone from years of dust and red dirt," Cronin said.

The interior scenes set at Drovers Run are all filmed inside the house. Not only does this add to the authenticity of the production, it is also convenient, as the large rooms and high ceilings are ideal for filming.

Additional buildings on the property are used for Meg's cottage and Becky's quarters. The property also includes a machinery shed, shearing shed and stockyards.

Kingsford was a working farm in its day. "Everything on the site was purpose-built for farming and adds an authenticity which would be hard to emulate on a set," said Cronin.

On set The yards and paddocks at Kingsford house the stock needed to create McLeod's Daughters. The property currently has 150 sheep, 100 cattle, 15 horses, working dogs and a team of stockmen headed by master animal wrangler Bill Willoughby.

Bill is resident at Kingsford with brother Jim and two other stockmen. The wranglers maintain the stock, double for stunts and teach the actors farming skills including riding, shearing, drenching and mustering.

"We know every aspect of station life," said Willoughby, who has worked in films for over 20 years. He worked on the telemovie of McLeod's Daughters in 1996 and plays an important role in authenticating the animal sequences in the series.

He says that keeping the stock on the property at Kingsford works well and helps the horses "to look like farm horses."

Although the actors had little riding experience before the series began, Bill is happy with their progress, noting that Lisa Chappell and Bridie Carter are doing particularly well with their riding skills and other farming abilities.

On set McLeod's Daughters is shot on Super 16mm film, and was the first Australian drama series to be delivered in HDTV format. The show uses three cameras, two on main unit and a third on second unit.

The cinematography for McLeod's Daughters is vast and the composition is beautiful. Director of Photography, Roger Dowling has masterfully created the illusion that the series is shot on a 20,000 acre property in the Australian bush, instead of on a heritage estate, the size of a hobby farm, just one hour north of Adelaide.

The production team
  • Executive Producer — Karl Zwicky
  • Co Producer — Vikki Barr
  • Creator — Posie Graeme-Evans
  • Production Executive — Andrew Blaxland, Millennium Television
  • Script producer — Alexa Wyatt
  • Directors — Arnie Custo, Steve Jodrell, Richard Jasek, Declan Eames, Grant Brown and Andrew Prowse


Click here for more background information on McLeod's Daughters.


Posie Graeme-Evans
Posie Graeme-EvansPosie Graeme-EvansIn this special video interview, the creator of McLeod's Daughters, Posie Graeme-Evans reminisces about life on Drover's Run, and says a special thank you to fans of the show.
 
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