Lights, Camera…. Distr-action

By Senior Constable Mick Emery

Last month there was a French action movie being secretly filmed right here in Rainbow Beach. If you ever get to see it, the particular scene involves a ute being driven at speed along the beach below the iconic Carlo Sandblow…

In the scene, which was filmed using a drone behind the vehicle, two of the main female characters are standing on the external sidesteps holding onto the roof-racks as they race down the beach, their hair flying in the wind…Cars coming in the opposite direction can be seen swerving out of the way and beeping as the ute flies past…

At this point, a police car comes into the frame and pulls alongside the speeding vehicle, activating the lights and sirens…the driver takes a long time to notice the police vehicle but eventually pulls over…

The police vehicle, in case you hadn’t guessed, was mine – and the would-be filmmakers couldn’t understand what I wanted until I yelled “cut!” and made a chopping motion with my hands…

As I approached the car I established that the film producer / drone cameraman / stunt driver were, in fact,  all one and the same person! Driving with his knees, he reasoned, enabled him to focus on the ‘more important task’ of flying the drone, so as to get the perfect shot…

As I chatted to said film producer / drone cameraman / stunt driver, he momentarily forgot that the drone was still flying…As he reached for his licence I heard the buzzing sound of the drone approaching – followed by the clattering of propellers as it smashed into the back of the ute…

The buzzing sound stopped and the drone fell to the ground, lifeless.

There was then a dramatic pause as we gathered around the drone, crumpled on the beach at the back of the vehicle. There was a moment of silence as the realisation dawned: this $2500 drone would not be coming back to life…

I couldn’t help but think this was a small price to pay for such reckless driving – the drone could easily have captured footage of a far more tragic ending…

These amateur film makers had put us all  (not just themselves) at an increased risk of crash due to their “inattention”. Distractions of any kind can be fatal. Inattention itself is a contributing factor in a staggering 78% of car crashes, so it’s worth eliminating distractions like drones (or, more commonly, phones…)

I love a good action movie…but I’d prefer to see less of the horror shows we keep seeing on our roads…