Exhibit showcases secrets of the set of Naomi’s new movie

 

It is the amazing feel-good Australian story that began as a book, has now become a movie - and is about to be a unique photography exhibition.

Penguin Bloom is the story of a magpie that befriended an Aussie family hit by tragedy when mum Sam suffered a severe spinal injury after a fall on holiday in Thailand.

The film, starring Naomi Watts as Sam Bloom, will be released nationally on January 21.

On the same day a photographic exhibition of amazing behind-the-scenes pictures taken by the director Glendyn Ivin and by Sam's husband Cameron will open at Westfield Sydney.

Naomi Watts kisses Sam Bloom during a lunch break on set. Picture: Cam Bloom
Naomi Watts kisses Sam Bloom during a lunch break on set. Picture: Cam Bloom

 

Baby magpies on set with Naomi Watts and Sam Bloom. Picture: Cam Bloom
Baby magpies on set with Naomi Watts and Sam Bloom. Picture: Cam Bloom

 

Sam Chiplin having his head pecked by Frankie, a one-eyed Currawong the Blooms were caring for during filming. Picture: Cam Bloom
Sam Chiplin having his head pecked by Frankie, a one-eyed Currawong the Blooms were caring for during filming. Picture: Cam Bloom

Watts described it as a "life-changing" filming experience at Sydney's Newport Beach.

For seven weeks Watts immersed herself in the role, watched by the whole Bloom family.

"I'm trying to think of any other film in my life where I have filmed on location like that and I can't," said Watts, who also co-produced the film.

"It was quite peculiar because you are telling these people's story and you want to treat it with the greatest respect and at the same time you have these hordes of production people moving around in their house.

"But luckily Sam was so great and so open and forthcoming with me and we just got closer and closer and closer."

Naomi Watts bonding with one of the Blooms’ actual rescue birds named Hollywood who spent six months with the family before joining a larger local group of magpies. Picture: Cam Bloom
Naomi Watts bonding with one of the Blooms’ actual rescue birds named Hollywood who spent six months with the family before joining a larger local group of magpies. Picture: Cam Bloom

The bond between Watts and Bloom is one of the more endearing elements of the photography series, with their close relationship key to the film.

Director Ivin also described shooting with the family on set as "unique".

"So there was always this presence of authenticity," said Ivin, who recalled a tumultuous set of "kids and birds and camera gear everywhere".

"When you are working with kids and birds you can't really get stressed, you have to go with it and capture that energy.

"It really was highly organised chaos at times."

Lunch break with Jacki Weaver, Naomi Watts and Sam Bloom. Picture: Cam Bloom
Lunch break with Jacki Weaver, Naomi Watts and Sam Bloom. Picture: Cam Bloom

The exhibition will house more than 70 exclusive behind-the-scenes photographs from the film, with a cast that also includes Jacki Weaver, Brisbane's Rachel House and Walking Dead star, Brit actor Andrew Lincoln.

All framed photos will be for sale, with all the profits being donated to Spinal Cure Charity Australia.

Originally published as Exhibit showcases secrets of the set of Naomi's new movie

Director Glendyn Ivin (left) directing a scene with cinematographer Sam Chiplin and actors Felix Cameron and Andrew Lincoln. Picture: Cam Bloom
Director Glendyn Ivin (left) directing a scene with cinematographer Sam Chiplin and actors Felix Cameron and Andrew Lincoln. Picture: Cam Bloom
Director Glendyn Ivin (centre) taking the cast and crew, including Sam Bloom (left) through a scene during the making of Penguin Bloom. Picture: Cam Bloom
Director Glendyn Ivin (centre) taking the cast and crew, including Sam Bloom (left) through a scene during the making of Penguin Bloom. Picture: Cam Bloom
Jacki Weaver, Abe and Andrew Lincoln filming on set. Picture: Cam Bloom
Jacki Weaver, Abe and Andrew Lincoln filming on set. Picture: Cam Bloom
Naomi Watts’ first day on set, learning how best to navigate a wheelchair around the Bloom’s home. Picture: Cam Bloom
Naomi Watts’ first day on set, learning how best to navigate a wheelchair around the Bloom’s home. Picture: Cam Bloom

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