After camping for one night in Milford Sound, we back-tracked back to Queenstown, which we'd passed through on the way there. Queenstown is like a ski-village, just below The Remarkables mountains. It's situated on a large lake, completely surrounded by high snow-capped mountains in a little bowl. It's quaint and gorgeus. There is a steamship that putts along the lake with a big red smoke-stack. We slept there, in our campervan, the three of us, for 2 nights. Cherie went running along the lake, about 7 miles. She was listening to Sigur Ros and said she started crying because it was so beautiful. Jonathan and I went to the Kiwi museum and saw the funny birds. It was 35 New Zealand dollars, but I had a dream about the Kiwi so it was worth it (does that make sense?). We didn't shoot much in Queenstown, I could regret that, but we had a great time there. We decided to push through and drive straight back to Christchurch so we could get a good night's sleep on the 15th and then shoot all of our pickups all day on the 16th in Chrstchurch. I drove on the way back, so that Jonathan could shoot pickups of my character driving. On the way we saw a cute Japanese couple hitchhiking. Cherie and I were in character and she started saying that I should turn around and pick them up, so I did. I was nervous picking up hitchhikers, so we stopped and hid all of our things in case they were thieves. They turned out to be really sweet and it's going to make for a great scene in the movie. We slept for the night at our original hostel, Charlie B's and then set out to pick up all of the shots we'd missed on our first stretch in Christchurch. The craziest thing we did making this movie was only bringing one battery for our camera. We definitely could have shot a feature length movie, but we had to take a break every two hours to recharge our battery. We shot a major scene in the back courtyard of the hostel, broken up with recharging and then by the time we got to the cafe where we needed to pickup a quick transitional scene, the cafe was closed and it was nearly dusk. We shot it anyway and we were pretty much wrapped.
We went to bed, got a little sleep and Jonathan and I woke up at 5:30am to go to the airport. We hugged Cherie and left her there in the hostel and Jonathan and I went to the airport to start our trip to Sydney.
The mood of our movie took a big change for the better when Cherie, our lead actress found out via email that she'd been booked to shoot a chocolate commercial in Germany the day after we wrapped. The advertising agency flew her right out of Christchurch. While the 4 flights would take 2 days to complete, they booked her business class the whole way on Emirates Airways, so she got treated like a princess. We made her sleep in a campervan in the cold; they gave her the royal treatment. We're very grateful that she chose to be a part of our movie.