Ochre trenches and dead trees fill a space where attackers are rife and there is little shelter from the efforts of war.
The quiet of the countryside constantly torn apart by the sounds of explosions constituted much of the week’s productivity during shooting for The Front.
A small dam in the centre was central to scenes for Adam Caton as the 18-year-old Dubbo extra got muddy.
“I spent a whole day in that crater, I’m here for the rest of the shoot and it’s been a lot of fun so far,” he said.
Mr Caton is one of at least 30 extras hired in Dubbo after two rounds of auditions, and there were smiles as soldiers were glad to be dying 10 times a day.
Director Johan Earl is revealing little as they head into night-only shoots, only saying it surrounds three British soldiers in no-man’s-land in France.
“We’re keeping it quiet at this stage, but I can say the weather’s been perfect though, and even light rain is perfect if it can stay for the rest of the shoot,” he said.
Co-directing with Adrian Powers, The Front is a dear project to Mr Earl as he performs on both sides of the camera.
“It’s been difficult to balance the two, I never thought I’d be making a WWI picture but I had such a strong vision for this particular film,” he said.
On set for at least 13 hours a day, The Front actress Sarah Mawbey laughed as she said how exciting it was to see her family property constantly blown to pieces.
“I’ve never been much of a farmer but it’s interesting to see the absolute destruction that has befallen this part of the land.
“It was actually my father who found this spot for the film, it’s exciting to have a connection with my work and my family, two such different things,” she said.
Shooting wraps up on December 20 after a day at the Old Dubbo Gaol.
Mr Earl said a Dubbo screening would take place sometime next year.