After three successful, incredibly stylized films — which the director dubs his “Red Curtain Trilogy” — Baz Luhrmann was ready to try something different: A new look, a bigger canvas, a more sweeping narrative. To pull off the epic he had in mind, the helmer looked to Mandy Walker, a fellow Aussie, who had helped him shoot a two-minute promo for Chanel perfume with Nicole Kidman.
But “Australia” posed an enormous challenge for Walker. “I remember having quite a long meeting with him because I had never shot a film as big as this,” says the cinematographer, whose prior credits include “Shattered Glass” and a handful of modestly budgeted Australian films (including the acclaimed export “Lantana”).
Still, the task hardly intimidated her: “I do shoot a lot of big international commercials, so I’m used to working on big productions with a lot of crews and all that.”