TL;DR – We dip our toes into what Melbourne has to offer.
Disclosure – I paid for all products featured or mentioned here.
PAX Australia & Melbourne Day 1 –
When you work in the games and pop culture space, you hear of the joy that is PAX, but I have never experienced it myself. I had set my sights on visiting it back in 2020, but you know what happened in 2021. But there was hope that 2022 was the year for me. So I booked my tickets back in March and hoped that the world would hold itself together till then and it kind of did. So in today’s and the next couple of Explore-It’s, we will take a look at our time down past the daylight savings divide to a city that has an entirely different seagull-to-pigeon ratio than I have ever seen.
However, before you can explore Melbourne, you need to get there, and since we still do not have any high-speed rail in Australia, it is time to board a plane. Given the time stuck waiting, I thought I would catch up on some reading, and when in doubt, it is Dune time.
Thanks to a weather system that was in the process of encompassing the entire eastern seaboard of Australia. There was nothing but clouds from when we left Brisbane until the plane’s captain said we were coming to land.
It also meant some slight turbulence during the trip, which would have usually been an issue for me, but I had happened to snag some cheap [well, relatively cheap] business-class tickets. This might have been my first comfortable plane ride in a decade.
When I first arrived in Melbourne, I made the mistake of riding on the high of being in a new place, and so I, of course, thought I could walk to my hotel with all my luggage. I mean, it was not like Melbourne was going to have clear skies and be remarkably hotter than Brisbane … … … Well, after some misjudged distances and a roller bag that decided not to work later, I ended up in the Rendezvous Hotel, my stop for this weekend, and promptly crashed for a while.
While I had planned to explore a lot of Melbourne’s cultural sites on the Thursday, a combination of my impromptu nap, daylight savings losing an hour, and things closing earlier than I planned meant that I had only time for one stop in that afternoon and I chose Australian Centre for Moving Image.
ACMI had come highly recommended to me, and when I walked in a spotted Australian royalty, I knew I had been sent in the right direction. While I had seen museums dabble in the moving image before, this was my first time in a place that tried to capture every facet of the industry and its history. Form the first sliding images to the latest video games and everything in between.
Every step of the creative process was covered in the museum. There was storyboarding via the example of Shrek, prosthetic designs via Cleverman, building miniatures, cutting and editing, costume design of Thor: Love and Thunder, and more. One of the parts of the museum I liked the most was its focus on interactivity. You get to edit a film using these blocks of content, create folly sounds, or even play the history of video games.
After ACMI, I walked through the laneways off Flinders Lane, looking at all the street art and accidentally photobombing so many people’s photos. I decided to get something quick to eat before escaping the heat at the hotel and planning the rest of the weekend.
Later that night, given the weather was so night, I thought I would take a stroll around Melbourne after dark and see all the lights. Of course, I made the rookie mistake of posting a compliment about Melbourne’s weather and made it back to my hotel moments before the heavens unleashed a deluge across the city. This would not be the last time this happened over the weekend. But as the rain bucketed down, Day 1 came to a close, and the rest of the weekend was just starting.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images are by the author