Industry friends and colleagues are in mourning for New Zealand born veteran film and TV drama location manager Robin Clifton, who passed away this week after a long illness.
Clifton collaborated with some of Australia's most renowned filmmakers in a career spanning almost 30 years, These included Ray Lawrence (Bliss, 1985), Fred Schepisi (Evil Angels, 1988; pictured), George Miller (Babe: Pig in the City, 1998), Stephan Elliott (Welcome to the Woop Woop,1997) and Alex Proyas (Dark City, 1998).
“Robin was a great mind, mate and bullshit detector,” says Stephan Elliott, who knew Clifton for over 30 years. “Cast and script got the same Clifton treatment. She didn't like something – she'd tell you. Always cutting to the chase, the finish line was always a hoot. She was a total one off that can never be replaced. Although I only 'officially' employed her on one film, I met and confided with her as an assistant director when I was 18. I ran over 30 years of work by her without anybody knowing. Not just locations and logistics, [but] producers and crew.”
“Robin was such a treasure!” adds director Antony J. Bowman, who worked with the location manager on his 1999 romantic comedy Paperback Hero, starring Hugh Jackman. “Not only because of her uncanny perception and ability to find the impossible, but that she did it with such love for every project she ever worked on. I shall miss her.”
In addition to local films, Clifton's expertise was required on a number of major international productions including Terrence Malick's The Thin Red Line and blockbusters like The Matrix and Mission Impossible II.
In her later career, Clifton was head of the location liaison unit at the NSW Film & Television Office, which was Screen NSW's predecessor.
Her final Australian film credit was on Paul Goldman's 2003 Sydney shot comedy, The Night We Called It a Day.