Taika Waititi, director of the new Thor movie Thor: Ragnarok sought to include Indigenous people into the making of the Marvel movie.
The movie was filmed in the Gold Coast and is rumoured to be riddled with Easter Eggs with a particularly Indigenous focus. When speaking to Screen Australia’s Caris Bizzaca Waititi said, “I wanted to fill it with a few in-jokes and things for Kiwis and Australians”.
In acknowledging the land they were working on and with great respect for native Australia, on the first day of filming, the Yugambeh people, the traditional owners of the land, performed a welcome to country.
On the Podcast Pretty For An Aboriginal Shari Sebbens talks about how Taikia Waititi hired a bunch of Indigenous interns to work on the film. In doing this their careers, he hoped, would be catapulted while their experience gained invaluable. “I make sure we try to get any locals who might be interested in the film industry to come in and get some work experience, or just to sit around on set and see how it’s done”, “Because I never had that opportunity when I was a kid.” He said to Screen Australia. The interns worked throughout different departments he told Buzzfeed, including directing, stunts, set design and production and grips.
Kodie Bedford, an intern in the stunt department, said, “I was basically learning how a Hollywood film works really. I’ve been on a lot of TV sets or short film sets and this just blew my mind”.
Including Indigenous people in the filmmaking process was important to Waititi as he understood the importance of working with, not just in, the place you are filming. It was also important to him that opportunities were given to these kids that he never got.