Thor: Ragnarok is currently filming in Australia, and in addition to providing a nice background for Mark Ruffalo’s Instagrams, the location has also been vital to the production in other ways. Director Taika Waititi spoke to BuzzFeed about the fact that he made hiring Aboriginal crew members a priority for his production. He explains:
It’s a responsibility you have to the indigenous people. You’re coming to a country and you’re bringing money into the economy and creating jobs, but I think you have an even bigger responsibility to look after the people that have less opportunities.
Waititi himself is of Māori descent (the indigenous people of New Zealand); while it was his idea to cultivate a diverse crew of locals, he says Marvel was “fully onboard” with the concept. In addition to contracting an Aboriginal company to supply water, the production also hired eight Aboriginal people, including cinematographer Cornel Ozies and actor Shari Sebbens (The Sapphires). Some of the other crew members were hired as “attachments” (a sort of paid internship position) through an initiative by Screen Australia’s Indigenous Department, which aims to give indigenous people a foot in the door of the film industry.
“We are finding those new talents and giving them an experience not many people have,” Waititi explained. “I mean, I am 40 and this is my first experience on a set like this, and giving that experience to young native people is invaluable and a really cool experience.”