In February 1976, while living at the South Australian Film Corporation's Kent Town office, actor pelican "Dum Dum" flew away and gatecrashed a nearby private party. Another time, "Dum Dum" wandered off during rush hour down Fullarton Road, Kent Town in Adelaide. A passing-by driver courageously caught the runaway actor pelican and took him to the Adelaide Zoo.
Mr. Percival, one of the three pelican actors, died on 3 September 2009 at Adelaide Zoo. Mr. Percival was thirty-three years old when he passed away due to old age, having father seven chicks with partner Alto. Prior to living at the zoo, Mr. Percival lived at Marineland until it closed in 1988 and was also known under a zoo name of Gringo.
The film crew on location had to battle walking through endless sand dunes and fierce biting wind which would blow into their faces stinging their eyes. Many a time location vehicles would sink into the sand whilst both the sea and wind played havoc with both film equipment and set props frequently knocking them away.
Filming of the shipwreck sequence was particular difficult. The sea where it was filmed was notorious for its cross winds, tides and currents. Boat captain Bob Moss and his vessel the "Tern" had to negotiate these hazardous waters. Half of the equipment on the boat was lost to the sea which had to be rescued by the safety crew of the Port Elliot Life Savers from their waiting modernized jet boat.
Special housing accommodation was built for the pelicans whilst shooting on location. Pelican wrangler, trainer and handler Gordon Noble housed the pelicans in a caravan complete with a specially built yard area around it. The pelicans even befriended Noble's pet dog Rupert thus creating a mini animal farm.
First of two leading roles that then child actor Greg Rowe made for the South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC). The second was Blue Fin (1978). Both these film's involved wild weather as did The Last Wave (1977), another SAFC film which Rowe appeared in in a smaller role. Rowe also appeared in a small role in the SAFC's Freedom (1982).
Today, the famous area where this film was mostly made, South Australia's wetlands and sand dunes district known as the Coorong, is under threat due to low water levels due to the water-ravished Murray River. The region is a habitat for migratory birds, the southern tip of it becoming highly saline which environmental experts are saying is having an effect on various pelican and bird populations.
Third theatrical feature film for Australian Aboriginal actor David Gulpilil. At the time of this film, Gulpilil had been most well-known from his first movie role in Nicolas Roeg's Walkabout (1971). Gulpilil had also appeared prior to this film in Mad Dog Morgan (1976).