Sunday, February 23, 2014

Heading to Sundarbans

Filming blahs
I get to the airport this morning where I am taking a flight to Jessore. There a driver will meet me and take me the three additional hours to Mongla on the edge of the Sundarbans (largest mangrove swamp on earth).

Moving today from Dhaka, to Jessore and then to Mongla 
I get on the plane and I am a bit crestfallen. I am not happy with what I have so far in Bangladesh. OMG. Have I totally screwed this up? Is it me? Am I just not good at putting people at ease? Is it the fact that I just don’t have enough time with each group to get them to trust me and open up? I have to figure this out….NOW. So I am sitting there brainstorming on the plane….when it hits me. Farhana!

Farhana was the young female working for this couple in Dhaka. I got the
Farhana at office in Dhaka, Bangladesh (Photo: JLewis)
chance to interview her for maybe 15 minutes and then another time interacting with her mentors. She was incredible on film….immediately. Well spoken…enthusiastic…. the dedication and passion for her work were apparent. AND….I got a tiny bit of backstory about the problem of keeping students like her in conservation…because 1) there are no jobs and 2) she was a female and may be under pressure to get married soon.

I could not believe I almost missed it! The story that needed to be told….was not about the older more established part of river dolphin conservation…but the future of it! The young people!…The students….who are fighting to stay in the field. Without them….the success of the conservation of the dolphin…cannot occur. Additionally…..what I found is that young people…tell it like it is. They have no agenda…they have not rehearsed their answers….when they talk…they are not afraid to show you how they feel about it. So not only is their struggle THE important part of this story…but they are the people that viewers will want to understand and get to know. And whose passion will be evident on film. So that it it! I have to turn this plane around and go follow Farhana! She was the next character sitting right in front of me!
In the meantime, I am here to film the dolphin. But once that is done I will arrange to get back to Dhaka.

Planes have comedy
I took the following photo on the plane to Jessore. Here are my thoughts….
Is there really any other way? And….what exactly instigated the need for this….instruction?

Photo: JLewis

I forgot about something

I get to my next hotel room and I am greeted by a beautiful bed cover. Oh yeah…forgot about that….been in the city all…safe …….and everything. Well…at least my room is on the second floor.


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