Monday, March 24, 2014

And then back to Kathmandu

Stakeholders meeting

Gopal and I fly back to Kathmandu early this morning. We have to get there in time for a stakeholders meeting with heads of management agencies in Nepal. Shambu is going to give a talk describing what he intends to do next with some recent grant money. He is going to survey all four rivers where the Ganges river dolphin was previously found. At this time, it has only thought to occur in the Karnali. But there has been a carcass retrieval in another of the rivers and potentially a sighting. So it is worth the effort to re-examine. This meeting is an opportunity for Shambu to keep the other managers informed of his research and also to get their feedback.

Shambu explains his research to other local resource managers in Kathmandu, Nepal (Photo: JLewis)

B roll is not a team game

Early morning market set up, Kathmandu, Nepal (Photo:JLewis)
While I know people mean well….I have found that it simply does not help to have another person with you when trying to get b roll. First, no one wants to hang with someone who is paying attention to everything except them. And second…..everyone wants to be a director….and will therefore attempt to help…which will suck….for you.

Anyway, while out today I do get a number of filming opportunities. In a poorer area of town a daily market is being set up. Here I am able to get some great bits of footage (e.g., children playing while parents set booths up, people carrying large items on their heads to and from the market, a poor family sitting around a campfire eating breakfast).

I know you are filming….but I am still gonna talk to you now

It is near this market that I get…what always drives me insane…..when you are most intently trying to capture something….someone decides that is the time to introduce themselves. ALWAYS! I saw this little boy using a branch kind of like a seesaw from a pretty good distance and knew I had to get close with my lens (104mm max), So I am walking through this park, continuing to check my camera along the way….I finally get in at just the right spot….and BANG…”So…Where are you from?.”...From a land….far ….far…away….now….please…..let me …..just get this before he gives up and gets off the branch! “Where in America?” …….a place called Degoba… …”Where is that? What do you do there?” I regularly round up all people that want to practice English….in parks…when I am trying to film…. And I force them to watch things like Duck Dynastywhich I explain is an example of what happens to good film makers who now film…nothing (yes…I would call it….nothing) who were driven to this edge….by English practicing park people. 

Kid who has found a natural seesaw, Kathmandu, Nepal (Photo: JLewis)

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