Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Last eve in Kathmandu brings….um….concerns. Yes….let us call them that

Film making as a novice can be ….worrisome

So it is the end of the day…..I am about to leave Nepal and head to India…..and I feel good about a lot of what I have been able to capture….but I am still worried.  Do I have what I need to make this work? It has not been easy… come at this with absolutely no experience…..having to learn on the fly….I admit this.

Photo: JLewis
I am getting more and more paranoid about missing things. Now….I wonder…could there be some setting on my camera that if I did not have right….would mean something horrible… it would never have good enough resolution to be blown up on a big screen…Something over the top critical like that. So now….I am going back through settings…checking all that I know….and everything seems fine….but I am terrified of missing something…because I simply do not know better.

I also worry do I have enough b roll? This is some of the hardest stuff to get right at times because you find interesting events….unfolding in front of you….and time has no freeze frame….so you gotta get the camera ready to shoot fast and then capture before the moment is gone. I am still slow many times getting the lighting right….getting the angles right….remembering all the rules of filming to make it pretty in the frame…and because of this I know I have missed some really amazing things. Many.

The biggest issue however, is my concern about the story. I had a really great instructor before I took off who said to us all….if you can make them laugh and also make them cry….then you have gold in your film. These I have found are incredibly hard to capture. The laughing part….fine…whatever…can’t force that. But the feeling. The ability to make people care because what they hear or see touches them. 
I HAVE to get this right. The reason behind this docu is very important. And I feel a weight on my shoulders to do the best job I possibly can for that reason. Because..maybe…just maybe….it could provide a break towards conservation of this species before it disappears just like so many other species have recently.


My other issue is I still don’t have plans squared away with the next research team. They have given me a general guide for how to get to them. But….it iturns out it is not do-able. It includes a train from Calcutta to Bhaglapur (where they are located), but you cannot as a foreigner buy train tickets online. And if you show up day of….you may have to travel standing
Yep…might be tough to find a seat….that I want
in coach (which would be a problem because of all my gear). So I have to come up with another way….and I can’t seem to reconnect with them again. Argh!

So I look for the nearest airport to Bhaglapur. It is in a place called Patna. And there I find online a place where I can hire a driver to take me between these last two cities. Done. Still not sure where to stay in Bhaglapur, but at least I know I am gonna show up. Well…ha….that is what I thought…see next few days of Jennifer’s great fun.

On top of everything…I am also pretty sick right now. Chest cold from hell. No voice…which makes asking interview questions….well…harder…and my ability not to cough until they finish their answer. Oh Man. It has been a tough weekend.
I am exhausted. But I just have to push through this last part.

Life….Death…Life…Death…Hmmm. Roll of dice?

Source: wikimedia
So…the area of India I am heading next is called Bihar. Which….I have just been told by the kids that work the front desk at this hotel in Kathmandu…who are Indian…is a pretty dangerous area. They then look at my face, backtrack…and say…for Locals. For locals… is dangerous. :) Well….being it is remote…..and no airports within a 6-7 hour drive….I am guessing not a big tourist hotspot. So…hmmm. Yep.. gonna register with US embassy tonight. “Dear America….you can find my bones and my awesome camera system….probably along the long ass road between Patna and Bhaglapur… eaten clean by the camels. Or the cows. Because cows eat everything I have now found. And I think they are….um….gross.”. I wonder if it should worry me that both my Nepal students heard where I was going and got…worried also. Intriguing…this place…..Bihar. :)

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