Come Fly With Me

by Marc the Producer, in Mexico
23rd July, 2009
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I really don’t want to complain about flying around the world, filming these great programmes in far flung corners of the globe, but the fact that I actually don’t like flying makes the journeys twice as hard. In fact, neither Luke, Nathan nor Adam like flying. Considering that we are going to film six more programmes all over the world, this is ridiculous. Even more ridiculous is that we start talking about crash statistics and most common malfunctions on planes every time from the moment we check in until take off.

It was quite a bumpy ride and after a gruelling 12 hour or so flight we arrived safely in Mexico and met up with Scottie, the cameraman that will replace Adam on this shoot, at the airport. Scottie is a real laugh. I have worked briefly with him before in the UK before he moved to New Zealand. I have no doubt that he will get the hang of how we film these programmes quite quickly.

Real Dedication

by Marc the Producer, in Mexico
24th July, 2009
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Had a fantastic day. Luke went up into the Mexican blue skies to go paragliding with red kites. Fabo, a paragliding acrobatic champion and Luke’s tandem pilot, really took our ‘talent’ for a ride. We had to repeat certain shots and after the third flight, Luke touched down and starting throwing up straight away. Fabo said it is very common. Luke had motion sickness, similar to seasickness. I know it’s not fair, but I have to admit, I was grinning and smirking away.

Leaving Luke on his own for a few minutes to recover, I looked at the shots with Scottie and after checking the footage we looked at each other and without saying anything just raised our eyebrows. It was clear. We didn’t get the shot we both wanted.

I walked over to Luke and broke the news. I felt really bad (though admittedly chuckling inside) and said to him that we might need another shot. His first reply was:” You are joking!”. I told him he doesn’t have to do it again as I didn’t want to put him in any more discomfort. To my surprise he got up, wiped his mouth and said “… I’ll do it, no worries. If you need the shot, you need the shot!”.  That’s what I call real dedication!

Luke told me later on that he was already sick in the air and Fabo might have been hit as well. Poor guy … I mean Fabo!

All Creatures Great and Small

by Marc the Producer, in Mexico
30th July, 2009
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The working days are very long and we are on the go about 13-15 hours a day. Everyone has a cracking attitude and wants to get the job done, whatever it takes. Think we got really good stuff, but you never know until you get the footage on a timeline in the edit suite. Though I must say that the tape-less workflow we are using comes very handy as we can edit little clips at the end of the day back at the hotel… if time allows.

There is a pattern emerging on these trips. Luke always cracks on treating animals after we stopped filming and whenever I can I am assisting him. Really enjoying it. My mum would love it. When she was young she used to be a medical assistant for a vet. I grew up watching “All Creatures Great and Small”. The show was a big success in Germany and yes, James Herriot, Siegfried and Tristan were all dubbed.

There is no ‘I’ in team!

by Marc the Producer, in Thailand
23rd August, 2009
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Another epic, knee-tucking economy long-haul flight for us. Well, by ‘us’, I mean Nathan and myself. Scottie, the cameraman, made his way to Thailand straight from his home, New Zealand. Luke, or should I say the ‘talent’ flew Club class. There is no ‘I’ in team, but there is definitely a M and an E!

It was a fluke that Luke was upgraded, but still, I am determined to make sure that he will keep his feet firmly on the ground and doesn’t get used to any special treatments, trust me.

Fragile Giants

by Marc the Producer, in Thailand
27th August, 2009
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We met a couple of amazing people over the last few days. Lek and Dr. Preccha both dedicate their lives to help and take care of mistreated and injured elephants.
It was a real privilege to film with Lek, a Thai conservationist. Over the years she has built an amazing elephant orphanage  and with the help of many volunteers she is doing a truly magical job. Her dedication is second to none.

We also visited Dr. Preecha, who works at the Friends for the Asian Elephant (FAE) foundation. They take care of elephants that have stepped on landmines while working for the illegal logging industry near the Thailand-Burmese border.

Great people, great elephants, great stories!

A Dream Come True

by Marc the Producer, in Peru
21st October, 2009
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This is a trip I was especially looking forward to. Since I was a kid I’ve dreamed of travelling deep into the Amazonian rainforest. After a 24 hour trip we finally arrived in Iquitos, an island of civilisation in this ocean of lush trees. You never know what to expect on these trips, but I am somehow not worried at all and my gut tells me we will find loads of stories here.

Luke is fired up as it’s the first time we are planning to include a group of vets from WVS that arrived here a few days ago.

Nathan needs shorts!

Another shoot without Adam. Scottie couldn’t make it ether. The new crew member is Simon. Considering the short amount of time we have spent together so far everyone gets on like a house on fire.

Let’s get cracking!


by Marc the Producer, in Peru
24th October, 2009
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From a producer’s or director’s point of view, it’s great to have a team that you can leave filming on their own and I don’t have to worry about them missing something that is essential to cover a story. We are planning to go on a kind of house-boat tomorrow to travel up the Amazon deeper into the rainforest to help some isolated communities with their animal problems. But today I found out that the boat company didn’t receive the money that we transferred to its parent company in the USA quite a while ago. We desperately needed to stock up food and petrol, so I stayed behind to sort this out while the rest of the crew visited an animal orphanage run by Gudrun, a German ex-pat.

I had to resort to our cash-float for now to get the boat ready for tomorrow’s departure and will have to sort out the money issue once we are back. The crew did a fantastic job out at Gudrun’s animal orphanage and while Nathan took over as producer/director everyone chipped in and it sounds like they covered some great stories.

“Please, don’t swim in the Amazon”

by Marc the Producer, in Peru
30th October, 2009
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I know it might sound silly, but we all went swimming in the Amazon while we where on the boat. The other day my wife ,Julia asked me what animals live in the murky waters of the Amazon.  I told her things like piranha, crocs, pythons etc. I can still hear her saying: ”Just promise me one thing. Don’t swim in the Amazon!”.

Of course I promised. Of course I jumped in. Afterwards I told Julia that it was a once in a lifetime opportunity and that I ‘had’ to do it. She just replied: “Exactly … it could have been easily just ONCE in a lifetime”.

It will be stunning

by Marc the Producer, in Nepal
18th November, 2009
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Off again. It’s crazy.

Don’t know much about Nepal. Have never been there before, but I imagine it will be India-like, just with a couple of the highest mountains in the world added. I think visually it will be stunning, providing the clouds clear. Quite overcast and foggy at the moment.