Aerials over Kampala

by Adam the Cameraman, in Uganda
16th December, 2009
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I love aerial day!

Aerials are a big deal, it involves a lot of work behind the scenes as production managers, co-ordinators are having to deal with uncooporative customs agents and having to pay huge deposits so that the specialized aerial filming equipment can be imported and then exported out of the country. Dave the Cineflex operator then flies out to wherever we are with all his gear. A cineflex is basically a gyro stabilizer mount for the camera which is rigged to the front of the helicopter. It is controlled by a massive console unit, a bit bigger than a Playstation(!) which is operated by Dave. Whatever the pitch, speed, angle or vibration of the helicopter, Dave has full control and delivers a smooth and steady picture.

The helicopter was parked at the private hospital in Kampala. The company that runs it is owned by Simon Everett, who happens to be Rupert Everett’s (the actor) older brother.


We decided to divide our aerial day in three 2 hour stints.

The first 2 hours we flew up to the Rhino sanctuary about 150km north of Kampala. We took Luke up on this flight, dropped him off on the ground when we got there and filmed him from the air as he went looking for rhino’s with the head ranger. This shot would then tie in with the ground shots we had already filmed a few days before.


We flew back to the Hospital, parked up, had some lunch, met up the Marc and Nathan and organised our next shoot which involved filming Luke driving around the Ugandan countryside and through small towns and villages and filming aerials of Kampala and anything else that looked interesting from the air.


The last aerial shoot was during magic hour, just before sunset. We flew over lake Victoria towards Ngamba Island, filming all the chimps that we had met on our first day.

We got a great shot of the Alpha male chimp as was slightly distressed by the presence of the helicopter over his patch of land, he was going besrk, throwing rocks and branches, while all the other chimps cowered away from him.

Last Day

by Nathan the Assistant Producer, in Uganda
17th December, 2009
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So, it’s my last shoot day of the whole series and it’s been one hectic ride. Unfortunately I’m going to be back in the office editing during the final trip to Costa Rica so I finish now. First of all I would like to say a big warm thank you to AJ Tours in Uganda who have been tremendous throughout: Pascal, Andrew, Adam and Thierry have been brilliant help to us all and are really amazing people. If you ever venture to Uganda I would highly recommend you contact them.

And all that’s left now is for me to say thank you to all the charities throughout the series. It has been a tremendous experience and one that I will never forget. The first four episodes go out on Sky One on the 28th February and I can’t wait to see them. For all the people reading this blog there is one last wish, and no it’s not about saving my name from the scoundrel that is Mr Luke “the talent” Gamble. It is much more important than that. When you watch the series think about the work that is actually being done by WVS all the time and the support they so desperately need. They help some amazing charities and are doing work that is essential in many countries around the world. I hope that this series inspires people to help animals across the world and become part of something I truly feel is making a difference.

It’s (another) wrap!

by Luke, in Uganda
18th December, 2009
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Big last day – lots and lots to do beore our flight at midnight, but it went with a blur and we managed to squeeze everything in. Yes, we did catch the dog and it was a big op… Pascal saw us off with a fantastic congolese dinner – delicious. What a great guy and all his team were all there to send us off; Andrew, Thierry, Adam and Lawrence from Ngamba also joined us which was great. Really lovely way to finish the trip and remember the great people we have worked with and met.

The big sad bit though was the fact it was Nathan/Bruce/Narender/Chai/Lupe Carr’s last day on a shoot with the crew. He will now be locked in a box like room editing shows for the next three months – looking at me endlessly for 12hours a day on about three tv screens. Lucky guy.

Uganda and the gorillas was a great way to end his trips with us – none of us will forget this one – or any of them for that matter – but it will be strange doing the last one without him. I’ll miss his silence and daytime sleeping patterns, the constant efforts to try to touch my microphone and change batteries and his general ability to blend as a native into any country in the world, but most of all, I’ll miss having someone who has become one of my good friends along for the ride. Thanks buddy and I’ll be sure to think of you sipping coffee in the edit suite when I’m on another 14 hour flight in a few weeks, economy, Iberia style. Rock on.