The First Day

by Nathan the Assistant Producer, in Malawi
19th March, 2009

The first proper day of filming and it now feels like we are getting in to the flow of things. The day began with rain (and a few bolts of lightning) lashing down everywhere. I didn’t realise that it rained so much in Africa. We were all a bit down in the morning;


Marc was losing his mind (see the picture) and I also think that the Malarone tablets for malaria are starting to take their toll. But as soon as Luke arrived in the afternoon our spirits were lifted and when we hit the road in the 4×4 (which has a personality all of its own – security alarm banging out whenever you turn it on, 3rd gear being more powerful than 1st or 2nd, black smoke pumping out of the exhausts etc. etc.) the sun came out of hiding.

Luke had prepared a piece to camera on the long flight over and wanted to get stuck into it straight away. Unfortunately the decision was made to film it whilst he was driving and after the fiftieth take we ended up at the Malawi Army Barracks out of town – in a nutshell we were completely and utterly lost. His opening piece was good though and we later worked out that we’d recorded the first minute of the programme – only another forty-three to go…

In an attempt to find our way back we drove around in circles grabbing a few beautiful shots of Malawi in the process. Eventually we made it to the Wildlife Sanctuary (our primary base over the course of the shoot) in order to meet Lee (the manager) and Richard (the vet). Unfortunately there was no one there to greet us. We had arrived an hour late. Oh dear… The next few days should be packed full of great stories and can’t wait for it to start, although I do want to avoid the caged Leopard – I swear it was checking me out as a future meal.

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