Sunday, December 31, 2006

From the horse's mouth....

Ok – a lull on the updates but Christmas and a wedding (not mine) at this end have absorbed time. I’m writing this from Dunedin and I’m sparing a thought for Zane and Briar at the moment, though, because they’ve been shooting non-stop since arriving on the island, and Briar has already had to deal with a case of the sniffles but nothing more serious, thank god.

Briar writes:

Since we arrived we have hardly had the chance to sit down and enjoy the scenery. It has been pretty hectic.

It is pretty hot as you could imagine but both Zane and I have mostly acclimatised now. We are putting heaps of sun block on and the mosquitoes are no way near as bad as Bethells (Beach, where I’m from). They don't buzz in your ears and drive you crazy at night so I think things are pretty good really.

In terms of story we were lucky to meet this man called Sam on the boat. He had come from the ABG (Autonomous Bougainville Government) to talk to Nukumanu (Tasman Islands) and Takuu about the possibility of relocating. He had a really positive meeting at Nukumanu but only spent one day in Takuu. I was a bit sad about the missed opportunity. However I am surprised at how open people are to talk about the island's situation. Especially the sinking - people know about it - they are seeing the changes and they are happy to talk about it. They are also really good speakers, which is great.

We have had lots of chances to film observational material. On the second day of the Tukumai during the 12 hour singing sesson that goes into the night, a man literally dropped out of his chair and fell down dead. This was a shock to the whole village and for the next four days from now we are expecting the funeral to be held. This is something we can't film but it will be a good chance for us to take a break and get involved in the village life activities.

Friday: I went to the funeral today - it was very intense and rather upsetting. Just like what you would expect everyone is very open and expressive with their grief and for quite some time people were wailing and weeping over the dead body. They took the body to Takuu. The vaka with the body must arrive there first and this is followed by a flotilla of boats. It was quite a sight seeing this in the early morning.

Tomorrow Zane and I plan to go around the whole village and take fun snap-shot-y film clips of people and then edit this together into a quick five minute piece. We will then screen this as a way of showing people the camera what it does and what we do. Hopefully it will be away of getting to know people and getting people behind our project.

Then the next few days following that I hope to do some field research basically just finding our characters.

I’ll try and write again soon.

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