Enjoyed getting out of Manchester and doing a bit of music playback on Victoria recently.Seriously impressive set…but due to the presence of a large ice sculpture we couldn’t have the heating on. Which is a shame, as the heating system was Sound Department Friendly for once!
Got fed up with my old monitor setup so splashed out on another Swit HD mini monitor, so I can see what B camera is doing without squinting. Very happy with it.Great bits of kit!
Well then, it was a year ago this week that I mothballed all my sound recording gear in Manchester, and with the lowering Mancunian sky resembling nothing so much as a sodden, grey, seventies sleeping bag, I departed the Northwest, heading out to the verdant wilds of Indonesia to experience a total eclipse of the sun.
When all the astronomical excitement was over my travel companion and I were due to we embark on a motorbike adventure into the backwaters of Sulawesi to see what other weirdness there was to be seen. It wasn’t disappointing.
The central Sulawesian city of Palu was on the line of totality, and the local population were more than a little bit astonished at the sheer numbers of people who arrived to witness the eclipse. Palu is a largely unvisited backwater, catering mainly to transient dive tourists making their way to some of the more pristine obscure reefs to be found in the vicinity. It has to be one of the friendliest places on earth! My pal and I were treated like rock stars wherever we went. It got a bit much in the end…maybe I’m not cut out to be a rock star after all. Mark seemed to cope.
The eclipse itself was a mindblower. Perfect blue skies and a totality of over two and a half minutes. No photos ever do justice to witnessing one of these things…It’s so easy to become an eclipse addict!
Motorcycling into the back country was just as rewarding, we made so many good friends. I can’t wait to go back. Sulawesi is a paradise. We were lucky enough to see a forest full of Spectral Tarsiers in Tangkoko National park and the wildlife off Bunaken island was jawdropping…a 2km vertical reef cliff with almost 100% coral cover, turtles, shark, manta and dolphins.
Here are a few pics from the trip to distract from a freezy wet winter evening in Manchester!
Take me back! Did I mention the Tropical Discount Scheme?
Might have overpacked slightly…check out that lovely helmet!
Dabu-dabu is a local spicy sauce.Its gorgeous.
The earthly paradise that is Bunaken beach.
Saw these legs in the shower:
They belonged to her. No gigantic spiders were harmed in the making of this blog. When I released her she ran straight under Marks floorboards 🙂
The rather grandly named Trans-Sulawesian Highway, just before it turned into a rutted dirt track!
Accommodation at Tangkoko National Park.You don’t have to even leave your huts…the wildlife comes in to find you!
Winter is rough on sound recording gear and film gear in general, especially in close proximity to Manchester.It’s important to get everything as dry as possible after one of those days when, as good as your weatherproofing system might be( and both my Orca and KT systems bags are exemplary), it just isn’t possible to keep gear completely away from the elements.
Equally radio mics can receive a punishing in the summer due to (how can we put this delicately?) perspirational issues. When we were filming in Borneo with 8 radio mics out all day,every day I was often up until midnight drying the damn things out.We bought every last speck of silica gel available in Kuching city and I was constantly recycling it with the hotel hairdrier.Nightmare.
And silica gel costs a fortune...unless you go to a pet store and buy Silica gel kitty litter! 4.99 for a 5 litre bag. I’m estimating that this is 10,000 times cheaper than buying it from a well known highstreet electronics retailer.
And you know those horrible nylon socks that they give you on airplanes,which you find at the bottom of your carryon baggage when you get home? Finally a use for them.Shovel a load of silica crystals into one and keep it in your kit case.
It also works quite well if you have a MX5 with a leaky roof.But you get through it a fair bit quicker .
Your welcome. 🙂
I have been asked about the story behind the elephant photo…
I was lucky enough to be involved as a location sound recordist for the Groundbreak documentary film examining the changing fate of elephants in Thailand, and the growing awareness among travellers of the abuses inherent in the traditional training programme.
Things are altering fast.The laws regarding the treatment of elephants changed recently,and since they are no longer legally considered livestock,elephants now have more rights to protection.
All good news so far,however,the new situation is creating knock-on problems for the mahouts who used to earn a living with them.Unemployed elephants are expensive to keep!
The lady sat next to me under Jumbo is Lek, she is one of the many people we met trying to provide solutions.In Leks’ case she is running a sanctuary which allows the animals to roam more freely,whilst raising funds to promote awareness of the the increasingly complicated issues surrounding Thailands’ national animal.
You can watch the trailer here:
Twitter feed up and running! Further anecdotes about bacon sandwiches and trying to stay dry to follow 🙂
Given the fact that I enjoyed a torrent of freezy water down the back of my neck today I thought it timely to remind everyone that I operate a 5% discount scheme on all bookings which incorporate tropical beach locations.True fact. 🙂
I could tell you what I’m filming today, but then I’d have to kill you.
Nice afternoons’ filming in sunny Yorkshire with the irrepressible Mr.Massey.Football and the Men who Speak It 🙂 (personally I am bit of a football oaf).Shame about the 5 hour traffic jam on the M1 afterwards.
Wonderfully relaxed morning doing audio-only interviews (so much quicker without all that bothersome camera business going on). Bacon butties on tap if desired.Thanks Britt! 🙂
Blog coming soon (including the story behind the elephant!)
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