Nepal post 3 An Australian’s perspective

Now in my second week doing my volunteering/internship my body is struggling quite a bit with the taxing heat. I just cant eat very much or the dreaded travelers belly attacks occur. I think of this experience like a physically demanding marathon. I am powering through managing everything but will be glad to move onto Pokhara on the weekend.

The trip itself so far has been quite organic. It has now been shortened somewhat because of the issues I have had. But I have still gained a lot from it. Yesterday I went upto the monkey temple to film and photograph the volunteers on a sight seeing trip.

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The monkey temple is a stunning Buddhist monument perched way above the city of Kathmandu. In the heat climbing the stairs was a bit of fun, note the sarcasm , but when you get up there the views were amazing.

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monkey temple views
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monkey temple

Photographing the volunteers was also fun and very dramatic in such an amazing location here are some examples.

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Yesterday the traffic as usual was manic it just took forever to get to the temple. On the way back we would stop for 10 minutes at a time not moving anywhere. Then this happened.

 

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Yes she was waving at me evidently calling out if I had any chocolate . She was in her school uniform and extremely cheeky to boot.

The last few days here in Kathmandu will be interesting. I am interviewing a Monk and have permission to film at the Monastery . I am also talking to the director of the NGO and just have some bits of pieces to film before I go to Pokhara .

I am being driven to Pokhara which should be interesting then flying back to Kathmandu at the end of next week. Although Pokhara isn’t more than a few hundred km’s away its takes 6-8hrs because of needing to wind around the mountains. That’s why I decided to fly one way and drive the other..  more to come….

My Project According2indiemusic.com is now live

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according2indiemusic.com

As part of my transition, from editing news to a content creator, I have as part of my studies in Journalism created according2indiemusic.com.

Here I had to be a one man band. I wrote, voiced interviewed shot and designed the whole project.  The project basically tells the story of Indie musicians, how they make a dollar sell their product and gives a bit of reality to what one needs to know to survive as a self managed artist.

The site has profiles on the 3 participants, Sophie Koh , Josh Voce and Georgia Fields as well as some recordings I made of them playing acoustically. It also has a podcast discussion about indie music and a news and radio package about the industry.

There is lots of media to watch and listen to and lots of things to click on.

I learned a lot from the experience and felt more confident as I did more interviewing. It was a real labour of love and I hope that comes through in the end product.

My new Taiwan spectacular aerial film

I just got back from an interesting adventure in Taiwan. One of the interesting parts was taking my DJI Mavic drone with me. Before I set off I wasn’t quite sure what type of short I was going to make . Due to certain circumstances which have been discussed in my previous post the film took shape in a way I wasn’t expecting. It became an aerial journey . I wanted movement and a feeling you were traveling across the land , of the beautiful country.

The first stop was Jiufen and incredibly popular town built into the side of the mountain. It used to be a gold mining town and some of the shops and actually burrowed into the mountain itself. It has an amazing food and handicrafts culture and wow that view its pretty spectacular.

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Taking of from the town itself really wasn’t an option. It is a very dense space with narrow footpaths and closed in buildings. So we drove further up the road and I flew it over the town, complete with some eerie looking clouds and flew it up the mountain from below which you see in the film.

I had been practicing quite regularly back home for about 7 months to do the shooting in Taiwan. It takes a level of confidence to be able to do the camera moves, that I was able to achieve. You need to practice manually flying it home for when the  automation on the craft fails, which it did a couple of times.

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On such occasion was in this valley , featured above , I got very low on battery and the return to home automation wasn’t working. It started to land about 30 feet away from me in a rice field. This would of been an issue as the rice field was full of water. I quickly manually took it over rose it out of the field over a big stone fence and onto the road. Little did I realise whilst I was concentrating on my flying a tourist had walked and sat down on the afore mentioned fence and I nearly gave him a buzz cut as I bought the drone back to safety.

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Featured above is the home of the Lidao aboriginal tribe.

This location was a 2hr drive north west of Taitung. The drive through valleys, fallen rock slides into mountains through mountains was utterly spectacular . There is one road in and one road out. This is where tourists don’t come this is real Taiwan to the core.  The village is perched on the side of the mountain. Whilst utterly breath taking, this has its own issues. Taiwan is famous for its typhoons and being so exposed leaves them cut of from the rest of the world when the storms hit, as they do every year. But what they do have is pristine land and fertile soil. They grow rice , which by the way is sublime like nothing I have ever tasted. They grow cabbage and various other vegetables. They then trade there crops for medicines and other essentials to keep the village running.  We got to have lunch at there local store, they were a bit wary of white people. Our guide got very cranky when some of the locals denied there was anywhere to eat. So we had this hime cooked lunch wild boar with this yummy rice.The boar is still hunted in the forrest as it has been done for over 1000 years. The dish was very simple but ridiculously fresh and flavourful. I then did all my shooting. I literally got to fly my drone of the side of the mountain, it was so exciting . You can’t even fathom standing there on the ground watching these pictures come in. It was really exciting.

You will notice in the film the sequence in the rice fields and in the village is very smokey. The reason for this is , on the day they had started the harvesting of there rice crop. The first part of this is to burn it. This is because they they have a worm that feasts on the rice and the fire is to kill it off. At times the fires were very close to the road and we had to close the vents . But the upside is it created a look to my pictures that I really love and I think you will agree adds something to the film.

Lastly I wanted to touch upon the stunning music in my film. The music is all from local composers and performed by the Taipei philharmonic orchestra. The music sets the tone of the visuals. I plowed through quite a bit of music to find the pieces that I ended up using. Without it, somehow I don’t feel its would of been as authentic. The music closely resembles how I felt when I saw the imagery and enhances it with local flavour.

I wanted the music to sell the visuals and the visuals to sell the music. If they didn’t work in tandem the piece would not of worked. The music should almost be invisible .

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