Posted by: journeytokathmandu | 2012/03/07

Behind the ‘Journey’: Camera Goes Down

Over the years, friends, family, and filmmakers, whenever asking about my  experiences shooting overseas, they’re always curious about the biggest challenges or harshest conditions that I’ve ever had to face.  I’ve had to tip-toe through my share of landmines, dealt with bizarre health conditions, nearly fallen from Langtang mountain, eaten chicken brains and fried tarantula, etc.  But these all pale in comparison to when I was last in Nepal filming ‘Journey to Kathmandu‘ and my camera went down.  I know that probably sounds ridiculous – a material item compared to my physical and mental well-being – so to put it into context…

I had spent nearly two years throwing various kinds of fundraisers, written a zillion grant proposals, gotten myself into physical condition for trekking, sold a chunk of my worldly possessions (including some of my LP collection!), talked with everyone under the sun about my “nepal film”, etc.  So when I’d finally actually raised enough funds to secure all of the needed gear, flown myself to Nepal, hired a crew and started filming… well, now you might imagine what a dreadful feeling I experienced when my camera – my most basic, but essential and critical of all filmmaking tools – just died on me, only a few days into filming.  (See ‘Trying Not to Hit Panic Button‘ for gorier details!)

The video – still painful for me to watch even now, two years later – gives a glimpse into the perils of the independent documentary filmmaker.  It’s a glimpse that many an independent filmmaker can surely appreciate!

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