Hello from Cameroon!
It all started with 3 flights, a 24 hour long haul from Phnom Penh to Yaounde in Cameroon. Arriving at the dusty airport we found our luggage had not made it. In fact, half the plane were missing their bags. The Director, Rebecca Barry, and I queued for an hour to fill in paperwork for the missing luggage, only to find out the next flight in from Kenya was in 3 days time!
Luckily we hand carry all our camera equipment on board with us. All we were missing was our tripod - surely someone in Cameroon would have a tripod, right?!
Rebecca and I are filming a documentary called 'I am a Girl ' about 7 girls from 14 to 19 years old, in 7 different countries. Rebecca had read a magazine article a couple of years ago describing the terrible injustices, lack of education, violence and prejudice young girls face everyday all over the world. The article inspired her to make this feature documentary highlighting these different issues, and so here we are on our adventure.
So far we have filmed a birth in Port Moresby, which was in one of the busiest labour wards in the world, with only 22 beds, and - if it was a good day - 3 midwives on duty. This means women are giving birth on the floor, and when we were there they had run out of umbilical clamps so they were using tiny pieces of string!
We have also filmed in Cambodia, and our next leg includes India and the USA.
After scouring the city of Yaounde for a tripod, we eventually found a stills tripod and managed to borrow a monopod. We began filming an arranged marriage of a 17 year old girl named Habiba to her 36 year old neighbour and she's very happy as she's his first wife. Men can have more than one wife in Cameroon.
Her ceremony lasted for 4 days and even involved a horse race through the narrow bumpy streets! Last night's ceremony was incredible as the streets echoed with traditional drumming and singing in celebration of their marriage.
About 30 women, dressed in the most beautiful saturated African prints, and Rebecca and I were crammed into a tiny room, as the women sang and kept beat on a metal bowl turned upside on the floor. There was only just room for me, the camera and monopod!
It seems everyone in Yaounde has a great singing voice. It makes your typical Aussie wedding seem a little dull. You can see from one of my photos that the wedding guests really like to go all out with their outfits!
We've been shooting on the 7D and using the Go Pro for car rigs, POV and transitional shots to get us in and out of each country. We have one light with us - a Rosco lite pad which is great and slips easily in my back pack. One light means I am keeping a keen eye out for the best natural light coming through windows and open doorways, as you can see from my photo of Habiba.
The third photo is of me on set in Cameroon with a young girl we were letting do sound for fun! Her name is Husseina.
That's it for now. Next, the adventure continues as we are off to India.
All the best,