Tag Archives: plans

Making it work

Photo by Lawrence

First timers – photo by Lawrence

New project, new challenges.

Back in Kazo, the school was about 20 yards from my home; here, it takes a good hour and a half bouncing along the roads of some not-so-nice parts of Nairobi. The Kenyans I’m working with have zero experience of cameras (which also makes it a lot of fun), and I’m told we need to pay them something to compensate for a day of lost wages. And we have only four working days to do something meaningful.

At least this time, I’m not too surprised when we don’t start on time, or that attendance is somewhat, well, fluid. And since my expectations are lower – this is a bit of a trial, before a real (and funded!) project comes next year – it’s nice just to see where it goes. They seem to be enjoying it so far. Continue reading

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No to nostalgia

RainWe finished the film, even with 4+ days without power; our main actor walking off set mid-scene; and people never turning up when they said they would. We screened it on my laptop in a dark classroom on my last evening in Kazo, to about 20 people, and it was kind of special to feel proud of something that I had not done: the guys had done virtually all the actual shooting, acting, editing.

But there’d been too little time (or energy, or electricity) to do all that I could/should have done. I could have done a camera class with the teachers and P2 class, could have helped Eliab with his CV, could have helped Godfrey with his dance website and Joseph with his exam prep, could have helped Shakul and Baker create flickr accounts, could have given Poul more time on my computer to play with Photoshop, could have done more editing with Daniel, could have taught Juliette how to use Excel and Word, could have made that brochure for Ronald, could have done more photo sessions with everyone, especially the latecomers, could have pushed further on the AIDS issue that was always sort of there but never properly discussed. I could have done more for so many good-hearted, courageous people. Maybe I need to come back.

Before the nostalgia sets in, I’d better remember the worst bits. Continue reading

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(Some) Action

Schedule We have 20 scenes to shoot in a week. After a slow start, I realised that my hands-off approach might be fine for actual filming, but it damn well wasn’t working for planning. We’ll see how my schedule works out.

There’d been a general sense of surprise at how much work was involved, and more interest in taking photos of each other wearing sunglasses. (Is that an age thing, a boy thing, or a Ugandan thing?)  It’s probably going to rain now, they said. We don’t have all the actors. They won’t let us film there. There’s no power.  It’s too expensive to print out the script. Continue reading

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God willing

The Swiss or Virgo part of me is struggling to adapt to the last minute, Mungu akipenda/Inshallah (if God wills it) uncertainty of making plans here. I’m trying to get to Zanzibar in a few hours for the Sauti za Busara festival but still don’t know if I can get ferry tickets nor if I’ll actually be let off the boat at the other side. Zanzibar belongs to the United Republic of Tanzania, but has semiautonomous status (electing its own president and parliament), meaning those arriving from the mainland need to show their passport. Unfortunately mine disappeared several weeks ago in a black hole of bureaucracy (Belgian embassy to Tanzanian foreign office to home office…) while I wait for a residence permit. Meanwhile, I’m trying to organise a trip to the north-west of Tanzania and Uganda for next week, but with nothing confirmed yet and no tickets bought, only Mungu/Allah knows if I’ll actually make it there. Continue reading

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