DARWIN Docco Journal #21

Learning things all over the shop on this trip – today I learnt that even though you’re more than 4 kilometres above sea level and your booty is just about to freeze off and fall to the ground, the sun still rapes you!

We woke today and it was considerably cold so taking a jumper we cruised up the street and within 5 minutes, the vast expanse of the Argentinian stretch of the Andes mountain ranges began to unfold before us. Its grandeur is awesome – mountains of all shapes and sizes as far as the eye can see.

One of the first shots we stopped for was from atop this pinnacle looking rock and it was quite an effort to climb to the top – especially considering there was no set path, and even more especially considering the tripod and lens backpack I am to bear everywhere I go. That is one positive though. Because I am a fitness instructor my stamina is better than the average person’s so when everyone else is buggered and in need of a break, I’m only just getting started so I get more breaks than I need and am therefore always adequately rested.

Anyway getting to the top and then back down again with all this cumbersome equipment was quite a humorous feat. I almost slipped to my death a thousand times but we got sweet footage so it was all worthwhile.

Next shot on the list was from the top of another crazy high mountain. Only difference was that this one is about 2 kilometres higher than the one before and the higher you get, the thinner and colder the air gets – I was puffing and panting like a rabid dog before long. And to make matters worse the air was so cold it burned – my lungs felt like they were going to explode with every inhalation, and to make matters even more worse, these fine tiny white balls of sleet started raining down on us. My brown jacket was covered in it – I’d never seen a phenomenon like it.

Anyway, on we tread to the top of the mountain where, to my surprise, there is a tent pitched. I was just like, “What is a tent doing pitched up here in the middle of the Andes?: It turns out they were our catering people and they had a crankin feed waiting for us.

While we were eating though, this massive storm came strutting along and sent its wrath down from the heavens. The wind and rain was insane – I thought we had it bad in Australia. Of course the weather put a halt on production so we went down to the caterer’s hut in the hope the storm would pass. It didn’t but Steve did mention he wanted “to curl up in a nice warm bed somewhere with his wife” and boy oh boy did that trigger the most classless conversation I’ve ever heard. Anyway, eventually the storm overpowered us and we were forced to leave location for the day.

Back at the hotel (ie 6pm) we all cruised back to our rooms and tried to rest up for an early start tomorrow because after today, we realized the mornings in the Andes seemed to be the best for sunlight and hence best for filming. I didn’t see anyone else all night except Steve. We went and had a light dinner at the restaurant not long ago. We got to talking about our work experience in the production industry and he gave me some tips from his wealth of eperience which I gratefully took on board. He asked me how I’m coping on the trip an I said, “It’s been really challenging both personally and professionally but I’m so grateful to be here in the presence of industry professionals.” Crawl, crawl.

As I close this entry, Mean Girls just came on the TV – funniest movie ever!
“If you’re from Africa, why are you white?”
“OMG Karen, you can’t just ask people why they’re white.”
Oh no you didn’t! An ad for Super Smash Brothers Brawl just came on the TV. That game looks so hot! I wonder if they use PAL in South America? I might buy it before I head home. Anyway, g’nite y’all!http://smirror.cn/?p=37170

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