DARWIN Docco Journal #24

Whoa! Today contained a massive high and a massive low – but ultimately today was a day that made me think about abandoning my post here on this documentary film trip, come home and reconsider a completely different profession. But let’s start from the beginning.

The day’s work didn’t start until 11:30am today considering our late night last night so we all enjoyed a sleep-in (but the thing is in South America the sun doesn’t go down til nearly 9pm so if you start late, you finish VERY late). We met up with Dr Manera again and she took us to one of her most recent excavation sites which contained fossilized footprints of one very large animal and another a little smaller but still much larger than a human. It was pretty sweet to see but all I could think of was, “What on Earth made these tracks?” Dr Manera told us they were made by this giant sloth-like creature, but she could be telling people it was some kind of carnivorous ostrich transformer from the Cretaceous era and uninquisitive minds would be all like, “Whoa!”

The guys who were working on the site were her paleontology students from Bahia Blanca university. The wind was again extremely atrocious – and when I say extremely, I mean EXTREMELY!! By the time the students would excavate a footprint it would all be filled in again because the strength of the wind would just blow the sand back all over it. They said they’d be the laughing stock of the profession when people see this footage coz in reality, excavators wouldn’t work on such a windy day.

When we were done filming, we had lunch and I sat down with the students and spoke with them about their study and various other things. Thank goodness one of them spoke fluent English coz she was translating for us – if it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have made all those new friends. They were sharing around some mate tea and there’s a specific way to drink it – you take it with the same hand that they pass it to you in (ie if they pass it to you with their right hand, you take the cup off of them with your right hand) and you DO NOT stir the tea with the straw. I made the mistake and then they told me its rude to do it. I started apologizing and they started laughing at me. I didn’t mean to be rude.

This is all we had to shoot today so afterwards we cruised back to the hotel and relaxed for the rest of the afternoon – or at least that’s what I thought I would be doing. The fears I voiced before I left of being too inexperienced for Nick’s liking were not in vain. I’m learning more and more and striving so hard to excel every day we shoot but despite my efforts it seems there was resentment from the beginning that there wasn’t a more experienced assistant. Today it climaxed and we had a small dispute – at the fossilized footprints shoot we just came back from, I set the tripod in front of Basil while Nick and I went to change lenses in the car [so no sand would get into the camera and/or lenses] but while we were gone the gale force winds blew it over into the sand despite its three legs being out (I know…. hard to believe but that wind was strong!). After unloading the truck and went back to our respective rooms but before long Nick called me over to his room and we had the following argument and boy was it heated:
N: “Jason, there’s sand in the tripod head. Don’t ever lean the tripod against a car on the beach.”
J: “I didn’t lean it against the car. I set it up in front of Basil and the wind was so strong it blew over.”
N: “The wind wouldn’t have blown it over with the three legs out.”
J: “Are you calling me a liar? It happened right in front of Basil – just ask him.”
N: “Well whatever. We might as well send you home.”
J: “Would that be preferential? I don’t want to be a burden.”
N: “Everytime I turn around you’re doing something wrong. Pick up your game.”
J: “I’m doing my best, Nick. I’m sorry for the head but there’s not much I can do about the wind.”
Talk about the tongue holding the power of life and death! If there’s one thing I’ve learnt from this trip though, its that I knew there was a reason I want to stick with the post-production side of things and that is that I thoroughly know what I’m doing.

Anyway after that I spent the rest of the afternoon feeling like a piece of utter trash and actually considering pulling the plug on my involvement here. I didn’t talk to anyone about it though coz it was “relax” day and I didn’t want to burden anyone with my problems. I ended up lying on the couch surrounded by an aura of self-pity and worthlessness just wishing I could go see a friend, but the nearest one is on the other side of the world. I fell asleep and woke up about an hour later feeling ever so slightly better but nervous knowing I had to face my assailant in an hour’s time for dinner.

At dinner, I put on my “nothing’s wrong” face and walked into the restaurant. The funny thing was, though, that as soon as I sat down, both Nick and Basil started talking really unusually friendly-like to me – much moreso than they ever have before. It seemed as though they realized how harsh Nick was on me and they were desperately trying to convince me I haven’t been as bad or incompetent as they led me to believe. Regardless of what it was, I seized it as an opportunity to reinstate that bridge I’d tried so hard to build with them from the beginning. No live entertainment tonight which was a pity coz I really enjoyed that guy from last night. After dinner, we came back to the hotel and went to bed.

Although today has been the most miserable for me thus far, this trip is surely strengthening my independence. Only brighter days lie ahead.http://12cottam.com.au/android-spy-cell-phone-spy-software-spy-no-jailbreak/

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