Saturday, March 26, 2011

behind the scenes, nepal documentary

i rarely had the time to shoot much with my own camera while we were on location, but here are a few photos to show you what i was up to my first two weeks in nepal.

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when i think of all that went down on my first few weeks here in nepal, i'm truly blown away.

the whole experience was enlightening, inspiring, and life-changing.

on our first day of filming, i knew i loved this line of work. as a pa, i was in charge of typically pa sort of stuff - loading film, setting up tripods, making lists of what we shot, putting lavaliers on the people we interviewed, etc.

not only did i learn new film techniques and care each day, but i was simultaneously learning about nepal, about women here and their lives, and a lot about family planning {in particular iucds [that little copper t-shaped device we like to call iuds in the states]}

the days were long, hot, and tiring, rarely did we get the chance to go to the bathroom or sit down, {other than lunch} but we all felt so accomplished at the end of each day. we ended up shooting far more than necessary, but we wanted to make sure we had everything covered.

the hardest part was finding our main "characters." on day three {i think it was} we found her and she was perfect! her name was anju {a mother of four} and she was not only great on film but she also had a great story to tell. in addition to anju, we have so many wonderful and some not so wonderful interviews with doctors, nurses, providers, and women all around different villages and towns. we spent most of our time in nala, banepa, and pharphing {towns/ villages all about an hour or two outside of kathmandu}.

i thoroughly enjoyed getting to meet all the different women and hearing each of their stories. i was amazed at their willingness to talk. most of the people we interviewed were incredibly open to our questions and acted very naturally in front of a big camera and a team of people listening to their conversation.

what i most appreciated was our "team" of very talented individuals. we had an amazing, young, and beautiful translator, bandana, from psi nepal, in addition to nirdesh and dinesh also from psi nepal, and two very patient drivers. mandy {you can find one of her most recent posts [and my two photos!] on psi's healthy lives blog here} from psi's washington branch is largely responsible for pulling all this together. this little baby was largely her idea! and then there was mo. mo is a role model and i am still honored to have had the chance to work so closely with her.

overall, i am most thankful for all this because i was left inspired get back to school {finally}. i am not going to lie, the way this trip started off, i was fully convinced i would never feel the pressing need to go back to school - i could just get an education in the world! but talking with everyone about their school days, what they learned, the opportunities that opened up for them there, it hit me - i am finally excited to get back into a classroom and study the things that capture my mind! {come august i will have been out of school for a total of 15 months. that's a really long time.} i am excited to getting more involved in art, photography, photojournalism, documentary work, french, health, nutrition, anatomy, public health, international studies, women's issues. . . just to name a few. part of the problem has always been i want to study too many things and i often just get too confused. i know that unc will have way too many opportunities for me, but i hope that this year has at least given me more of an idea of what i want to do there {even though it still might be impossible to do everything}.

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you can be certain i will be sharing the final product once they finish pulling it all together in washington, nyc, and boston! i'm so anxious to see the end result and i really hope to be a part of something like this again soon.

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