Philmon Filming

 Philmon Taylor - Workshop Participant, Environmental Attacker,  Quadcopter Rescuer, With  Nuin-Tara. His town, Ashton, in the background.

Philmon Taylor - Workshop Participant, Environmental Attacker, Quadcopter Rescuer, With Nuin-Tara. His town, Ashton, in the background.

I never did a course in film or videos before, so this workshop gave me a foundation, so now I know what direction I need to go to further my film skills. Because of the training one of my goals now is to be a cinematographer, I never knew about that word before the workshop.
— Philmon Taylor, Workshop Participant

50% of OPOE held their first low-cost film workshop this week on beautiful Union Island.

The other half contracted a nasty virus.  Read the full story below.

 Romero Gomes holding his Union Island community map.

Romero Gomes holding his Union Island community map.

 The Gunya Robot Effect - Thanks Radio Grenadines

The Gunya Robot Effect - Thanks Radio Grenadines

This was a week of ups and downs, comings and goings.  2 of our group fell ill with Chikungunya, an infection caused by a mosquito born virus.  Annie was the first to get it, then Shale.  Symptoms include, rash, fever, arthritis like pain and swelling in the joints, and the coup de gras - the feeling of one's bones being misaligned and broken.  It also causes one to have to move bent-over, stiff and shuffling, much like a robot.  (See picture, left.)

Annie spent most of the week in bed (she is currently recovering nicely, thank goodness) and Shale contracted it the day before he had to return to the US, which meant he had to travel home with the above list of symptoms.  It was sad to see Shale go.  He was a great travel companion, writer, and audio guy.  He will be missed.  


 
 Shale and virus prepare to depart to the US

Shale and virus prepare to depart to the US

 
 
 Shale and Nuin-Tara bank into a turn heading back to St. Vincent

Shale and Nuin-Tara bank into a turn heading back to St. Vincent

 

We were told that since Annie is infected, if she is bitten by a mosquito, Nuin-Tara and I are at risk to get the Chikungunya if bitten by the same mosquito.  So for the remainder of the week, Nuin-Tara and I have been sleeping like mummies, to avoid Annie's infected mosquitoes.

 Annie's Chicken Rash

Annie's Chicken Rash

 Nuin-Tara- & Tom (Top to bottom)

Nuin-Tara- & Tom (Top to bottom)

 Nuin-Tara, mummied up, under the covers, hiding from Annie's chicken mosquitoes.

Nuin-Tara, mummied up, under the covers, hiding from Annie's chicken mosquitoes.


Film Workshops

Despite these setbacks, the workshop was a great success.  We had 12 engaged and excited participants and covered a range of topics, including: storyboarding, mic techniques, audio, b-roll, directing, editing, how to engage a range of audiences, and a lot of in-the-field-filming.  

Originally, OPOE was slated to host their first workshop on St. Vincent, but we ran into trouble logistically and had to cancel. Luckily, Stanton Gomes, a Union Island local, member of the Environmental Attackers, and founder of Radio Grenadines, was able to secure us a space, find participants, and handle logistics overnight.  A huge thanks to Radio Grenadines (check out their great article about our workshop) and to Stanton for making this workshop happen.

Driving around today, Philmon told me, "The skills we learned in the workshop will not go to waste."  He is already thinking of starting a film club, and Stanton is talking about a narrative film called, Drift, about 2 guys stuck on a boat in the middle of nowhere. I'm kinda of jealous of their film club. I need to find something like that at home. 

Last week, I was feeling like we should stay in Union longer. This week, with the workshops coming together at the last minute, we were able to extend our stay. Now, on Saturday, I feel like we should stay longer still. There is a remarkable, vibrant, independent community here in Union - proud of their history, culture, and ability to fend for themselves - far away from the politically opposed mainland.

This afternoon, Philmon, Nuin-Tara and I, hiked up to a bluff overlooking Chatham beach for a last chance to get some decent aerial shots of Union. The wind was gusting strongly, and on my first flight, I almost lost the Quadcopter over the trees, 400 meters below. Philmon scrambled down the steep slope to retrieve it, and it ended up landing safely between some trees. Despite this shaky first flight and the harsh winds and short flight times, we ended up with the best aerial footage of the trip.

We almost didn't go filming this afternoon, and we almost didn't come to Union Island at all. I guess it goes to show that the best things can come at any time.   

 Nuin-Tara & Philmon Taylor on a bluff - Quadcopter buzzing overhead

Nuin-Tara & Philmon Taylor on a bluff - Quadcopter buzzing overhead

 
 Looking over the salt pond into Ashton.  - Quadcopter still

Looking over the salt pond into Ashton.  - Quadcopter still

 

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