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Travel Show “Working Title”

Hosts of the show sitting under the moonlight at Jungle Beach in Vietnam.

It is quickly approaching one month on the road for the crew of the new travel show “Where to Next”. I was contracted as the director of photography (camera man) for the pilot episodes of the show. The shows premise is real travel geared towards baby boomers and we hope to create a more in depth experience for viewers. Instead of one episode highlighting a few spots in a country – we hope to shoot as many as 4 or 5 episodes per country, getting lost, finding our way, meeting extraordinary people and really getting into the culture.

Vietnam is our first country and in a couple days we will be crossing into Cambodia for a short 10 day stint. The pilot episodes will hopefully get us the interest we are looking for and we hope to take this show around the world. The hosts of the show, Ted McNamee and Henry and Deborah Kamphuis (executive producers) – are Canadians in their 50’s. Ted and Deborah are brother and sister and Henry is Deborah’s husband. The dynamics between them while traveling will help give the show a narrative and drive the adventure. It is a journey for them as well as myself, not just of geographical proportions, but of cultural, and spiritual ones as well.

Stay tuned for more info and of course, the pilot episodes!!

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Great work by Sofia Verzbolovskis

My friend and photographer Sofia Verzbolovskis featured here on www.artistswanted.org

I have seen her work growing in vision for a while now and I am always impressed by her new work. There is something unique about it that I cant even describe – it really is her eye. She is almost completely in harmony between her observer and what we see in the frame.

http://www.artistswanted.org/sofiaverzbolovkis

A New Home

I arrived in Humboldt County last night around 6pm, after maybe one of the most enchanting and exciting drives of my life.

I am here staying with my cousin Ted preparing for our trip to Vietnam and Cambodia for 5 weeks. We are setting out to film a few pilot episodes for our new Travel Show to be produced by Henry and Debbie Kamphuis and my host here in Humboldt, Ted McNamee.

We are so excited to set out, and I will be hopefully posting many posts during our preparations here un in northern California, equipment tests and pre-production planing. Maybe even from the road to show our progress.

On the drive in, we passed through several Redwood forests and groves and winding our way through them I was just speechless at the power I felt from this place. I may be staying around, or coming back often in the next couple of years to explore this land and its people. And of course the Giant Redwood.

Looking back, good luck Guatemala.

This entry is rather late, but not unintentionally.

The feature film production of “Los Nadie”, written by Cristian Beltran, has cancelled all progress forward. It is a truly sad thing for myself and Cristian who have worked very hard to bring the initial efforts as far along as we did under the circumstances. The fact of the matter is that in Peten, Guatemala it is not safe.

Several events transpired to lead us to the decision to pull the plug on the entire production. The team has been informed and understand our decision.

The situation in northern Guatemala is an imaginable one, it s actually quite familiar to the world. Drug cartels have swarmed into the low populated lands to take advantage of minimal surveillance and ultimately set up base there. The people are caught in the middle of this and the government of Guatemala does nothing. I will not criticize more than that, I have no real facts to point fingers, but only repetitive first hand accounts from the local people.

Guatemala is not a democracy right now, but no one knows this. It is what I like to call a mock democracy, using all the nice flashy banners of the system, but ignoring its fundamental core – its people. Like many Latin countries, a residue of Spanish Colonialist Religious brainwashing has left a huge portion of people impotent to the true power they hold. Without the understanding of that power, they have none, and the gutless, heartless governments that claim to work for them, use them almost like they did 400 years ago.

It is unacceptable, and I hope that people who travel to Guatemala manage to see past the pathetically laid out tourist trails filled with delicious Gallo beer, “Mayan” culture and colors and see the real Guatemala that is crying for justice.

There is much more I could say on this subject – I hope it is clear why I can’t.

It will always be against the laws of man to kill other men, but when the possession and sale of drugs becomes the same, it creates a willingness to defend against consequences through murder. I hope that the US government never again says that the legality of narcotics will NOT have an effect on drug related violence. They should be ashamed. It is their suburban American dream that creates the impetus for the heavy demand for these drugs and now that there are rarely parents at home to raise the new generations, the values have disappeared. I wonder if they can’t see any parallels in other failed societies before ours.

I would like to dedicate this entry to David Salguero, a great man, a man of values, who fought for his home.
He was murdered in late October in Peten Guatemala.

In Memory of David Salguero

FOR MORE INFO ON DAVID VISIT: http://acofop.blogspot.com/2010/11/asesinan-lider-comunitario-por.html

Visit to Tikal

I will have some photos posted later – and a short write up. But for now, here is a video I threw together of some footage I shot in the morning at Tikal.

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