Over the past 3 days, John has been meeting with many key contacts in Phnom Penh. Thanks to his hard work and continued approval by the local communities here, we will be traveling to the Battambang province of Cambodia to interview Mr. Lucky (also referred to as Am), a man who has lost the same leg seven times to stepping on landmines in his backyard. We will also be filming at many important and sensitive sites throughout the Phnom Penh area that will be discussed at a later time.
Today, Jose and I woke up and got ready at 5am. We were met outside of our guest house by Haeng and Lo – two moto drivers that we befriended after our full day trip to the temples together. They sped us over to the main temple and we set up for a time lapse shot, filming for roughly one hour of the sun rising. It was beautiful. Although there were thousands of people, most of them with cameras fighting for shots, we were able to find a remote area and captured the sunrise over Angkor Wat.
After capturing some other poetic shots as the sun continued to glow with that orange radiance it has in the early morning hours, we pushed on and saw 7 temples. It was a packed day. Thanks to Haeng and Lo we were able to see everything in time and have roughly 60 minutes of footage of just the temples. There are many wonderful images to choose from when it comes time to editing.
On the way to one of the temples, we encountered two very interesting areas. The first was a bridge, as we neared it we noticed that there were hundreds of butterflies flying around only over the bridge area. However, once we got onto the actual bridge and waded our way through we realized that the butterflies were actually small beautiful dragonflies. We attempted to take several pictures, but it seems that they just don’t turn up. In the picture below, I was trying to have one land on my hand. Also, on the path to the temple, there were four men playing native Cambodian instruments. As we got closer we realized that all of the men had been affected by landmines in some way. It resonated with us, especially seeing that despite their disabilities, they put themselves in a very public space to play music. One man, in the left of frame, was blind and had no arms. He sang occasionally.
Another area of the temples that was especially interesting was Ta Prohm, a specific site of temples that has extremely large and beautiful trees growing within, on top off, or around the ruins. I highly suggest visiting Ta Prohm if you’re ever in the area, it is difficult to see all the temples without several days of touring, so make this place one of your first stops. Lucky for us we had Jose capturing nature’s poetry.
Production has been going very well for us so far. We are pleased with how the crew is working together and with the footage we have captured thus far. We are excited to cut something together for you to see! We want to thank Cinebags again for their donation, if it wasn’t for them days like today wouldn’t be possible. We were able to fit everything we needed for a full day of production into this lightweight, portable backpack. Also, thank you again to Cinvate who’s brevis35 is helping shape the visual strength of our film, and thank you to all of you reading this and who have taken interest in our film. For those of you who are frequent bloggers, we will be out of Siem Reap for the next week and unable to access internet, so we’ll get an update for you as soon as possible. Best wishes and until next time!