Good News, Bad News – The price of truth

This morning I received good news and bad news. The good news is that the footage of illegal mining that I have been trying to get from a Peruvian television station will be made available to me. The news segment was an exclusive report which covered the raid and closure of a gold mining

amazon nation
Madre de Dios River, Peru

operation on the Madre de Dios River. I had tried to get my own footage of that region but there are new (they spring up overnight) illegal mines all over the area and it is extemely dangerous. (It’s especially for a blond haired blue eyed girl like me! I stick out like a sore thumb in the jungle) So after weeks of email exchange in badly translated spanish, I have been given the rights to use the footage. The bad news… it’s $500 per minute and the special is 10:56 long.

So, here I am again, asking for more money. I need this footage! It shows the devastation and corruption that I was not able to capture myself. I could describe the activity but it just wouldn’t have the same impact that the images do.  You know the saying, a picture is worth a thousand words? Well in this case, the video is worth $5,500.

I’m almost finished filming this documentary. I have a few more interviews to capture here in Lima and then I return to Canada where I will start post production. I never budgeted for stock footage when I considered the costs for production, but this expense is still a small price to pay for the value of the video. Also, it contains an interview with the head of the ministry of mining and I have been unable to secure an interview with him. It’s too dangerous to ask questions of some people. Did you see my reports on activists being killed? So please share this update and donate to this film if you can. You can email transfer directly to me which means I get 100% of the funds, (GoFundMe takes a percentage for admin and operating costs)
Thanks to everyone for supporting me on this incredible journey. I can’t wait to show you the results of my investigations. Peruvian Heartache is an important film that demonstrates how crucial it is that we protect our culture, traditions and our planet.
Gracias!
— excerpt from email replyamerica
“Por políticas del canal nosotros tenemos unas tarifas establecidas para este tipo de solicitudes.

Para documentales, nuestros costos son los siguientes :
– $ 100.00 + IGV (el minuto, imágenes no exclusivas)
– $ 500.00 + IGV (el minuto cuando son imágenes exclusivas)

Se tiene que realizar un convenio con nuestra área legal y abonar en nuestras cuentas antes de entregar el material limpio.”

— And subsequent follow-upamerica
“Buenas noches, solo para informarles que el material que están solicitando pertenece al programa “Domingo al día”, la nota lo realizo el reportero Libero Belotti, fue emitido el 15 de noviembre del 2015 como exclusivo y tiene una duración de 10 min. 56 segs.

Saludos. “

Day 14 – Expanding the team

Everyone knows that filmmaking is a collaborative process. When a film is really good, it’s usually because each of the team members gave it a part of themselves. The combined whole is always greater than the sum of it’s parts.

Also consider the fact that each of us is unique. We have different backgrounds, cultures, religions, experiences that have shaped who we are. Our style and tastes are greatly influenced by each of those factors. When a group of people come together to collaborate on a film production each person has something unique to contribute. Not only that but, each person comes from a different perspective and position… something that I never would have considered may be blaringly obvious to someone else.

There’s both magic and mystery when it all falls together. The trick is to build a cohesive team that unites for the benefit of the project. Each person must believe in the message you are trying to convey, much like a parent who hovers over their children… if it doesn’t add to the content, it doesn’t belong.

When I started out on this journey I had the love and blessings of some friends and family. I was a crazy person on a mission to share a story that I thought was important. But something wonderful happened along my way… I met people who felt the same way I did. People who had an opinion and a voice and who wanted to shout from the rooftops with me.

I spent a lot of time focusing and visualizing what I wanted to accomplish but never once was I alone in that picture. I was surrounded by talented, creative and passionate people.

Today I rejoice in the fact that our team is growing. Yieber was the first person to step up and join this journey, then Carolina and now more are tossing their hats in the ring.

I’d also like to acknowledge the people who have contributed financially or through sharing this effort. Filmmaking is a labor of love and the more the merrier.

Peruvian Heartache is pounding stronger each day. The beat goes on…

Day One Filming – Totorayoc, Peru

highland and valley women

Today we will head into the highlands to a small town of traditional weavers (tejedores de la vida – Weavers of Life) where we will learn about their process for creating beautiful fabrics and artwork.

Traditional bags take weeks to produce for each one. The Quechan name is Ch’uspas (sounds like juice pass)

We will also speak with local porters who must suppliment their incomes by carrying goods for tourists along the Incan trails.

Porters with tourists

Finalizing our Filming Schedule

Hello from Cusco, PeruHola from Cusco!

Yieber and I spent most of the day yesterday trying to sort out the many details of our film before our first day of shooting on November 2nd. It was a long but productive day and in the end we managed to squeeze, 11 main locations into the next 2 months of filming. We´re going to have many challenges…

  1. Lack of power to charge batteries for camera and sound equipment
  2. We have to carry everything on our backs
  3. Remote locations that can only be reached by 4×4, boat, walking or flight
  4. Language barriers, (well… Yieber speaks all three languages, English, Spanish & Quechan, but I will have absolutely no idea what our interview subjects will  be saying)
  5. Unlimited topics to cover… there are so many people, places and subjects we want to include!
  6. Limited time in each location
  7. Limited hard disk space
  8. Limited funds!

We´re up for the challenge though and we invite you to come along for the ride (or trek in many cases)

We´d love to hear your input and feedback on this project so please comment and share this blog with your friends and family. If you don´t hear from us for a few days it´s because we´re off the beaten path and have no access to internet.

Adios Amigos!