Friday, 10 September 2010

New York and New Orleans

Now home.
A busy three weeks in America.
I've finished on bears and this trip was somewhat different. First stop was New York to film two stories for Human Planets urban
programme. Bee keepers on top of Skyscrapers and Rat Catchers
in Manhattans less salubrious restaurants.

It was a full on week. The days spent up high getting stung and the nights down low trying not to get bitten.
We visited a wonderful, surprising market where our bee keepers sold their wares and everything on sale came from the city. There where stunning veggies, flowers, pickles and preserves.

We were lucky enough to visit one vast roof top of 50,000 m2 that was one huge allotment ( well it was really a field in the sky). I did a crane shot starting on a fellow pulling up carrots and then start to move as a wheel barrow trundles past, slowly rising to reveal the Manhattan skyline behind us and the streets down below. quite fun.

Our rat catchers were great characters. We couldn't get into the restaurants until they shut at oneish, then we sneaked in with torches. QUITE QUITE disgusting. NEVER eat Chinese in New York. We were all unable to eat for a good 48 hrs after this.

Then onto New Orleans.

This was a one hr special with Stephen Fry and Mark Carwadine looking at the oil slick off the Louisiana coast.
5 star hotel and blueberries for breakfast! my kind of shoot.

Stephen and Mark were charming. Due to Stephens schedule we had a really tight timetable to get our film. we had to try and get ten minutes of broadcast television every day.....tricky.
It was fascinating to see the vast slick BP pr machine in action. and the story defiantly isn't one sided. I went thinking BP was the bad guy, but realised we're the ones that demand the oil and they just provide it. A very complicated problem with the solution being fairly unpalatable for almost all of us.

I do know I had a lot of fun and laughs on air boats, speed boats, helicopters, green peace boats, BP boats and fishing boats.
We also nearly got sucked up by a water spout ( well not that nearly!)
New Orleans is amazing, when you get away from the tourist street its little lanes of wonderful architecture, great food, stunning music and dancing. doesn't feel like America at all.

All in all a full on, challenging three weeks, but fascinating and fun.

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