Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Corcavado Tent Camp

Amanda standing out side of our hommie little tent.

Well we've been in our third location for a few days now and it's definitely a change of pace. We're staying at a tent camp on the Osa peninsula. This means of course that we're sleeping in tents... in the jungle... with no breeze or any form of circulating air. All of our power is pulled from a generator. We have no power in the tents so by 7:00pm we're all on flashlight power. There are communal showers and bathrooms that are a small hike from where we sleep which makes it impossible to stay clean. Even after you get out of the shower, you walk down a sandy path back to your tent with no draft so by the time you get to your tent you're once again sweaty and sandy. Then you sweat more while you sleep. We also have no real access to laundry here so needless to say, my tent smells like foot. This place would be awesome to come camping, but its a terrible place to try and shoot a television show. Equipment is molding and getting sand in it's joints. It's really a pain in the ass.

Ok I'm done complaining now. This is by far the most beautiful place we have been to yet. The Osa is one of the most biologically diverse places in the world. The other day on the boats we came across a pod of about 500 dolphins. It was incredible. When spinners jump out of the water they spin--hence the name-- up to 5 or 6 times before they land back in the water. The footage we got is unbelievable. Often the dolphins were close enough to almost touch. They were swimming and cresting right in front of the boat. We go out and swim in the waves almost every evening. The waves can get up to about 10 feet over your head when you're swimming. It's a lot of fun. A few people have gotten scraped up by being slammed into the beach but never bad enough to quit doing it. Scarlet Macaws fly freely and live in the trees around us. White faced monkeys climb around the camp at their leisure. Overall it's a pretty sweet place. Working here is tough so I'm glad we're only here for two weeks, but It's been an awesome first few days. And any discomfort here will only make the air conditioning back in the U.S. more welcoming.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Bye Zancudo

Well today is our last day in Zancudo. This also means it may be my last day with internet for two weeks. We're packing everything up today and loading a truck with gear, and then tomorrow morning we're getting on a bus and driving out to the Pacific coast of the Osa peninsula where we'll be staying in tents for 2 weeks. We're down to the final 4 contestants so now things start to get interesting. I'll update next time i have internet.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

the roads, and more

I’ve heard of towns so small that they only have one stoplight. Here in Playa Zancudo there are no stoplights. There are no stop signs. There are none of these because in Playa Zancudo there is only one road. It’s an unnamed dirt road that’s covered with more rocks than dirt. Pot holes are large and frequent enough to keep you on your toes while driving. In America we drive on the right side of the road. The law is the same in Costa Rica but in Playa Zancudo, as I imagine with many other small towns, you drive wherever the smoothest section of road is. It’s always to the far outside of the road and when traveling south the smoothest path is as far left as you can get. If another car is driving North you kindly move back to the right side of the road until the dust cloud settles.
There are only a few hundred locals here, both ticos and gringos alike—A tico is what one from Costa Rica is called, a gringo is white foreigner. We’ve met many of them at our at our favorite bar or by stopping in at local restaurants and sodas. We’ve been here for almost a month now and have made quite a name for ourselves. The whole island knows we are here and pretty much everyone likes us. The community is thrilled to have the economic boost. Thirty of us are eating/drinking/renting and buying souvenirs. On th 21st we pack up all of our gear and leave the beach for our third location. We’ll be taking both bus and boats to the Pacific side of the Osa Peninsula. By that time only four contestants will remain. I think some of the crew are getting a little homesick. Even I am looking forward to being back in the states. Amanda and I will be in country for almost another month—two weeks to finish principal photography and two weeks of the B-roll trip, and come mid-April I’ll be able to go back to my normal life.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Our Day Off

Well as expected no one wanted to get on the water on our day off. And Marcos didn't want to have to pay $350 or more to fish, so instead its a relaxing day at the homestead. A few people rented surfboards and there were some boggie boards at the house as well, so I waited until the sun was past its prime and ventured out into sun and surf. I started out on a short board with a broken leash. (it had been abandoned by everyone else because you had to go chase it into shore every time you fell off) I could ride the waves on my stomach and push up to about my knees but couldn't quite stand on it. It was a pretty short board which makes it not very stable, and not quite ideal for a beginner. Once someone gave up the only longboard we had I grabbed that and started paddling out to the breakers. On my first wave I rode it in and stood up, riding it all the way to shore. It's not the most graceful thing in the world but after about an hour I was able to ride and even turn a little bit in the water. I hope we get some more time off for more practice. Plus Amanda wasn't able to come out because she was working on her documentary. If she doesn't get to try it down here we'll definitely try to work it out when we get out to LA. Amanda's doc is the last thing she has to do for college. She officially graduates college on March 16th or something like that. So she's fine tuning everything and going to be sending it off to the states for her professor to review, and in a few weeks Amanda will be a college graduate. We'll try to have some fun tonight because tomorrow it's back to work, and Saterday starts another 2 days of fishing. And after this weekend we send another two contestants home.

sun sun sun

Battling the sun is a constant task. This close to the equator, the sun is in a different class than what I'm used to. Amanda pokes fun at my daily "bath" in sunscreen, but for me it's necessary. On fishing days we're on the water from 6 in the morning till 3 or 4 in the afternoon with verry little shade on the boats. On these days I wear rafting shoes for grip in the boat to help me keep my balance, long pants that zip off at the knees, but I rarely ever zip them off. I wear a long sleeve fishing shirt with built in SPF. I wear fingerless gloves so I can still operate my camera but the backs of my hands are covered. I wear a wide brimmed hat and polarized sun glasses to protect my eyes. All thats left, my ankles, wrists, neck, nose and cheeks are basted with spf45. I think I'm the only crew member who has not been burned to the point of peeling. Two cameramen have had to take a day off due to bad burns. Amanda got sun poisoning on her chest. Just a little rim where the neckline of her shirt sagged a bit where she hadn't used any sunscreen. My cloths are hot, but the discomfort is welcomed if it will keep me from burning. My nose and cheeks are getting a bit red but overall I've winning the fight. Tomorrow is another fishing day. I have a soundman on my boat now, so time passes much faster with someone to talk to. Today, my boat was the top boat. My two fishermen boated seven sailfish. After tomorrow's fishing and another day of intro/outro's we will have our first complete day off. Marcos and I are talking about chartering a boat to get to do some fishing ourselves. It would be great to not have to worry about any work, and try to catch some big fish of our own. We've certainly had all the lessons we need. The boat is a little over $700 for the day. If we could find a third the cost wouldn't be too bad. I'm worried we won't be able to find another taker though. most people don't want to get onto a boat after 2 days on the water. Not to mention we're back on the waiter again saturday and sunday. Whether we go fishing to not, everyone is looking forward to the day off.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Hey i have photos up now. Just some. I'll try to keep it updated, and whenever i do I'll post it again here. check it out!

On to our next location

This is just after take-off from Tortuguero. Sadly i don't have any pics of the landing in Gulfito.

Two contestants have gone home so far. We all look forward to eliminations now as the fewer the contestants the fewer people we have to cover. It allows an off day for a camera opp with sun poisoning; It allows twenty minutes for a camera/sound team to rest during the day. On top of that equipment has been lost. A camera went down with water damage, a contestant dropped the mic into the toilet which killed that. The fewer of them the better we can cover everything going on and eventually we may not have to work seven day weeks. The flight from Tortuguero into Gulfito was a fun one. The plane fit five people if one sat in the co-pilots seat. I got to ride up front. We flew around 6,000 to 10,000 feet so I got to see a lot of the country as we flew from the north-east coast to the south-west in the bay of the Osa Peninsula. Flying over the pacific coast was unreal. I forgot to take pictures because i was so distracted by the post-card beauty. It looked fake. Upon landing in Gulfito we had lunch at a small restaurant and then took a boat across the bay to Playa Zancudo. We're fishing out of the Zancudo Lodge but cast and crew have beeen scattered around all along the beach. The cast just moved into their permenant location which is a beautiful beach house that sleeps all ten of them. The house is a few miles down the road which we all appreciate. Any separation is wonderful. Tomorrow will mark two more days of fishing followed by filming the intro/outro to the episode and by the end of the weekend two more contestants will be heading home. All the crew is eagerly awaiting.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

journal entries to date.

OK so its now 20 min since my last post i'm told i have about 2 hours of down time so i'll try to get up some photos and journal posts, starting with:

We flew into San Jose almost a week ago. On the 26th we arrived at our first location. All though we've only been here for 5 days it seems like much much longer. Our equipment has been held up for 3 days now. So the crew has been prepping as much as we can without our gear, but for the most part its been paid vaction; We're starting to go stir crazy. With all luck the equipment will arrive on Friday which is the day i'm suposed ot be flying back to San Jose to film the arrival of the cast members. This may be pushed back though depending on equipment. The crew has gotten along very well. Yesterdaqy we cleared an area of beach and dug a pit for a bon fire. I, the boyscout, was put in charge of fire building and maitenance. The night was a ton of fun, which an excelent bonfire, if i may say so myself. Today marked our first day of fishing. No one Caught Anything. We were just fishing off the shore though. Fishing has been slow all week for paying customers but today was the breaking of the dry streak. A woman landed a 120 pound tarpon this afternoon.
The country is wonderful I have seen monkeys and parrots and macaws and crocodiles and iguanna. My spanish is coming along very slowly but my friend Marcos is patient with me. Amanda and I have been asked to come along for an additional 2 weeks to shoot B-roll for the show. This will be nature photography mostly. We'll drive all over the countries and hike active volcanoes and fun stuff. 4 of the 16 person crew will be on this trip. a producer, the director of photography, myself as a cameraman and amanda will be running sound. I'm looking forward ot this the most. It will be my strongest artistic influence in the show. Tomorrow is another day of wasted time. We'll wake up for breakfast, which is always wonderful, then we kill time 9-12 then its lunch. then we kill time till 5:30 when its snacks and drinks at the bar, followed by a 6:30 diner. then its back to the bar, all the while waiting to get to work.

Yesterday Adam, Marcos and I finally made it back up to Tortugerro to help pick up the gear and intercept the contestants, film their lunch and boat ride down to our first location. We sat at the airstrp for about 6 hours before we were told that the gear would not be coming in. What would have been an hour and a half long boat trip back to base became a much more tretourous journey by the pitch black of the jungle. Captain Speedy did an unbelievable job piloting us through the shallow river bed. The boats have no lights so we speed along at 35mph racing the setting sun. Soon the water was as black as the sky, with the cover of the jungle we couldn't even see reflections on the water. We made it back towards the end of the diner hour and heard the contestants were still behind us. They arrived around 8:00 but were seperated from us as much as possible. we will have our formal introductions this morning. When the equipment arrives we'll inventory all 4,000 pounds of it in more than 70 cases. Then Adam, marcos and I will go with the contestants to re-stage their boat trip, then it's lighting the lodge, shooting the contestants arrival. By the end of tonight I should say it's finally nice to get started working. Nine days after we arrived at our first location, we can finally begin prepping the shoot.

There are no roads where we are. Our guids know every turn and twist, ever bank and bar of the Rio Colorado anbd it's tributaries. It's a maze to me; i think i'd be lost with a map and compass. Today was the first day on the water with the contestants it's our second 20 hour day in a row. but we should be off at 10pm tonight and we don't call until 11:00am tomorrow. We all look forward to a long night of sleep.

hey i'm still alive!!!!!! and now have internet!!!!!

I'm still Alive. I've had no internet acces until today, and i should have it cclose to daily for the next month now. I've been keeping a journal on good old fashion paper. I'll start updating my blog with those so you can keep updated with what i've been up to. also i'll try to get some picks up when i have more time. everythign is amazing. this country is beautiful. our equipment arrived at our first location about 8 days late so we had a week paid vacation pretty much, although after that we started working double time. many 17 or 18 hour days. I just flew in the co-piolots seat cross country. having a blast, being told i need ot get to the dock right now. more equipment commign in. not writing complete sentances... i'll keep ya updated asap.


Friday, January 25, 2008

Almost there.

Well it's 5:37am. We're getting on a bus at 6:15 to get to the airport. The first few days of this have been great! The crew is wonderful, It turns out that I've previously known most of the members, or at least known of, and everyone I'm meeting is great. Its a hard working crew too. We spent three days prepping equipment in Linconton, GA and everything is finally loaded up (all 2 tons of gear!!!). By this afternoon I will be in the beautiful--and much warmer--country of Costa Rica. We may be going a few days without internet, so I'll post back when we happen to have it...

And off we go.

Monday, January 21, 2008

baby's first blog

Hello Family and Friends,

Well here it is my very first blog. It's currently 2:00am I need to be on the road to Linconton, GA in about 12 or 13 hours to meet with the crew of The Catch: Costa Rica. Amanda and I have been packing up our houses all day long and taking car loads over to my old house (where my old roommate Tom still lives, now by his lonesome). Tom has been very gracious as to let us store all of our stuff for the low low price of whats left of my fridge and very tiny liquor cabinet. With the help of our friends Josterday and Riggs (who together are known as Josteriggs) and their big van we moved most of our furniture. With Tom's truck on loan we'll be making our last few car loads in the morning. Then making last minute errands at the bank, post office, DMV, drugstore optometrist, and comcast, before we head off for our adventure.

Amanda will have her laptop with her in CR as she will be working on a video project of her own, so I will have occasional internet access to update this blog with stories and pictures. in the mean time check out to see a promo of the season. you can also see my and Amanda's photos on that website by clicking on the "company" link and then the "associates" link from there. I'll be thinking of everyone as we begin our adventure. thanks for all the thoughts and prayers.