Left to Right: Suzanne Roland, Patty Coogan, Anne Snowball, Soraida Salwala, Dr. Kay, Dr. Preecha, Jodi Frediani, director/producer Windy Borman.

Today I completed the 5-day film shoot at the Friends of the Asian Elephant (FAE) Elephant Hospital. It has been an emotional week and I decided to wrap  the day interviewing Soriada Salwala (FAE’s founder) and Dr. Preecha.

The quest of a documentary film shoot is to be at the right place at the right time to record the events as they happen in real time. Some of it is based on intuition, the rest is luck. U.S. daytime talk show host/extraordinaire Oprah Winfrey says, Luck is 90% Preparation and 10% Opportunity. However you define Luck, I definitely had some of it today. For example, when I interviewed Dr. Preecha, Mosha’s pen was behind him and Motala was off to his right.  When he said, “The main goal for an elephant’s prosthesis is not walking, but taking some of the weight off of the elephant’s other three legs” and then began to explain the difference between Mosha’s and Motala’s prostheses, Mosha, as if on cue and wearing her prosthesis, walked into the background of the shot and stopped when she was perfectly framed.

Next, after Soraida visited Boonmee–who is doing much better, by the way, but still not in the clear–she walked to the foreground of the frame to wash her hands.  With water and soap suds running down her hands she looked at me behind the camera and said, We need to remove these landmines from the ground. As she launched into the cowardice of countries who spend more money on weapons than landmine removal, Boonmee turned and limped toward Soraida also stopping within her frame so she wouldn’t miss a word Soraida said.

Intuition. Luck. Preparation. Opportunity. However you slice it, it was pretty cool to be in the creative groove to film these moments today–and it was a great way to wrap the shoot.

Tomorrow I’m off to Laos for the Youth Leaders Forum for the Cluster Munitions Convention. Next time I write, I’ll be in Vientiane!


Windy Borman

Director/Producer, The Eyes of Thailand