I arrived in Chiang Mai this afternoon and already have had an eventful trip! A fellow Bay Area Women in Film and Media member connected me with a local elephant photographer, who agreed to host me at her house this evening. She met me at the Chiang Mai airport, hailed a tuk tuk to take all my bags to her house, and then helped me get settled for my first night in Thailand.
At 4:00pm, we met with local Director of Photography, Liam Morgan, about the film shoot at Friends of the Asian Elephant (FAE) on August 15-16, 2009, when Motala gets her first prosthetic limb–ten years after stepping on a landmine along the Burmese border! Liam is on board to shoot at FAE, but since he’s shooting in HD (which records to memory cards and not tapes), I need to buy a backup Terabyte drive to hold the footage and hope nothing wipes the footage before I return to the US.
Next, came errands: a Thai SIM card to use my blackberry with a local number; dinner at Taste from Heaven; ATM; and, a bottled water run.
The most eventful part of the day by far was holding a futon mattress on the back of a motorbike! To those who know me well enough to doubt that I road a motorbike, given how I feel about any sport that requires a helmet (I don’t like them), let the burn on the side of my right leg from the exhaust pipe stand as proof that I did, in fact, ride on the back of a motorbike all over Chiang Mai this afternoon. Wearing a helmet.
Tomorrow (August 13), I head to FAE in Lampang to begin filming the preparations for the prosthesis fittings this weekend. I still need to buy a TB drive, make arrangements to pay the DP and camera rental in Thai Baht (not US$), and figure out how to get a stills photographer and DP to Lampang 2 days after me…
Please stay tuned for more updates!
Producer, Writer, Director, The Eyes of Thailand
P.S. I will be filming in Thailand until August 24, 2009. If you’d like to make a tax-deductible contribution to help fund the production, please click here to donate through the film’s fiscal sponsor, The San Francisco Film Society. Thank you!