Time: Saturday, January 31, 2009, 15:22 IST
Location: Somewhere over the Bay of Bengal
I was supposed to write a statement of intent for this documentary while winging my way from Perth to Colombo. Unfortunately, that went out the window about the same time as I got less than an hour’s sleep on the red-eye from Perth to Singapore last night, so instead I’ll write a possibly incoherent blog post.
Sorry, Keith. Can we count this towards my assessment anyway?
So, to back up a step or two, let me explain why I’m currently en route to the subcontinent for those who aren’t already in the know. As part of my Graduate Certificate in Film and Video, I’ve been offered and accepted the opportunity to tag along with an ECU study tour and make a documentary about the experience as an Independent Study project. Needless to say, I’m rather excited about this — effectively, I get to spend two and a half weeks travelling around India (which I’ve wanted to do anyway for ages) and get course credit in the process.
Exactly what the documentary is going to be about is still a somewhat open question. I have some ideas — one in particular that I’d like to pursue — but it will really depend on what actually takes place on the tour. Certainly, had I made a documentary about the Shanghai trip I went on a little over a year ago, that would have turned out completely differently to any preconceived ideas I might have had.
It’s fair to say that my preparation and pre-production processes have been a bit limited. (Horrifyingly disorganised is probably a more honest, less euphemistic way of putting it.) It was basically only by the good graces of Keith on his first day back at ECU yesterday after taking leave that I managed to loan gear from the university, for which I’m extremely grateful. In effect, half of my luggage is taken up by filming equipment — and that’s without having brought any lights!
The travelling itself so far has been interesting. I decided very early on when working out the travel arrangements (travel to and from India was a problem for the individual students rather than the uni due to budgetary constraints and — I suspect — the fact that the uni didn’t want to have to deal with people like me who don’t just do things as a straight return trip from Perth) that I wanted to have a couple of days somewhere before India to unwind, get over the longer flights, test equipment, and so on.
It came down to a choice between Colombo and Kathmandu, and Colombo turned out to be a lot cheaper.
As a result, very early this morning (1:15, to be exact) I got to hop on a Jetstar flight from Perth to Singapore. I was hoping to get some sleep, but as I’ve already mentioned, it didn’t really work out that way. I had everything I needed (even an exit row seat, courtesy of a friendly check-in agent), but the combination of uncomfortable seating and screaming babies just wasn’t conducive to sleep.
I got to spend the morning wandering around Singapore in a sleep-deprived haze. I ended up walking several kilometres (probably at least 10, without having done the maths with a map yet) and that actually woke me up reasonably well. I also managed to get the critical thing that I forgot to pick up on my way out the door yesterday: the Lonely Planet for Sri Lanka!
(Side note: if anyone wants, say, two copies of the Sri Lanka Lonely Planet in a few weeks, get in touch.)
Still, my day has picked up remarkably after the early midnight horror flight. Upon checking in for the Sri Lankan Airlines flight to Colombo, I managed to wangle an exit row seat, with a nod and a wink from the check-in agent that I might end up doing a bit better than that.
Actually, I did a lot better. First class, baby! Not bad, considering I’ve never flown above regular economy before in a rather large number of flights.
Talk about helping one’s mood.
Looking ahead: tonight I’m going to try not to fall asleep too early (I have five mini DV tapes to stripe, and I need to get at least a couple of them done before hitting Delhi), then
see the sights of Colombo test the camera equipment tomorrow. I’ll have another crack at the statement of intent tomorrow, too. (I might even consider shaving, although lord knows the scruffy look’s worked for me so far on this trip.)
That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. Oh, more champagne? Don’t mind if I do…