Thursday, 28 March 2013
Saturday, 26 January 2013
A hard night's sleep compounded by some dodgy food from the night before meant I was not in the best frame of mind for any filming.
I was shooting a documentary about a man's search for buried WWII spitfires by Rangoon airport in Burma for Room 608, a production company from New York.
Important to the story, were the smells, sounds and colour of this truly wonderful country.
We rocked up at a buddhist monastery on the outskirts of Yangon. Wearily I bagan filming the monks praying in the temple. It was humid and sticky.
After a quick breakfast offered to us by the monks, I excused myself to go and have a look around.
I found myself in behind the monastery in the monks quarters.
With one hand filming with my C300 and the other on my Canon 5D taking pictures, it didn't take long before the beauty of what I was capturing seemed to charge my adrenalin and wake me up from my slumber.
It had been a while since I had been this excited about filming in such an incredible setting. The monks, nervous at first, soon opened up and thrived on the attention they were getting, seeing their pictures in the camera they glowed like excited children.
The soft colours and and the beautiful light which evoked a Caravaggio painting, inspired another angle, another shot, another pose.
I was so busy taking photos and in only a short amount of time to take them in, that I left not having learnt any of their stories. A real shame.
Having travelled quite extensively around the planet, people always ask me what my favourite country is and it is a question I have always found quite hard to answer.
With the increasing homogenisation on our planet, the rise of tourism and monetizing from a country's cultural identity, there are very few places I would want to visit again but what I can say for certain is I really hope to return back to Burma once more and explore the rest of its incredible landscape and have the fortune to capture the beauty of the people before they too succumb to lure of a Starbucks coffee.
Sunday, 16 December 2012
Would David help her get the parts and restore the car in time for the Hemingway colloquium which is going to be held in Havana at the end of June 2013.
David was taken aback, mostly because he hasn't a clue about restoring cars and secondly with the embargo by the USA in place, exporting anything into Cuba was going to be a nightmare.
For some strange reason he agreed and set himself up with an almost impossible challenge of restoring his literary hero's car to its original glory.
In a run down old lean-to, David Soul inspects the 1955 Chrysler New Yorker
Once in London, I met up with David and he put across the idea of a documentary about the progress of the restoration of Hemingway's long lost Chrysler "New Yorker" Deluxe and using that as a metaphor to tell the story of the changes that Cuba is currently going through.
Filming David driving a rented Chevy on the famous Malecon
With a bit of old fashioned gung-ho spirit we at Red Earth Studio decided to partner up with David's Kindling Productions to produce some TV magic.
Filming out of the back of our crew van
So together with Director and Producer Greg Atkins, Exec Producer Ces Terranova and Cuban travel expert Christopher P Baker, we headed out to Cuba to shoot a taster.
The documentary is filmed on a Canon C300. Despite the complicated ergonomics in the design of the camera, the pictures have turned out beautifully and I can't wait for the finished product.
All pictures ©Cristopher P Baker and exclusive to Practical Classics
please contact me for licensing.
Cuban Soul Promo
Thursday, 23 August 2012
Situated an hours boat ride from Semporna surrounded by an amazing coral reef, the Bajau are a nomadic seafaring people, living off the sea by subsistence fishing. Discriminated against by the Malay, they live close to the shore of a small uninhabited island in houses erected on stilts.
It was so difficult to put the camera down, I was constantly filming and taking pictures, wherever I turned there was an amazing picture to be had.
The Bajau would zip around on their little canoes, their feet gripping to the edge of the boat, almost like hands, as they paddled their way from one hut to the other. The children would stare at us in amazement, the little ones crying in terror, while the older ones would show off by diving in the sea to collect clams.
They are remarkable swimmers and can hold their breath for an extremely long time.
The young women were hauntingly beautiful, their faces covered in a sunscreen made from crushed leaves mixed with water and tapioca.
Their diet consisted of a very small fish, which they would dry out on the decks of their huts under the hot blazing sun.
I fee so privileged to have experienced meeting and seeing these people.
All photographs ©AdamDocker
Saturday, 17 March 2012
Some footage from our feature documentary "Columbus. Oil Rigs and American Dreams" that unfortunately made the cutting room floor. We had filmed some great stuff with Bob a truck driver hauling water in the oil fields, that it was a shame to see it go to waste.
Its a fascinating insight into someone's life working far from home in the oil fields up in the forgotten prairies of North Dakota.
"Columbus. Oil Rigs and American Dreams" will broadcast on Channel 4 and or Film 4 sometime this summer. It will also TX in Denmark and Norway at some point this year.
Saturday, 18 February 2012
My first front cover of a magazine.
Friday, 17 February 2012
Saturday, 1 October 2011
This is the TX Card for the US screening.
Friday, 22 April 2011
We met Ian Douglas Hamilton founder of Save the Elephant foundation who have been working tirelessly protecting these amazing animals in Samburu National Park.
He took us out to go and see the carcass of Resilience, a matriarch shot by poachers 3 weeks before our visit. She managed to escape them and stumbled around the bush for two weeks.
She was eventually found lying on the ground in convulsions and it was decided the kindest thing to do was put her out of her misery with a gunshot. The poachers never managed to get her tusks which in a twisted way makes her killing even more pointless.
A young boy herding camels in the scorching dry bush of Samburu National Park
The evening of our second day in Samburu and as we relaxed chatting away to Sir Ian and his staff a message came over the radio that an elephant had been shot. It was too dangerous for any of us to go as it was dark. The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) were informed and early the next morning they sent a patrol.
We hopped in the truck with them and headed deep into the bush. It didn't take long until we found the mutilated body of "Hope" a 40 year old matriarch. She was riddled with AK47 bullets and her two front tusks had been hacked off with a machete.
David, the head ranger, asked the local tribes if they had seen anything and they all said the same thing, Somali poachers. They had probably come over the border at dusk and headed back in the middle of the night and by early morning the tusks were ready for shipment to China.
Hope leaves behind two small calfs who ran off into the bush during the attack. Luckily since then we heard that they have attached themselves to another group and fingers crossed they will survive.
Blood Ivory Smugglers Trailer from Red Earth Studio on Vimeo.
This is a scene that never made it into the show as the director of KWS refused to sign the release form for the soldiers, despite allowing us full access to film them. Politics.
The KWS allowed us to spend a couple of days with them as they went about their operations.
Thursday, 21 April 2011
What happens to a dying town when it discovers oil? Welcome to Columbus, North Dakota, a tiny prairie town with a shrinking population in the low 100’s.
This is a story that was brought to us (Red Earth Studio) by Kelly Neal. An American living in Glasgow at the time, she had directed a short film in Columbus back in 2007 about ice fishing called "How to save a fish from drowning", (winner of a Scottish BAFTA).
When we saw the stunning landscape and fascinating characters we all came to the conclusion that there was a bigger story to be told.
Filming started in June 2010 and we have been back and forth five times over the last year. The production is self financed and therefore the field crew has been small, just myself and Kelly. It is filmed on a Sony HDXDCAM700.
At present we are at the rough cut edit stage and have just signed a contract with Channel4 and More4. YLE (Finland) and DRK (denmark) are also going to put pen to paper in the next few days and we are waiting on a few more European channels to come on board and most importantly a US broadcaster.
It is Exec Produced by Mark Wild, Producers are Ces Terranova, Julien Mignonac and Myself (Adam Docker), Production Manager is Joanna Ford. I am also the DOP and Kelly Neal is the Director.
A once booming community, these days Columbus’ liveliest parties are funeral processions. Columbus’ youth and small-hold farmers have fled to the bright city lights of Fargo. This has resulted in a quiet disappearance, a withering away of the landscape until all that is left are vast swaths of lonely countryside peppered with abandoned farms and ghosts of the past. This is about to change. In the next 6 months the sleepy little town’s residents will have their lives turned upside down in a modern day gold rush, in this case black gold.
Sitting atop the Bakken formation, Columbus’ elderly residents are unwittingly the owners of part of the biggest oil find in the lower 48. Drilling has just begun, bringing with it a steady stream of out-of-state oil workers and a chance for wealth beyond their wildest dreams. Columbus is about to get a new lease on life.
Meet Wiley Post. A wise-cracking, sly old dog with a limp and a ready-grin, Wiley is the voice that guides us through the story of Columbus. At 76 years old Wiley was born and raised in Columbus. He’s seen it through its good days and now through the bad. A grumpy old man with humour in his heart, he reveals much of the information that drives the story ahead.
He leads us through a tour of the town, limping his way along the barren Main Street that’s awash in memories for him. We learn of the town’s former glory, its population of over 800 people and the hustle and bustle of abundant local businesses. But as Wiley says, “that’s all gone now. We got 1 café and 1 bar. And by God I never thought I’d be mowing grass on the sidewalks of Columbus North Dakota. But that’s what I’m doing.”
Filming started in Summer 2010 and we return every 3 to 5 months.
Kelly Neal Director
Winters in North Dakota are harsh. It was a new experience for me and for my trusty Sony HDXDCAM 700.
Average temperatures were around -20c so I decided to take a jacket and heat packs for the camera but it was cumbersome. It meant unzipping to set it on the tripod and a hassle to change discs and to film on the shoulder, the access for the hands wasn't easy and I couldn't get good maneuverability with it on, so off it went. We drove everywhere, even from our rented accommodation to the cafe which was about 50 metres and the engine was always left running to keep it warm. Shooting outside was so cold that we limited it to around ten to fifteen minutes max. Nostril hairs and the cables on the camera would freeze. The 700 was robust and trusty as ever and we didn't have one single problem arise from the extreme conditions.
Oil & Water from Adam Docker on Vimeo.