This week we had an unexpected visit from a lovely team of film makers.
Actually here to film the underground world of Angolan metal and rock music (!) they were keen to find out more about the landmines problem in Angola. Always happy to bang the drum and raise the profile of the threat of landmines here, we set up a day filming in one of our minefields.
When they announced their arrival dates my initial thoughts were that their timing couldn’t have been worse. Each month my deminers work for 3 weeks then take a week break, 3 weeks on, 1 week off. Typically our new movie maker friends were due to arrive the week we weren’t working.
So what do they film?
Not to be defeated by this mere ‘logistical challenge’ we plucked a few of our hardy deminers and their supervisors out of their monthly tools cleaning session and set up an exact replica minefield (sans landmines!) in our training ground.
To be perfectly honest I think both myself and the film crew actually preferred it in the end.
I didn’t have to spend the entire day worrying about them crossing our marking sticks into dangerous ground all in the name of a good shot and they didn’t have to try to get the perfect shot whilst sweating in our heavy body armour!
It was facinating watching the cameraman work…we always struggle to demining look, well, interesting! I mean its really just a man on his knees with some gardening tools digging holes in the ground, admittedly rather dangerous ground.
Photos never do demining justice; the look of concentration in our deminers faces as they work away or the sheer length of time it takes to clear just 1 metre forward. Neither do you get the sounds of the minefield – the click click click of the detector battery, the gently spoken words of advice from the supervisors, the squeak of the detector when it identifies a metal signal.
The film crew will hopefully capture all which makes our working enviornment surely one of the most unique in the world.
The deminers worked so hard, bless them, and by the end of the day they were positively relishing the attention – I swear they were actually ‘performing’ for the cameras by the time we filmed the last few shots of the day!
It also got me out of the office and reminded me that two days really never are the same out here!
It was a long hot day but the producer seemed happy. I’m hoping we’ll get a look at the finished film before too long. I can’t wait to show my deminers them in their starring roles.
. Eat your heart out Hollywood!