The Adventure of Getting There

The MacGillivray Freeman production team is now gathering here in Sorong, Indonesia in preparation for nearly 8 weeks of IMAX® filmmaking.  We’re making a film about the reefs of the South Pacific, which are some of the most pristine in the world. 

We have weeks of adventure ahead of us.  In fact, a sense of adventure has already been manifest for many of us who flew into Jakarta day before yesterday.  I could see that Jakarta was flooded as our jet aircraft approached for landing. Hundreds of homes and businesses could be seen isolated within many square miles of muddy water.  The catastrophe was all over CNN news.  And it was still raining.

Our landing was uneventful, but the rain picked up late that night as we checked in for the 1am flight to Sorong, Raja Ampat.  By the time we got to the gate for boarding, the rain was coming down in full tropical deluge.  Wind was driving sheets of water horizontally, and explosive lightning was accompanied by crashing thunder creating a blinding cacophony that was almost constant.  No one wanted to climb aboard an airplane in these conditions.  Fortunately, those intimidated by nature’s fury included the pilots. No one complained about the flight delay.  Eventually, the dark clouds passed and we finally boarded the plane in light rain for an uneventful flight to Sorong.

Today we sorted out all the gear as truck-loads of freight came in from the airport.  Nearly 5 tons of production equipment filled the small warehouse where we temporarily stored hundreds of shipping crates and boxes.  Producers Mark Krenzien and Neal Allen have done an amazing job organizing the logistics for this massive undertaking.  And despite formidable challenges everything seems to be coming together.

Underwater cameraman Peter Kragh and I moved our personal dive gear and the IMAX Mark II camera equipment down to the M/V Pindito this afternoon.  All our stuff is now on board and tomorrow we will prep for shooting.  On Monday, Peter, Michele Hall, Sam Abeger and I will initiate diving operations from Pindito while director Greg MacGillivray and the topside production team begins shooting above water stories around the Raja Ampat Dive Lodge.  DJ Roller and his crew will be diving nearby from a second boat.  The adventure is about to move underwater and I can’t wait to begin diving.

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