Teamwork was key to our time in the Marquesas.
While I was mostly finding people to talk to, like Nicolas Haiti and his son Naura inside their coconut oven in Taipivai, Nuku Hiva, Eric Guth (photographer) and Matt Mastrantuono (filmmaker) were never far away.
I’ll admit it: I don’t like drones. From beeping and buzzing to pulling focus from personal interactions, I think they’re a nuisance. On the other hand, I’m no photographer, and the team convinced me to give it a shot. This one proved glitchy, but you can’t argue with a bird’s eye view. Eric’s patience paid off.
Matt is used to working with a crew, so on this assignment he pushed himself everyday to do it all. He was our director and director of photography (Okay, he was the whole film crew). I held the umbrella.
Because I was the only person on our team who spoke French, I became very quick at simultaneous translation, often pausing to catch Matt and Eric up on what was going or speaking quietly to them in English while someone else spoke to me in French.
Language was a challenge during taped interviews, because we needed clean audio, not a mumbled simultaneous translation, but Matt could usually tell from the energy when we were getting to the good stuff.
Music is, of course, its own language and one that is easily shared across cultures. Dominique helped me learn a song in the local language, which took forever and resulted in many frustrated facial expressions. But I got it in the end!
Matt became expert at unconventional camera angles, and sometimes all of this teamwork really tired us out.