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In Rwanda

I only have a few moments: I’m on a cell data connection, routed through Windows onto my Mac… and it’s way past my bedtime.

We’ve made it to Rwanda, along with all of our gear. Day One started with a bang: rather than a planned easy shooting schedule to ease us into a new system and time-zone, a key interview with our main character, Nicholas, had to take place today because of scheduling issues. Though rain kept us from part of our day, we were able to get some great material with him at the Wellspring Academy and in the Village of Hope.

We’ve run into several issues with our hot-off-the-press RED camera. On-camera audio is giving us trouble, as is one of the cards that the footage is recorded to. Despite the hangups, I’m extremely proud of Lyn & Jesse and what we’ve accomplished together: hot off a plane, we’ve wrestled an unfamiliar, untested gaggle of gear into an elegant image system. And it shoots incredible images. Here’s a sample frame, shot up the hill from the compound where we’re staying. This is a compressed single-frame JPEG, but even then, take a look at the incredible detail and the beautifully smooth tones… and then imagine them in motion on a very large screen.

Rwanda 2008: First RED Shot

Everyone else has been out for a few hours already, so I need to sign off. We’re gathering in the AM to plan out our next two weeks. Tomorrow should be more relaxed… if all goes well I will post some pictures and more info on what we’re doing here.

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On our way

Some last minute Fedex mishaps notwithstanding, Lyn & Jesse boarded a plane and are on their way from San Francisco. I’m waiting for a cab to take me to Aberdeen airport and on to Heathrow, where I’ll meet up with them and fly on to Nairobi and Kigali.

The journey begins! I’ll be keeping regular updates here and on the film’s website, hoperisesfilm.com.

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The Eagle RED has Landed

RED One

After almost two years of anticipation, Jesse’s RED One camera (#184 off the production line) arrived via delivery truck a few minutes ago. They got the address wrong, let the ship dates slip, and bent a few promises, but we have a camera to shoot with. A last minute plea by Jesse to the RED Camera Company founder, Jim Jannard, saved the day. It couldn’t be any tighter – Jesse & Lyn leave in less than 24 hours for the long trek to Rwanda.

It’s a big risk, taking delivery of a new camera system hours before our most important trip. In the end I hope the stress and risk pay off. This camera provides us with astounding capability for our doc, the equivalent of an 11-megapixel Digital SLR, shooting in RAW mode at up to 60 frames per second. With it we’ll be able to capture the dynamic beauty of Rwanda like never before. It’s hard not to be hyperbolic – this camera has broken open a level of imagery only accessible in 35mm film stock to little films like ours. Beautiful images for a beautiful story…

We do have a backup camera in-country already. Hopefully it will sit on the shelf while the RED gets a workout. I can’t wait to see what it can do in person!

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Boarding…

I’m in the new YVR international terminal, waiting to board a flight to Heathrow. Besides my trip to Texas (Texas counts as another continent) this will be my longest trip off the North American rock. Six weeks, five countries, ten flights, and two major assignments (plus a little side-jaunt with some friends).

It’s been a complex setup… prep, planning and logistics have been more difficult than any other trip. But I’m looking forward to two challenging projects. I’ve been doing a fair amount of pre-work on both projects, exercising my new-found story knowledge.

I’ll be attempting to keep a regular log on the blog… stay posted.

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Just a little bit easier

Some patterns have emerged from visitor stats, so I’ve made a few adjustments to aid in finding content:

  1. The top-left navigation now includes a link to the blog as well as the home page. You can also access the blog directly at trevormeier.com/posts/
  2. The top-right menu now includes a link to an index page, listing the most recent posts and quick links to search and archives.
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Website Redesign Progress

If you’re knocking around here at all, you’ll be seeing a slow evolution. Over the past few days I’ve fixed most of the bugs and completed most of the features. I’ve created a new landing page and updated the navigation & comments… hopefully creating a site that is simple, elegant, and usable.

For those who are a little nosy, a few Easter eggs are waiting (if you have a little patience). There will be more changes over the next few weeks. If you notice anything amiss, feel free to contact me.

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Trevor is back in Vancouver

4400 more kilometres on my trusty Jeep Cherokee. One unexpected sidetrack. Eighteen hours of driving in a single stretch. Three days absorbing transition with friends. And now, I’m back in Vancouver.

I love the cold.