Uganda (the lost pearl of Africa)
The “lost” pearl of Africa. Western Uganda is one of the most fascinating and ecologically diverse places in all Africa. Less well known than Tanzania and Kenya as a travel destination for Westerners – but all the better for it. Film your own observational documentary in and around the Queen Elizabeth National Park without crowds of tourists cluttering your lens. Choose from a list of fully researched stories or find your own on arrival. But hurry!
Contact us for more details.
Uganda Itinerary – scheduled for March 2014
• Hands-on in-the-field tuition and mentorship from two highly-experienced documentary filmmakers, Sean Cousins and Rocco Fasano who will be there to support you every step of the way - drawing on their hundreds of broadcast hours experience to make your film as good as it can be – using the latest technology.
• Chartered flight to the door of out high-quality accomodation. This will be our base for the duration of our stay; full board included.
• Western Uganda is a very safe and secure destination but we are lucky to have an Australian Medical Doctor with remote medical experience travelling with us to Uganda, carrying a comprehensive medical kit. You can feel at ease if Africa seems intimidating.
• Uganda is blessed with great weather all year around. Right on the equator – temperatures vary very little throughout the year. But May is arguably one of the best times to visit Western Uganda – it’s a time of ‘short rain’, with occasional thunderstorms dramatically filling then clearing the skies – allowing spectacular views of the Western Rift Valley, which can be a little hazy at other times.
• Part of the profit from this expedition will go towards the Uganda Conservation Foundation who do great work protecting endangered species.
• The experience kicks off with a catered seminar in Melbourne (approximately a month before departure) where you can workshop your own ideas, or select the story you want to tell from a list of intriguing observational film subjects – pre-researched by Sean Cousins.
(the list of suggested stories can be seen at the bottom of this page)
• At the seminar we’ll help you get your head around the high quality, camera and sound equipment that we provide for your use during your time in Uganda. But if you aren’t accustomed to using pro-gear don’t worry, Rocco Fasano, a lighting-cameraman and cinematography lecturer, will be there with you in the field to help solve technical and creative dilemmas, should they arise. And as a bonus you can also get great photographic tips from Rocco for your digital stills work.
• At the seminar there’s also a medical and safety briefing, and you’ll receive your movement orders (just like a professional film crew).
• The trip begins in Entebbe – the main airport in Uganda. But we can arrange flights from your closest airport through our travel partner No Roads Expeditions (a licensed Travel Agent and member of the Travel Compensation Fund – so you can book with confidence).
• The first night in Uganda will be spent at a quality hotel close to Entebbe airport.
• The following morning we all board a specially chartered flight from Entebbe that takes us right to the door of the lodge.
• During the nearly ten days spent in Western Uganda you’ll be staying in a top quality lodge, WITH FULL BOARD INCLUDED. The lodge is very well managed and ideally situated inside one of the world’s most highly regarded National Parks with stunning views and access to stories of all kinds right outside your window.
• We are comprehensively insured, with coverage under the Travel Compensation Fund , but we recommend you purchase your own travel insurance.
• Whether you fancy yourself as a David Attenborough, a Nick Broomfield or a Gen-Y self-shooter we can help you realise your filmic dream to a standard that will fill you with pride and satisfaction.
• The "crew" is limited to just 12 people – so act now to secure your place!
The price for this once-in-a-lifetime all-inclusive filming experience is just $9,500 – if you wish to use your own equipment a lower fee can be negotiated.
NOTE: To have your place guaranteed there is a short interview process.
If you wish to have the complete filmmaking experience, including the entire post-production path - working with a professional film editor - we can arrange that too.
What's included in the post-production component:
• Upon return to Australia, you’ll have two full weeks in a state-of-the-art edit suite with a professional film editor – as well as supervision and added direction, should you wish it, from Filmmaker Abroad founder, Sean Cousins.
• A professional sound-mix, and access to a massive library of music to enhance your vision, and ensure a broadcast standard product.
• A colour grade, Tech check and Quality Assurance plus digital mastering of your finished film.
• But best of all you also get a distribution deal with a major Australian distributor who will work to find a market for your film, and raw footage, giving you the chance to recoup costs from the trip.
• Uploading of your film to a dedicated online channel for your friends and loved ones to enjoy your work upon completion.
• Automatic enrolment in the Annual Filmmaker Abroad online Film Festival – which carries a cash prize.
The cost for the post-production and distribution of your film is $5000
In short, for a fraction of the cost of attempting to make your own film from scratch - in as little as four weeks - you’ll have a short documentary that you’ll be proud of, that you can use as a showreel to kick start your career - or even just wow your friends with your creative prowess.
• ‘Sara’ is the only woman in Hamukungu village to own her own fishing boat, a female pioneer in a male dominated profession.
• Every day ‘Tomas’ rides his bicycle across the valley floor hoping to avoid hyenas, lions and rogue elephants. On his bike he carries 70 kgs of bananas balanced on the bars in one direction – smoked fish on the return journey. It’s a tough and dangerous life, but it’s all the life he’s known.
• Visiting Hamukungu village can be like glimpsing like in medieval times. The village is surrounded by pit-kilns in which fish are smoked each day. The air is thick with smoke and the smell of the fish as they cook.
• Tag along with the Predator Project, an intrepid team of researchers who radio collar lions in the park to monitor their movements.
• Join the rangers who are tracking chimpanzees inside a densely treed valley in QENP.
• Famously QENP is home to the tree-climbing lion of Ishasa - perhaps the most exotic of the 95 species of mammals, and 500 bird species who live in the vast park.
• Katwe has been a salt mining village since pre-historic times. Salt mining on the shore of Lake Katwe has been the sole occupation for many Katwe families for generations. Join a family for a week and learn the rhythm of life as a salt miner in the 21st century.
• In a mud hut just outside the park lives a traditional instrument maker who supplies the local musicians with their wood and skin instruments. He raises the cows, tans the hides, carves the wood and of course plays the many varieties of instruments himself, just as his father did and his father before him.
“Tell me, I forget.
Show me, I remember.
Involve me, I understand.”