An Interview with the Director, Part 1

An Interview with the Director, Part 1

What was the most dangerous situation during the production?

The most dangerous situation during the shoot happened one evening while we were at the small community of Carate. Carate is located at the end of the dirt road that leads to Corcovado National Park on the pacific side of the Peninsula. In good driving conditions this road takes about 45 minutes to an hour to complete in one direction even in a 4-wheel drive vehicle. The road also has 5 rivers crossing which most of the time are really not more than streams. However, when it starts to rain hard these streams can become raging rivers due to flash floods and become impassible. So we were at Carate getting a sunset shot of the jungle and beach when the clouds started to roll in heavy. The wind picked up and it started to sprinkle. We finished the shot and ran to the car. As soon as we shut the doors and fired up the engine all hell broke loose.

The heavens opened up and the wind really started howling. We knew we needed to hurry if we were going to make it back home before the rivers became impassable. Elliott (Cameraman) was driving I was in shotgun and Sarah (Line Producer) was in the back with the Go Pro filming. The visibility had gotten so terrible that Elliott had to focus his vision close in front of the vehicle so I became the spotter. I would yell out to Elliott warning him of up coming obstacles. The first crossing was close so not much of an issue. By the time we had gotten to the second crossing the river had already begun to swell. We made it across with surprising ease and continued our race back to Puerto Jimenez. When we approached the 3rd river we hesitated. The water had risen substantially and was moving quite fast. It was one of those moments where you seriously question your life choices. We decided to go for it. Elliott dropped the vehicle into 4-low and slammed on the gas. The trick to navigating a river crossing is point the front of your vehicle slightly upstream and don’t stop. Elliott navigated the crossing like an expert. We were stoked that we made it through and had high hopes for getting back safely. On the hill climb directly after the crossing an object came into view. A tree had fallen across the road blocking our path.  We quickly jumped out of the car and ran to the fallen over tree. Elliott and I tried to drag the tree off the road but couldn’t. Though the tree was relatively small it was saturated with water. Since we had no tools we decided to try and rip tree limbs off until we could lift the tree and drag it off to the side of the road. The limbs, being saturated with water, proved to be easier than originally thought. We ripped of the branches off the trunk of the tree and with the 3 of us we were able to drag the trunk off to the side. We got back in the truck and continued on our way. We continued our race to the next river crossing. We were worried about the next crossing because the river crossing is at the bottom of a narrow ravine. However, the crossing proved to be quite easy, as the rain that was so violent earlier had lessened. We managed to get ahead of the storm. The rest of the trip back to the apartment was smooth sailing and we were relieved to get back.

Austin Andrews

Director