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STORIES: Alena Palad On the Set of "Bijay"

It is past 1 a.m. when we arrive in Nepal to shoot the movie“Bijay” (translated as “Victory”). I am part of the production team. The next morning, we go directly to the office of Promise Media (the Nepalese media ministry we are working with) to check on all the equipment and prepare for the training in the coming week. Our first day of training starts with a general assembly of the cast and crew. Everybody is introduced and the actors do a full read-through of the script. In the afternoon, the actors stay with the director and the acting coach for a workshop. These actors had auditioned with and were selected by our director and our acting coach, together with the trainees in directing, only the week before. While the actors work with the director and acting coach, the technical team is divided into different departments for hands-on training. We spend three days teaching our Nepalese counterparts in sound, lighting and camera work, and another two days practicing full set-ups with the actors and all technical departments, allowing the Nepalese to apply their new knowledge before we actually start to shooting. It is our second week, we travel to the “mountains” (which the Nepalese called “hills”) for almost four hours, over rough roads, until we reach our location in the village of Chitlang. We started shooting the film. Shooting a movie can be quite challenging and stressful at times. The week of shooting, the Philippine team take the lead in the technical departments while the Nepalese observe and help Then, gradually the Nepalese team take over more and more of the responsibility, and by the end of the shoot they are doing all the work. The entire production was a long continuous training for the locals. They observed and learned correct procedures and how to deal with problems that arise during a shoot. ALENA PALAD works as an audio recordist and sound editor for Asia Pacific Media Ministries at the regional studio in Manila, Philippines. For the complete story go to page 8 of the January/February issue of Mission magazine.

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