Well…that was unusual.

POWER OF PLAY SHOOT: DAY 5 Incredible last day in the village. We had quite a few new directors (the kids) around making sure we framed the shots correctly and the exposure was set properly. The village kids kept saying “Not another rack focus!” and “You going to have to do some serious stabilization in post.”  Very impressive. But the most pertinent part of today was when we introduced the One World Play Project’s futbol into the equation.  I won’t give too many details about what happened so as not to spoil the film, but it was not what I expected at all and endlessly fascinating.  Also, words will not do it justice. There were politics. There was confusion. Maybe some anxiousness.  But then the most miraculous thing happened.  Play happened.   It was quite incredible to watch.  The transformative power of play right before my eyes. Heard about it, read about it, but never saw it. Until today. We had all four cameras rolling all day long getting footage. I really hope we captured it. I think we did. So that’s a wrap and off to editing.  Thanks so much to our partner in Myanmar Tim Mitzman and the whole Bridge team for lending him to us.  As the saying goes, “I let Rec have the head of my agency for three days and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.” p.s. We could do an entirely different documentary on the flash flood we got stuck in after midnight on the way back from the village. Let’s just say I got out of the car to walk into a river that used to be a street to measure...

We Arrive in the Village

POWER OF PLAY SHOOT: DAY 4 Finally found an internet connection. In Myanmar, it helps to get up REALLY early in the morning if you want speeds faster than dial up. We’re really do take connectivity for granted, but considering that open internet access wasn’t even allowed a few short years ago, I’m not complaining. Day one of the shoot is in the can and I couldn’t be more pleased. We travelled to a remote village in central Myanmar along the banks of the Irrawaddy river. Since, the village gets very few outside visitors, it was the perfect place to study and establish a baseline. We spent the day talking to 5 amazing kids who (once they got beyond “the circus is in town” effect of having a film crew show up at their door) had some really incredible and insightful things to say to us about what they do for fun as well as some of the frustrations they have about living in a rather harsh environment and its effect on their fun. We saw creativity and ingenuity everywhere as the kids trotted out some pretty remarkable homemade toys. We learned about the differences in how the boys played and how the girls played and the hierarchical system that determined who got to do what. So now that the baseline is established, today we are going to introduce the balls into the dynamic and see what happens. It’s back in the van for the long trek to the village to begin day 2 of the village shoot. Can’t wait to see what happens. PS:  If it doesn’t look like it’s really hot and there...

Saw Min Maw vs. DHL and Myanmar Customs

POWER OF PLAY SHOOT: DAY3 The good news? The One World Futbols arrived in Yangon. The bad news? The value of the balls were reported erroneously which triggered the day long anything over $500 will result in the Myanmar customs office keeping the package in question for at least the next decade debacle. Despite Saw Min Maw’s valiant efforts to encourage (bribe) the officials, the futbols will not be allowed to enter the country. But fear not, in the true Rec spirit of always being able to “figure something out”, we’ve pivoted and reconcepted the shoot in order to utilize the 5 balls that we brought with us (thank goodness we brought them) to tell an even more powerful and precise story. The power of government red tape is no match for the power of play. And it’s on tomorrow at...

It’s 1:00am in Burma

POWER OF PLAY SHOOT: DAY 2.5 As we flew from Seoul to Yangon, this CNN story was on constant loop a good portion of the 5 hour flight. Recently a cyclone went through Myanmar causing extensive flooding nearly all over the country.  Though this one wasn’t nearly as destructive as Cyclone Nargis back in 2008, many people have died and thousands are displaced.  As I write this from Yangon, this city anyway seems to be business as usual. We’ll see how the families in the village where we are shooting up north are faring. Shout out to Saw Min Maw’s friend Yan for the late night airport...

South Korea (aka 70% there)

POWER OF PLAY SHOOT: DAY 2 Not there yet.  Almost.  5 more flying hours.  Until then, I’ll use this opportunity to rant briefly about US airports and lounges.  I really don’t know why the rest of the world puts up with us.  Incheon is a lovely place where around every corner is a quintet or a traditional Korean performance of some kind.  It’s almost like Disneyland.  I keep waiting for them to clear the walkways for a parade. I think a quintet would make O’Hare a much more tolerable place, but nothing will fix the United Club there. The Asiana Business lounge (really the only reason I fly United all the time is to be able to get into non-United lounges) is equally as lovely.  Self-service beer on tap, wine, noodles, fried rice, a grand piano, Cokes (I got one for you Jack) and the nicest public restroom I’ve ever seen. I don’t usually post pictures of toilets, however….. We are going to enjoy this pampering for a couple of more hours.  Next post from...