Today had all the signs of an easy day on “vacation.” We conducted several staff interviews on the back patio of the hotel. Heward has taught me a lot about lighting and now I’m the Key grip (whatever that is). After the interviews we got back in the car to film three more scenes in Arusha. We need to reshoot a girl working a roadside stand Arusha and then two bar scenes – one a dive bar and the other in the bar of our hotel.
Albert had identified a neighbor girl who was just the right age. We went to Albert’s house in the back streets of Arusha, picked up the girl and then drove the neighborhood looking for a stand that looked right. We found a very small fruit & vegetable stand that looked perfect. We stopped the car, got out and negotiated the use of the set for our movie. We bought several bunches of bananas from a nearby stand and hung them up in our set. Our actress looked perfect and as we set up, we were drawing a crowd. The whole process (to film the 10 sec clip) took about an hour with lighting, sound and camera setups on the dirt streets of Arusha. We passed out the bananas to the local kids as we loaded up the car and headed back to Albert’s house.
Albert’s home sits on a hillside in the back alleys of Arusha. Modest and well kept by Arusha standards. We talked to his family for a bit, shot some photos of his 2 year old daughter and headed back to the car. The view of Mt Meru from his front entrance was stunning (except for the cell tower built right in his line of sight.) It’s interesting in Africa…no plumbing, episotic power, no air conditioning, no land lines but cell coverage everywhere we have been…and I left my cell at home.
We made our way to the Asante Africa Foundation offices in Arusha and found a local dive bar behind the business across the street. It was outdoors with a dirt floor, plastic chairs and plastic tables with the coca-cola label on the rim. We ordered beers for the local actor and extras (and as such we were quite popular). As we shot we drew a big crowd to watch Heward in action.
Heward was like a big-time movie producer putting $1.25 down for each extra (and buying them a beer). It was just way cool the way we were treated in what might look like a very rough part of town. Everyone was smiling and laughing and having a great time. When we finished we grabbed our local actor and headed for the hotel for one last shot.
After setting up we asked the very beautiful head waitress at the Pepeone hotel to sit at the table and join the actors for the shoot. She had no idea, until later, that she was going to be in our movie. Sometimes the language barrier is helpful. Her acting was perfect because she had no idea she was in the movie.
It was an easy day – ending at 9:30 pm. Overnight I skyped with my family and friends at our weekly Friday Night Dinner party in Livermore. I do miss my FND. I’ll be home soon and I’ll miss the people of Tanzania.