Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Behind the scenes with the Uganda film team

Christened ‘Dream Factory 2’, the Uganda film team office may resemble a cool, dark cave with its blacked-out windows for easier editing and the AC always on to keep the computers from overheating. But the dream team behind the videos is anything but cold and lifeless.
Jay Salbert of Fairfax, Virginia and Tony Bazilo of Atiak, Uganda, the current film team, are pretty much the coolest guys in town. Jay worked as a film editor with Invisible Children for about a year in the San Diego office before flying off to Uganda. There he joined Tony, a student in the Legacy Scholarship Program and the first film intern in the Gulu office. They spend their days out in the field filming and photographing Invisible Children Uganda (ICU) programs, or in the office logging photos, organizing assets, editing photos and uploading the finished products.
Jay has adjusted quickly to working in a new environment.
“It’s just really cool to see the impact of our programs so that we can communicate that through images.”
While Jay trains Tony on how to use the cameras and lights, Tony brings his own expertise to the team.
“It’s always difficult working in a place that isn’t home,” Jay says. “When you go out to the villages people speak a different language, so it’s great to have Tony around so he can translate.”
So Tony, what’s it like working with Jay?
“We’re always cracking jokes around here and we can laugh,” Tony says. “He’s been like a role model to me.”
And the mutual admiration doesn’t end there.
“Tony has such a good attitude all the time, even if we’re super stressed he’s always got a smile on,” Jay gushes. “Tony’s the best at that.”
Jay and Tony set up lights for the interviews in the new IC film
One of Tony’s favorite skills learned so far is lighting
Tony gets experience in the field, filming interviews to be aired on Ugandan television for International Peace Day
Jay gets out in the field, filming everything from Village Savings and Loan group leaders, to cute puppies
A typical morning for the film team will start with checking e-mails and taking tea with mandazi – kind of like a donut. Work continues up until 1pm, when the team heads to lunch. Usually to the pork joint, but sometimes to an Ethiopian or local restaurant.
If the paparazzi want to know where to catch this duo, they need look no further than some of the most popular cafes in town. Tony hangs out at Coffee Hut, for the wireless internet, while Jay can be found at Sankofa on the weekends, enjoying a French press and cinnamon bun. In fact, he’s such a regular the Sankofa staff call him when cinnamon buns are ready.
Jay at his favorite weekend hangout – Sankofa
Look out for the next project these two are tackling: staff photos for the website.