South Africa

I am in Africa for the first time.

South Africa to be exact. And Johannesburg to be even more exact. It’s pretty cool.

I’m here helping out my friend Jonathan Smith on his incredible documentary, They Go To Die – about gold mine workers who come to South Africa, get sick with tuberculosis (and often HIV), and are sent back to their home countries without proper health care.

It’s already a beautiful work-in-progress, but we’re filming a significant portion of the story while I’m here. One of the miners suffering from TB who lives in Swaziland is coming to the US to the AIDS conference in Washington, DC to speak about conditions in the mine and talk to lawmakers and other officials.

We’ve been helping provide guidance to Jonathan throughout, but I’m really fortunate that he’s using some of his grant money to bring me out here. I hope I don’t let the man down – he’s been doing so much great work already. But my arrival has doubled his crew, so hopefully I’ll be able to take some of the work off his shoulders. I brought our trusty (sometimes trusty) HVX200 and a couple of monopods to join the effort.

Today we shot some skyline b-roll as well as a great billboard/advertisement on the side of one of the gold mining company’s building. Tomorrow, some exterior shots of mine shaft rigs (not sure what they’re actually called…) before we go in an actual mine on a tour after the weekend.

More after the weekend, and before we make the four-hour drive across the border to Swaziland. Meanwhile back in the States, the Visual Law Project team is taking up the editing reigns in my stead. Will rejoin in a week.

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