Haiti Documentary Update One

Photo of the boys climbing the walls of Fort Cap Rouge

Children climbing the walls of Cap Rouge, Jacmel, Haiti.

I love this photo because it reminds me of our small crew’s endeavor to capture an important cultural nuance of the Haitian people, while overcoming many small obstacles one-step at a time.  We are a band of storytellers who’ve signed-up to meet a man called “Professor” Alfred Avril and the martial art he wields.


The hand of a sugar cane farmer.

Our film will focus on Haitian fencing.

In coming to appreciate and understand this martial art form I’ve gained a richer understanding of Haiti’s past. It’s a land built on revolution and pride. The machete is as much as a tool as it is a symbol of independence.

Boy in Fort Cap Rouge

A boy on the walls of Cap Rouge, Jacmel, Haiti.

A decade ago I had the opportunity to witness Port-au-Prince during another defining time in Haiti’s history as a photojournalist.  However, even then, amongst the daily political confusion and chaos in the street, I could not help but see the passion, humor, and internal pride of this nation’s people.

Young men near the waterfall of Bassin Bleu

Men on the walls of Basin Bleu waterfall in Jacmel, Haiti.

Shooting and co-producing this short documentary in a foreign country that has a limited infrastructure and on a tight budget is a complicated endeavor. Couple this already obvious fact with using state of the art technology like the new Sony FS700 with the 4k IRR5 and R5 4k recorders is even harder. We chose this camera for the continuous 120 FPS 2k video capture of the FS700 + recorders specifically for the martial art machete swinging sequences, in addition to capturing the beautiful colors of the country at 4k for festival submissions.

A technically focused blog post will be coming soon. I’m accumulating a list of my successes vs. the pitfalls I’ve encountered and at the moment I think the positives are winning by a nose. We are currently experiencing some difficulties with the 4k capture.  Communication with our technical assets at home is proving difficult.

It’s frustrating for a number of reasons. We want to project the strongest images possible on the big screen and tell the best story we can. Content is king, but it’s nice to get the hurdles of technology out of the way.

It’s in times like this that I’m glad to be confronted with a stranger on a mountain road whose peaceful disposition and position in life put my “modern” concerns in check and remind me why we are here.


A lady in the hills above Jacmel, Haiti.

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