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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Fly me day and Documentary

Submitted by Rex Pemberton
One hundred and eleven children, five hours of flying and over three hours of video footage later we have completed ‘Fly Me Day’. It was a massive success.

Imagine; a strip of cloud spreads across the horizon lighting up in a bright orange glow. The airplanes are pulled out of the hanger slowly, carefully, lighting up pink as they come out into the rays of a fresh day. Dewdrops are still on the ground as the four pilots have an intense focus, checking and re-checking the control surfaces, fuselage and engines. The pre-flights are always important to any pilot, but on this day, I noticed just a little extra focus.

 I could feel the sense the excitement, fear & apprehension, as the first bus of school children’s pulled into that airfield at 7.00am. From that moment, I knew this day was going to be special.

Melissa, Erin, Jonathan and Patricia wasted no time lining up the well-maintained aircraft. A heavy day of flying lay ahead. One hundred and Eleven school kids from villages all around Ghana. None of them has been in an airplane before, let alone a light aircraft without any doors! 

In no time, the call came over a cracking radio “Start engines in 3,2,1 start”. Four engines fired to life in perfect time.

The aircraft rolled down the grass runway and took to the air in perfect sequence, my 7Ds red record light was flashing as many kids realized the dream of flight.

“Once you have tasted flight, you will always walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward”.

Well I am sure we touched some kid’s lives after this remarkable day. I am sure they are looking skyward.

However there was a higher purpose than just fun. Jonathan and Patricia had a plan. Young adults that showed potential for learning, enthusiasm and a passion for flight we selected to spend 2 weeks with the AV TECH academy. From this small select group they may select one or two new students to be sponsored through four years of flight training. It is an opportunity that will change their lives forever. It is very cool. Fly Me Day was a massive success.

With ‘Fly Me Day’ out of the way, Melissa and I turn a strong focus towards the film and getting what we need to bring this story to life.

The first part of any good documentary is making sure you have a strong story line, then video to match. Within this story Matthew, Patricia and Jonathan make up the major charters. They will be the foundation of the film. So now our focus is extracting the individual stories. This is done by a casual ‘chat chat’ interview.

That enables Melissa and I to focus the core story and work out what shots we need to fill an editing timeline, to construct a film. It is a long time consuming and sometimes frustrating process. Melissa and I have learnt that in West Africa not everything works to a plan. Almost nothing does! So we take each day one at a time.

We have a mountain to climb ahead of us; sometimes it feels overwhelming as only 10% of the work is in the video shooting. 90% lays in postproduction. Wow maybe I need a production team for this…  Maybe this is the start of a new chapter in my life. Maybe it is time to take RPMP Productions and register it as a business name! 

Now my question is do we edit a trailer clip and try to get funding for the film? Or. Do we take on this massive project by ourselves?

Hmmm… Does anyone know of any production agencies that could help fund this film?

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