Jan 31, 2021 News
By Rehanna Ramsay
Kaieteur News – ‘Sounds and Colours of the Rainforest’, is the most recent documentary filmed and produced locally, and it was done by renowned Guyana Defence Force (GDF) helicopter pilot, Mike Charles.
The documentary launched at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre on January 21 last, is part of a series of films captured by the GDF captain, who is known for his work in aerial photography and local documentaries.
Several of the other videos produced by Captain Charles over the years have been featured internationally at eco-tourism events in North America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.
This film has been described as a creative masterpiece and takes viewers on a journey where birds, mammals and reptiles are captured in their natural habitat.
During the one hour long video, Captain Charles showcases clips of the unique aesthetics of the landscape and rich biodiversity found in Guyana’s deep rainforest and savannahs.
He gives viewers close up shots of some of Guyana’s rare animals and insect species; the coastland flamingoes, the red macaw and the emerald boa are just a few of the fascinating creatures that are featured in the documentary.
Captain Charles told Kaieteur News, while putting together the film proved challenging, his love for his country and capturing imaging was the force which drove him to complete it.
He explained that the images and clips, which are now contained in the documentary were captured over an eight-year period.
Captain Charles, a helicopter pilot for close to 40 years, said his work allows him to experience first-hand the aerial beauty of Guyana; something he wants to share with the world. As a result, he delved into film making and photography to help collect the images of what he experiences during his travels.
“It was a time consuming venture. A lot of thought, time and finances went into this project but as pilot, I saw the beauty of this country that few people get to witness especially those who live here. I wanted to share it with the people,” he said.
Captain Charles said that the making of ‘Sounds and Colours of the Rainforest’ took him and his crew to the remote locations found at the edge of Guyana.
He pointed to the great financial and personal sacrifice made by his team and supporters.
To this end, Caption Charles said he is very thankful for his team. He expressed special thanks to President Irfaan Ali, whose support, he notes, was instrumental in the completion of the film.
“It was a very special team of people who are highly skilled at swimming, driving the boat, cooking, staying out for long periods, taking good photographs,” he explained, adding that some of the areas that are captured were untapped.
He noted that, “for instance, we went to Guns Village which is the last location in South Guyana, we had to travel for days and then we had to wait to set up our equipment to film. That venture took us one week and we spend over $1M to set it up.”
Additionally, the producer said that a lot of research goes into the production. Captain Charles’ wife did the research on the various species captured in the film, which is later narrated by renowned local broadcaster, Michella Abrahams-Ali.
Captain Charles noted the importance of “checking and double checking, triple checking before we put it out because you can’t afford to put out something that is incorrect with that amount of stuff we are doing and producing it to the world.”
As such, the GDF pilot told Kaieteur News that by the time the film had concluded, it had cost at least G$25M to produce. Captain Charles noted however that he does not expect a heavy financial return on the project due to the lack of stringent copyright laws here in Guyana.
He bemoaned the lack of Government’s interest in addressing the issue. According to Charles, because of that copyright problem, the film sold out on the streets for as little as G$50.
He stressed that, “Guyana is the only country within this region with outdated copyright legislation, so we need to change it and we need to change it now.”
The film maker therefore called on the government to address the problem, so that producers and artistes can have better financial benefits from their work.
At the interim, Captain Charles is hoping that his material will help to further boost Guyana’s prospects for eco-tourism – educate as well as entertain viewers of the magnificence of parts of the Amazonian rainforest known to many as Guyana’s jungle.
Persons interested in viewing or downloading a copy of the film can do so by visiting www.aerialguyana.com.
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