|Some Connecticut Yankees In Manaus: February 9, 1998
Manaus is the last deep-water port up the Amazon from the Atlantic Ocean and also a free-trade zone, so this bustling city of over 1 million people supports a manic display of commerce. There are street peddlers selling wares ranging from sunglasses to, yes, kitchen sinks and everything in between (this includes auto parts, gold and fresh caught fish). This was our day to get lost in Manaus, to experience the color and sound and movement of the city. But first there were meetings!
The fun part of the scouting trip for all of us is the experience of exploring locations, meeting researchers and learning about the science. But no project of the size, scope and complexity of Live from the Rainforest can happen without the interaction, input, cooperation and ultimately the blessings of many different people and agencies. The nuts and bolts of a TV program, however, especially one being produced across two continents, requires immense coordination and this requires a lot of permissions from various government and research agencies. And this means people in business (hot) attire attending a lot of different meetings. Luckily for the rest of the crew, this was Geoff and Flavios area. Brian, Ann and John escape to the INPA campus to meet with the researchers and learn about their workthe fun part!
As producers, Geoff and Flavio face an enormous task in putting together the foundation for the television programs that will air LIVE for three weeks in April. Ultimately, the genius of their work is in the fact that most people watching the LFRF television programs will have no idea what went on behind the scenestheyll just enjoy the show! (You can read about the trials and tribulations of being a producer in Geoffs journals.) There is the use of facilities, the assembling of personnel, the permission to broadcast from a foreign country via satellite, the importing of several tons of satellite, video and communications gear for a start! And the technical scout confirms many of our suspicions—it would be very challenging and from some locations, deep in the virgin rainforest, impossible to transmit a satellite signal. So theres a lot of contingency planning. Its no wonder that this has not been done before.
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