TANKCAM (‘Rob-o-cam’). Tough assignment to film NZ’s rarest bird – the Fairy Tern for NZ Geographic Magazine. Less than 40 birds known, they nest in the open and human disturbance may stop breeding.
Solution was to build a remote control vehicle that I could very slowly inch towards the nest over an hour while we monitored the birds’ reaction and leave it set up to capture intimate scenes (very, as you’ll see below!). So that’s why I built TankCam. We’ve kept the highly successful assignment under wraps until now. This video tells the story and gives you an idea of three days worth of filming, behind the scenes. Please view and post your comments – it’s great to get your feedback:
New Zealand Geographic featured a nice article about Rob’s TankCam, otherwise known as RoboCam (nice touch guys!). If you’re interested in a behind-the-scenes look of the Fairy terns shoot please check out the article here and Rob’s video here.
Let us know what you think, it’s always great to hear your feedback!
It’s taken a while to post, but here it is, an exciting short trip to ride a motorcycle in Southern Indian at short notice. Here’s a copy of a dispatch to friends: Change of life circumstances, an opportunity, brother in India, tickets booked Wednesday, Mumbai by Saturday, Classic Royal Enfield Bullet motorbike rented illegally from Policeman by lunchtime, an adventure unfolds….
A mass email for those interested to know more…
Thought I had better file something from India before departing. Things have been so full on the classic Royal Enfield Bullet 350cc motorcycle Suisted tour, and not really near touristy type places that getting to an internet connection has been a bit hard.
So, in the nutshell, joined brother Phil and Nicki in Panaji Goa about 8 days ago. Served a whirlwind apprenticeship under Phil, learning the ropes on communicating (yes you might be speaking with an english speaker, but our logic is worlds apart – once you’ve confused them you’re stuck), wheeling and dealing, route finding (read communication), food, chai, riding a motorbike that is doubly back to front – gear lever on opposite foot, and change direction reversed – if you emergency brake like in NZ you only succeed in changing up a gear!).
Phil and Nicki really impressed me at how quickly they’ve learned, and esp. Phil dubbing Nicki as he hasn’t done many miles on a motorbike – let alone dubbing (not to mention the nerves of steel and trust that Nicki has sitting on the back watching the traffic and potholes unfold) . With that done, we set off into the maelstrom of traffic on my 350 bullet ( it dones 80KM flat out – basic design unchanged since 1940s). Road rules don’t really exist, the basic factor is might is right, and motorbikes are bottom feeders. You need to treat the centre line as fully moveable and stay 100% awake, and use horn all the time on traffic you come up on (and cows and dogs). Trucks will pass trucks on blind corners – it’s your job to expect this and be ready to run off the road for them…
Overtake the bus on the right side, the tuk-tuk on the wrong side, through the roadworks, over the bridge. Catch the bus overtaking the truck on the blind corner - Situation Normal!