Have you produced a fund raising video?

I have.

I did my first production over the weekend in Phnom Penh and Takeo Province, with help from a Singaporean professional photographer/videographer (Mr Tay Eng Huat) who offered his skills pro bono. He flew into Phnom Penh from Singapore for 5 days to do both the shoot and post production. We were outfield filming for 3 days and back in Phnom Penh for 2 days doing the video and photo edits.

In the short 3 days, we visited, filmed and photographed up to 30 patients and 7 field supervisors under the grueling sun and traveled by motor bikes on back breaking road conditions with our camera and sound equipment for our shoot.

Morning site recce in Prey Kabas Operating District

Morning site recce in Prey Kabas Operating District

When we arrived at each shooting location, we had to conceptualize the shoot on the spot and adapt the script based on stories shared by our patients and field supervisors. As our patients are not actors, most clammed up when the camera rolled, which meant hours of multiple re-takes before we could get a good shot for the video. The unpredictable weather due to the monsoon also made filming outdoors a challenge. The sound of the pelting rain against the zinc roof huts would drown out the voices of our patients even with a microphone. There was also the unexpected when we arrived at a location, only to find it had changed drastically and we couldn’t feature the human interest story we had in mind.

That said, change is sometimes for the better. As part of our shoot, we visited a patient (a landmine victim) who was so poor he couldn’t afford shelter. He lives with his wife on makeshift wooden planks, under a neighbour’s house — an area (below the stilt houses) that is usually reserved for roaming dogs or domestic fowl.

Laydin (Field Supervisor from Bati) with Mr Naem Phally and wife during CDOTs

Laydin (Field Supervisor from Bati) with Mr Naem Phally and wife during CDOTs

During heavy downpour, frequent during the monsoon season, Mr Naem hangs Morning site recce in Prey Kabas Operating District onto the stilts for support to prevent being washed away.

When we visited last weekend, he had a roof over his head. And we had a part to play. Our field supervisor went the extra mile. She approached the village chief about Mr Naem’s plight and together they found an NGO who built the couple a more permanent shelter.

Jacqueline with the village kids at Prey Kabas taking shelter from the rain during a video shoot

Jacqueline with the village kids at Prey Kabas taking shelter from the rain during a video shoot

If you’re interested to find out more about the lives that we have been impacting here in Cambodia, stay tuned!

Look out for our “Faceless in Cambodia” series of videos that will be launched on OpASHA’s Facebook and YouTube over the next few weeks.

– Jacqueline Chen, development fellow at OpASHA, signing off from Cambodia

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