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  • Tanner Wolfe

Bird of Paradise: Papua New Guinea

Updated: May 3

The project was a film about domestic violence in Papua New Guinea. It was produced in PNG to be used as a teaching tool in the country. Consequently, we spent 5 weeks traveling north to south and east to west. We traveled in very rugged trucks, planes and boats. Papua New Guinea is a wild and untamed land; one must be hardy to live or work there.

The production team from PNG and the US in front of one of many planes we took to travel the country.

The producer, who grew up in PNG had to take the wheel for this stretch. It was just a little too challenging for our driver.

Out transportation to this remote village. It is an actual dugout canoe with a motor on the back

This image is blurry. However,I love this guy's look and stance, the lush green landscape and a little bit of the ever present mist.

In the midst of the documentary, we paused to shoot a PSA or 30 second spot to be broadcast there. It was set at a traditional dance called a "sing sing." Local people from the villages were our actors and they used their tribal dress. Their wardrobe looks authentic because it is. Incorporating bird of paradise feathers and in many cases being passed down many generations.

This piece was shot on the RED. I was quite worried about maintaining the gear as the closest camera house was in Australia. At that time, Papua New Guinea hadn't adopted HD; all their television broadcasts still in SD. This caused some anxiety, but never became an issue.

On a short break from a long travel day across very rugged terrain, this woman approached our group. Her goal was to greet us and wish us a safe journey; and that's all. I'll always have a special place in my heart for the people of Papua New Guinea.

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