Living & Working as a Team
It’s amazing what living in the jungle for 6 weeks does to a group people. I’m not going to lie and say that everything was perfect and everyone got along brilliantly 100% of the time. There were definitely moments of disagreement, irritability, and snappiness—but that’s normal. It’s a harsh, sometimes brutal environment, which can provide grounds for conflict and agitation. A 40-degree searing heat, covering the crew in soaking sweat all day, the stress of shooting a show, kits to look after in a jungle where they weren’t really designed to work –all adds up. Strangely, in an environment where you’re only interacting with a relatively small set of people for quite a long time, you almost forget you’re shooting a TV show. It just turns into things happening around you that need to be documented and recorded in order to tell a story. It becomes an immersive filming experience. Overall, you become very close to those you work with, foibles an’ all.
But there were moments of “normality” as well. I loved going down to the river in the evening with our leader Pete Campion, Os, our lifesaving medic, and Matt, one of the Producers and a good friend. We’d sit around messing about, washing, and chatting about the day and what was going on. Then, every now and then, we’d have a stunning moment of realisation that we were hundreds of miles from anywhere, sitting in a river infested with black caiman and piranha and under billions of stars with ‘things’ nipping at our ankles every few seconds.
The entire team that made this shoot possible are an incredible bunch, and when you are surrounded with good people like that, even the toughest set of circumstances can be overcome in the harshest of conditions. We proved it, and I hope it shows onscreen.