‘Have Forest, Have Life‘, (2006) a documentary about biodiversity values in the remote Cardamom mountain region of Cambodia. Produced and directed by Jason Rosette of Camerado SE Asia www.camerado.com for clients WildAid (Wildlife Alliance), Conservation International, and Fauna and Flora International. Wildlife photography/videography by Allan Michaud and Jason Rosette.
Statement from director Jason Rosette of Camerado SE Asia:
“This was a very challenging, but ultimately successful and enjoyable collaborative effort between three significant wildlife NGOs working in Cambodia today: Wildlife Alliance (then WildAid), Conservation International, and Fauna and Flora International. I commend these three organizations on their ability to seamlessly harmonize a unified approach and method in this particular project.
Production required that we venture into some pretty remote areas, and we carried all of our gear on small motos – with skillful drivers to handle the incredible and steep terrain. Even our generator and lighting gear was carried on the back of our motos, so everything had to be downsized accordingly.
We took motos into Chiphat, which apparently now is a very happening eco-tourism destinations…I haven’t been there since then, though I’m planning another trip with a potential upcoming documentary project. Anyway, at the time, in 2006, it hadn’t been developed yet and the locals were still engaged in some destructive income-generating activities that have now somewhat been replaced by eco-toursim.
I have significant experience in both fiction and documentary formats, so one of the things I like to do with any of the docu projects I’m working with is to bring in a ‘cinematic’ element, whether this be through the use of enhanced sound design, or even the casting and staging of talent to re-create key moments that would otherwise be left to talking heads.
Since the target audience for Devcomm media like this is often the local community, they tend to have a different (lower) threshold for documentary content that is purely testimony driven, so the more compelling the story-driven elements, the better for delivering the required prosocial content.
This factor is one way that my commissioned work stands out from the rest of the pack – it’s a very hands on, customized approach that requires an incredible amount of extra work and attention, but the work endures as a result.
I’m told by Mr. Norn, the Cambodian narrator for “Have Forest, Have Life”, that even now, several years after its release, the DVD for ‘Have Forest Have Life’ is sought, borrowed and played just for fun by local community in his commune…
…not bad for an “NGO Film” !
My background in Film & TV (BFA from New York University, Tisch School of the Arts – Trustee Scholar), combined with my knowledge of development issues (MA in Development Studies, Royal University of Phnom Penh) allows me to approach each development media project with a balanced ‘entertainment-education’ perspective…pls see my final report from RUPP here:
Organizations or agencies in SE Asia who are seeking a highly distinct, watchable, and enduring documentary or promotional video, feel free to drop me a line here, I’ll be happy to offer feedback on your inquiries –>