Back to the Roots A Musical Journey of Discovery with Tom Mwanza in Zambia, Africa involved scenes that were filmed in Australia and Zambia, Africa. This involved four weeks in Zambia. My wife Sharon and I travelled to remote villages, regional centre’s, and townships and to the capital city of Lusaka in Zambia. Whilst in Zambia, it was just me, with Sharon’s assistance at times, doing all the elements of production, however, at times I had many onlookers and willing helpers! The Australian scenes were filmed from Goonellabah, Lismore NSW. There are plenty of memorable moments during the filming. Here are a few of these!
Whilst in Zambia, nationwide power shedding was implemented. The day arranged for filming and interview with Gospel Musician Racheal Nanyangwe for Back to the Roots A Musical Journey of Discovery with Tom Mwanza film was a day scheduled with six hours of no power! The shoot was delayed until midday. With only a few hours of battery power remaining we needed to link in with the scheduled return of power at 2pm.
Transport in Zambia was problematic at times getting to shoots and locations. The first car we hired we named the ‘singing car’ as the breaks squealed, the air conditioner whistled and the slightest bump sent off a string of rattles. The next car we hired, after exiting and locking the driver’s door, we learnt there was no way back into the car with the key as it did not open the doors!
The melting infusing rhythms of Africa can be heard on a daily basis with pumping music from various sources and singing! Noise, wind, dust were issues we worked around for this film! This often made filming interesting and very authentic!
Throughout the film ‘Back to the Roots A Musical Journey of Discovery with Tom Mwanza’ production, footage ‘disappeared’ three times! To correct the first disappearance of footage, we extended our stay in Lusaka and re did the interview with Racheal. The next incident, segments of the footage mysteriously disappeared and reappeared whilst we were in Lusaka. Another hard drive was sourced and purchased, stretching our quickly dwindling budget. The most gut-wrenching incident happened back in Australia after completing all of the Zambian shoots. Most of the footage shot in Lusaka, Zambia – Rachael, Michael, Martha, The Zambian Traditional Dancers, Kasonde, Racheal in concert, city scenery was all gone, yet all other files remained. There was no explanation! With the help of my wife Sharon and her technical workmates, the hard drive was put through three runs of recovery software. On the third attempt, ten days later, the footage was recovered. Apparently a faulty hard drive with pockets of bad sections was to blame. A factory default! There were moments when I thought the film was not going to be possible!
Whilst at the village outside of Chingola in Zambia it was beautiful to be back amongst a rural community in Zambia. After filming, the villagers were very keen to see what had been captured. Due to no power in the village with the laptop being out of charge, the camera screen was the only option remaining. They gathered around to get a glimpse of the small screen. This was caught on another camera. The photo is in one of the production stills accompanying this Electronic Press Kit. It was a special moment that showed of the power of filmmaking!