Journal Entry

August 3, 2000

Jonathan Bird - Director of Photography

We all dreaded today, but we knew it had to come: a day of sweating our butts off in the sun getting much-needed video of the Japanese ruins around the island. We had a tour scheduled to visit the major bunkers and command posts. We also hoped to get a decent sunset. But first we had a little adventure.

LMC approaches beach for a re-creation of World War II beach landings.

The island has an old LCM used to ferry people between islands out here. It's a real beauty, kept in fine shape and running very well too. Tom was able to get the captain of the LCM to agree to give us a ride so we could get some video of what it was like to be in an LCM. (You can't see a thing out of it until the door drops. Must be very scary when people are shooting at you.)

Perched on a fuel tank, Jonathan films the door opening. If only we had a sherman tank sitting around that we would have driven out!

I was secretly hoping we could run the LCM up on a beach, just like they did in the war. I couldn't believe our luck when the captain agreed to do it! We found a nice empty beach and landed on it, dropping the front gate on the sand. Then I hopped out and they did it again so I could shoot it from the beach. Incredible!!

Tom explores an ammo bunker on Roi as Jonathan shoots
Gator standing in the remains of a reinforced concrete ammo bunker.

Next we took the golf cart on a sight-seeing tour and stopped at every bunker we found to shoot video. We used the jib a couple times, but managed to break the tripod that supported it (oops. Sorry Tom!) Finally after about 4 hours sweating out of pores I never knew I had, we called it a day.

Christine has brought her W.W.II references and is looking for clues about the locations of important historical sites.
Inside a bunker, Tom points to the creature which drooled all over Jonathan.
Eighteen inches of steel-reinforced concrete was no match for ship-based artillery!
This bunker provided a nice view of the ocean. Tom keeps the sun off Jonathan so the camera won't melt!
Inside this command bunker, the rebar hang precariously down from the ceiling. Who knows how much longer it will remain standing.
Christine documents the ruins on film.

The sun was starting to get low in the sky and conditions were right for a good sunset, so we headed over to the beach with a fresh tape and battery. After waiting a half hour, the sky started getting really orange. The sun dropped behind the clouds, but the colors were spectacular.

For once we were in the right place at the right time - an incredible sunset!

It was a nice ending to a really long day. Time for some dinner and a little R&R. Tomorrow, it's back in the water!