ConquistadorsBehind the Scenes




The Conquistadors series airs on PBS May 9th.

For a complete description of the story behind the story, visit the Maya Vision site, where the crew has created a site describing their experience. More information on Maya Vision can be found on the second page of this section.

Making the Series:

In the early 16th Century the Spanish Conquistadors reached the shores of the new world. Some 500 years later, they were followed by Michael Wood and the Maya Vision crew. While we were there to follow in the their footsteps we drew the line at claiming the territory for the Spanish crown and settled for capturing a four-part documentary series in the name of the BBC and PBS.

During the two years it's been in production, we've carried 22 flightcases over 122,000 miles (five and a half times round the world) and used 40 bottles of mosquito repellent.

We spent 30 nights under the stars and took 150 days to shoot 100 hours of footage. We climbed from 0 ft (Isle of Sacrifices) up to 17,000 ft (Quoyllur Riti) in temperatures that ranged from 35°C in the North Mexico desert, to eight-below in Quoyllur Riti.

Michael Wood was personally responsible for consuming over 25kg of nuts and raisins while he was on the road. He also managed to count 60 sandfly bites on one of his arms while rafting in the Amazon.

Show Credits:

Written and Presented by: Michael Wood
Music: Howard Davidson
Photography: Peter Harvey
Sound: Chris Duncan-Brown
Judi Headman
Neil Laycock
Dubbing Editor: Jamie McPhee
Dubbing Mixer: Bob Jackson
Graphics: Bernard Heyes
John Cranmer

Location Managers:

Programme 1:
The Fall Of the Aztecs: Ray Sinatra
Anders Ehrnberg
Wiggie Andrews
Arturo Espinosa

Programme 2:
The Conquest of the Incas: Deborah McLauchlan

Programme 3:
The Search for El Dorado: Stephanie Stevens (Quito)
Gynner Coronel (Napo and Coca Rivers)
Deborah McLauchlan (Iquitos)
Bob Nadkarni (Brazil)

Programme 4:
All the World is Human: Nadia Voukitchevitch (Florida)
Wendy Wilson (Texas)
Bryant Holman (Mexico)
US Production Co-ordinator: Wendy Wolf
Archive Researcher and Translator: Barbara Bouman
Production Accountants: Kevin Rowan
Christine Gayford
Line Producer: Sally Thomas
Executive Producer for PBS: Leo Eaton
Executive Producer for BBC: Laurence Rees
Editors: Gerry Branigan
Chris Lysaght
Producer: Rebecca Dobbs
Director: David Wallace

© M a y a V i s i o n  i n t e r n a t i o n a l , 2 0 0 0

Peter and Chris in Jungle
Peter and Chris demonstrate their unique ability to discuss framing without speaking... Mike, Peter (camera) and Chris Duncan-Brown (sound) in the upper Coca river jungle

Festival to the Snow Star
14,000ft above sea level you take all the help you can get; the Festival to the Snow Star, Peru
Credit: © Maya Vision Int Ltd
Maya Vision

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