Wild Indonesia filming Indonesia


Reflections on Filming "Wild Indonesia"
By Laura Humphreys

The Hardest Challenge
When it came to filming "Wild Indonesia," the hardest challenge was deciding exactly what to include. With 17,000 islands that support over 2,000 species of birds and mammals, more living forms than in the whole continent of Africa, we were spoiled for choice. Indonesia is full of the Birdunique and bizarre, from the world's largest flower to kangaroos that live in trees. The important thing was to select a good representation of the many different species and habitats that make up Indonesia. Over 16 filming trips, we filmed on 15 islands, each trip covering an enormous variety of species and cultures, and yet this is just a tiny fraction of what is actually out there. Indonesia is a place where so much is still undiscovered, and it was a challenge to keep up with the scientists who are themselves still battling away to unravel the mystery of Indonesia.

ElephantAnimal Tales
On my first trip, I was battling on the Krakatau Islands with tiny fig wasps no more than 2mm long, and by the last trip, I was dealing with the largest of Indonesia's mammals, the Sumatran elephant. But it was often those times when we weren't filming that provided the most memorable experiences. I'll never forget waking up to find a 2m long monitor lizard poking its head in my tent. On Sumatra, it was a macaque that gave us our wake-up call in the morning. It would hang on the door handle and rattle it until we came out.


IslandExperiencing Indonesians
The people in Indonesia were always incredibly warm and welcoming. It was frustrating not being able to speak the language but by the end we all picked up the odd bit. I remember on my first trip, I had a terrifying boat ride from Krakatau to Java with five hours of the roughest of seas I've encountered. After a lot of sign language and laughter from the boat crew, I soon realized I was in safe hands, and we weren't about to be swallowed up by the notorious Sunda Strait. Another unforgettable experience was being invited to stay with a family in a village built on stilts right out off the coast of Sumatra. We wanted to get easy access to film some migratory birds that feed on the mudflats near where they live.

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