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Rob Sullivan

Cross-dressing for beginners


Posted from: Benjamin Constant
All the crew are feeling very hungover again today after a fourth night of heavy drinking and dancing at carnival. The Brazilians certainly know how to party, and I'm proud to say we’ve been holding our own and keeping up rather well. We’re in a small logging town called Benjamin Constant, on the border of Brazil, Peru and Columbia where they have a long-standing tradition of cross-dressing for carnival.

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Leticia Valverdes

My (over) stretchy dress


Posted from: Benjamin Constant
I should have know what was coming when Rob praised my long black dress with its pattern of colourful flowers. He had a vision and he would not let go of it. Saturday the 5th, the first day of Carnival, Laura and I spent a couple of hours looking for accessories for our boys to wear. We, "the English", and especially Bruce had to impress.

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Leticia Valverdes

The pace of the Amazon


Posted from: Benjamin Constant
In the Amazon I feel very English at times. Saturday is the first carnival night. They said 8pm and there we were - fed, cleaned and waiting for carnival to “happen” - whatever is to happen, we just want it to happen in time. Ah…the pace of the Amazon really tests our nerves. Even I, who has been to this place so often and knows that in Brazil things run to a different rhythm, get irritated.

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Matt Norman

Beauty Queens


Posted from: Benjamin Constant
The big shoot tonight will be following Bruce as he enters the Benjamin Constant Carnival Beauty Pageant. Rob and I arrive early evening to film a time-lapse shot of the arena as preparations are underway and the dusky sunset turns to night. I set the camera to record one frame every six seconds so that when the image frames are played back at the normal 25 frames per second (as is the normal frame rate) the transition of dusk into night, with clouds whizzing across the sky, appears 300 times faster. As we wait for the time-lapse to record, the band and compere test the sound PA for what is sure be a night of Brazillian mayhem.

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Matt Norman

Football in drag


Posted from: Benjamin Constant
We filmed Bruce walking around the corner to the Bloco football match and we were met by quite a sight. A loud cheer went up to greet us from the friendliest bunch of Brazillian men who were halfway through putting on their dresses, wigs and makeup. A beer can was thrust into Bruce's hand and he was instantly embarrassed as the newest member of the football team.

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Bruce Parry

Suits you, Sir...


Another ordinary day in Brazil. Isn't it?

Matt Norman

Easy Rider


Posted from: Benjamin Constant
We are back on the river today, which feels great. It's just a 20-minute ride to the small riverside town of Benjamin Constant where we will be spending the next four days filming carnival. Brazil is about to go carnival crazy so it should be a fun shoot ahead.

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Leticia Valverdes

"Brasil does not know Brasil"


Posted from:Tabatinga
Today we are leaving Tabatinga to go to the little town of Benjamin Constant where we will experience a carnival. It will be a new experience for us, perhaps even for myself as a Brazilian; carnival takes many different forms in the different parts of the country. It originates from the same paganism and catholic traditions but manifests itself in various ways: from the samba schools of Rio and Sao Paulo, to the samba reggae of Bahia and Frevo, Maracatu, and Caboclinho of Pernambucao. They’re all an amalgamation of rhythms and traditions and are also influenced by indigenous Brazilian and African culture.

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Matt Norman

He's got knives...and he knows how to use them


Posted from: Tabatinga
Today the new production team of Rob, Laura and Leti arrived in the border town of Tabatinga. It's an unusual place in that despite being tiny it has one half of the town in Brazil while the other half is in Columbia. They arrived pretty exhausted after three long plane rides and were greeted by a torrential thunderstorm and an electricity blackout in our hotel. It was fun to meet up and despite the jet lag it was great that they were all full of excitement for the adventure ahead.

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Bruce Parry

Drunken football in drag


Posted from:Tabatinga
We’ve a new team just arrived and Rob Sullivan is our new leader. How nice to have some new blood. Just like Matt at the beginning and Steve thereafter, Rob is now directing. I’ve only met him once before at a good friend’s wedding but we got on instantly. Also we have the amazing Leti who has worked non-stop for months sorting out the Brazilian phase of the trip. With her also is my mate Laura who it’s great to see out here and who’s been hard at work on recces too.

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