Life in Morocco
Marrakech Morocco - I'm on a mission to film the snake charmers in the main square of the old city. It's five in the afternoon in the area known as the Suk; the light is golden and I'm strolling though the streets with with Sony Z1, Sachtler tripod, wide angle lens, a Cinesaddle camera bag for low angle shots and enough US dollars to pay for the privilege of filming these men as they do their unusual work.
I hear the snake charmers before I see them. The sound of their instruments and the beating of drums guides me in. Standing tall and motionless are cobras and vipers. The snakes are frightening and beautiful. I move forward armed with my camera. I need to move quick. The light will be gone within 15 minutes.
The snake charmers see me and welcome me: "Camera Camera - you film.
"How much" I ask.
"No you film. You pay later."
I blast off HDV footage then roll continuous, nice and tight, slide in the ND filter to cut the depth of field, open up the aperture and manually focus on the head of the poisonous serpent. Beautiful pictures. I move closer, hand held, literally inches away from the snakes flickering tongue, glassy reptilian eyes, the scaly patterned skin. The snakes shoots towards the camera, I withdraw quickly realising how crazy this whole thing is.