The recent death of Anthony Bourdain made me try and break down why I, like many people, enjoyed his travel programs so much.
The well written narrative, the conversational interviews, the honest appraisals capturing good and bad. I think his cinematographer put it best: “It was never about Tony, it was about the people and the location. THEY were the stars. And by doing that, by showing their day-to-day lives and showcasing the little details and the hidden treasures, he made you fall in love with almost every place he went to. He showed us, as cliche as it might be, that people all around the world are the same, and that the people we are with and the people we meet are what makes travelling so great?”
Travel programs can be the dullest tv you’d ever care to lay your eyes on. Bourdain transcended this with his humour and brutal honesty, whilst at the same time balancing his views with genuine respect for other cultures.
Like Bourdain, my desire to make travel programs is so that I can explore and learn more, and the best way to do this is by talking to the locals.
My latest concept, like ‘Meet a Local’ before it, is all about getting a local’s perspective, to gain insight into a city or region or country. Top5Tour handpicks the best place to eat, drink, sleep, shop and the best tour. I search out passionate people doing unique things. I then interview them, giving viewers the purest overview of why they should visit.
I was planning a roadtrip around Australia, continuing my Top5Tour destination guides as I was doing in New Zealand. But now I will be based in the Grampians over spring working on a reshoot of a project I was involved in a few years back, that provides advice to carers looking after a loved one in palliative care. In my spare time I want to produce a half hour ‘television’ version of my Top5Tour concept. Like a Bourdain show, I want it to have a rich, well written narrative sauce, mixed in with fresh local ingredients – the interviews with passionate locals.
My idea is to market the Grampians region, by making a program that doesn’t look like a marketing video. Each business that feature help fund the production. There is a bit of a process in finding local business people willing to be involved. Understandably not everyone enjoys fronting a camera. My aim is for the viewer to get an idea what it is like to live in this region, and what it is like to run a successful regional tourism business. And of course viewers will also get the juice on where to stay and what to do when they visit.
Look forward to sharing my home region with you. In the meantime, here is a video I made when the internet was in it’s infancy, yes even before youtube 🙂
A 4 part story of my home town Ararat, and the ebbs and flows of it’s history –