No Problem

BY PAMELA BOWMAN, LUSAKA, ZAMBIA — Zambia’s mantra is “no problem”. After two weeks we have learned that if anyone says “no problem” it means there is a big problem. Example? Well, we were told all of our set locations were arranged. Now in our world that means that if you are shooting at a bank the bank has been contacted and has agreed that a film crew will have access to the location for x amount of hours for x amount of days. In Zambia that means that someone has thought about what bank would be nice to use and when the film crew arrives the bank manager is approached and asked if the crew and cast could shoot for a little while.

OurGangOnSet.jpgOne day we verified with our location scout about the shoot the next day. He asked what time we would be arriving. We told him 8 am sharp. He said “No problem.” Our location scout is also our transportation coordinator. We were waiting by our gate at 7:30 then 8:00 then 9:00. The cast was waiting for their pickups as well. Finally our bus arrived and took us to a different location. We finally arrived to a surprised business owner who quickly tried to accommodate our cast and crew. We could tell he was uncomfortable with us being there, but we had no choice. We tried to get the set ready. As we lit the set our lights blew as did the owners transformer. The room filled with smoke and a smell that was well unbearable. Our location scout said, “No problem.”

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  1. Karen C

    This reminds me a little of my Dad’s experiences in Taos, NM. There the mantra was “mañana.” When he first moved to town and a repairman told him he would be there “mañana” my father would stay home the next day waiting for someone to show up. But after a while he came to realize that in the Taos culture, “mañana” means “sometime” not “tomorrow.” With time, my “type A” personality father came to appreciate the beauty of “Taos Time.”

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