STOP PRESS!! IGNORE THIS… TO MAKE A NEW DOCUMENTARY ON MONGOLIA!
Ignore This…Films are about to embark on our most intriguing, exciting… and downright dangerous project ever. We’ve been commissioned to film and edit a new documentary on Mongolia! First we will be flying out into sub-zero conditions for 3 weeks (minus 30 degrees to be exact… ouch!). The project will then continue in the summer when we will head back to Mongolia for two weeks… but this time via 5 days and 5 nights of train travel (London – Russia – Mongolia)!!! ARGH!
We will then conclude the filming by following four Mongolian nationals around the world for a month. Sounds insane?… It will be… And I think we might just be too.
Note to self: REMEMBER THOSE THERMAL UNDERPANTS!!!
We’ll be writing a daily blog while we’re on our travels, so come back HERE for updates!
BLOG 26 // THEY THINK IT’S ALL OVER… IT IS NOW: 09.03.12
Hello everyone! It is Friday 09th March, 2012. 6.30pm. We have not packed and we have not cleaned our apartment. Our last Mongolian sun of the winter has set… we are coming HOME. Project Mongolia is on hold, until July at least. WOW.
It honestly does feel like we have been here a lot longer than 3 weeks. We’ve managed to pack so much into our time here it would all be impossible to list. It’s been one of the greatest experiences in our lives – rich, fulfilling and inspiring; Overflowing with magical, almost dreamlike moments and situations that will stay with us forever.
Nature has such a strong and intense pull on you out here. It envelops you and carries you and covers you like cotton wool. It has this magnetic hold of beauty that really is hard to describe, it’s more of an intense feeling inside. The landscapes and earth here are from a painters brush. They are indescribable. We will never forget the land and its pureness. Beautiful memories that will linger within us.
But what has had the most effect on us has been the people. Mongolians are proud, warm, welcoming and honest people. So different in so many ways to the western world. We have been accepted into many people’s homes, offered food, drink, love and made to feel like family. Would you get that in London? Probably not. Would you get it anywhere in the world in fact? Probably not. And it is this that we will take most from our experience here… the wonderful, beautiful people.
A special mention must go out to our intrepid interpreter Chimgee. She has been amazing. Without actually meeting her in person it’s hard to describe her. We can honestly say we have never, ever met someone quite like her. She has single-handedly attempted to sabotage the shoot from day one by getting in the way of all the shots, interpreting Mongolian into Mongolian, getting us banned from our favourite cafe as she is so stubborn and basically telling us what to do with our small insignificant lives on a daily basis…
But she has been absolutely wonderful. One of the nicest human beings we have ever met, with a beautiful understanding and compassion for humanity and a connection with everyone from every walk of life. She loves her country. She is proud of her country. And for us sums up and symbolizes everything that is amazing about Mongolia. We have nothing but pure love for her and hope to work with her again soon. She has also proven herself to be the greatest clapperboard person that the world has ever, or will ever see again. Chimgee, thanks from the bottom of our hearts. Love.
So that’s it for this part of the project. Goodbye Mongolia, it’s been emotional. And beautiful. We look forward to coming back.
And to everyone we’ve met, who have been interviewed, who have accepted us into their home, who have driven us around (BYAMBAA “very big” THE BEAR!!!), thank you so VERY much.
To everyone around the world who has been watching, reading, listening and commenting on this blog: thank you so much. We have appreciated and enjoyed your feedback.
They think it’s all over… it is now.
BLOG 25 // MR. SELLO-MOUTH: 09.03.12
WE’RE RUNNING OUT OF TIME!!!!!
So, unfortunately we’re not going to be able to upload our final video blogs (there are only three left). We won’t have access to the internet tonight and have a massive farewell dinner planned in an hour. But we have one last video ‘Funny’. Well, it was on our laptop, so you might as well have that. Mr.Sello-Mouth:
BLOG 24 // PUPPY DOGS & COUNTRY ROMPS: 09.03.12
…we were driven out to a secret location the other day. Picked up at 8am, we drove to the outskirts of the city. This involved driving through mazes of little back roads (that we swear just went round in a circle for an hour – it felt like being on a mini M25), off-roading through forests, past wild animals and driving on a frozen river for about half an hour… which, trust us, is very very scary.
We finally arrived at our destination about an hour later. Unfortunately we can’t divulge what we were doing out there, but let’s just say it was very interesting and in film-making terms could very well be the ‘money shot’. We also came back with a puppy dog. Long story.
We’re flying back to London tomorrow morning. A mixture of sadness and happiness. We’ll hopefully be posting a couple of video blogs up before we leave – and we’ll be signing off with our last message. So hopefully see you back here soon.
BLOG 23 // THE END IS NIGH: 07.03.12
Only three nights left in Mongolia. It’s been AWESOME but it’s pretty much around time to go home now. Funny how you don’t really appreciate home until you’re away from it for so long. England has a truelly wonderful capital and the (majority of) people that inhabit it are colourful and beautiful. Ignore This… are proud to say we’re a London company. We’re London through and through. Fact.
…and add the fact that we’re all REALLY missing loved ones then we think it’s about time to say it’s home time baby!
LOVE TO MONGOLIA. LOVE TO ENGLAND. x
BLOG 22 // EARTHQUAKE & VODKA: 07.03.12
Been out of the capital for a few days. We were taken out to the country for a weekend away (about 3 hours drive). After a long hard slog of a couple of weeks in the city we all had dreams of some quiet, tranquil downtime. This beautiful imagined world was where we would find ourselves feeding chipmunks, spotting wild deer and riding horses along the mountains… instead, we turned up at 3pm and at exactly 3.01pm were force fed Vodka and beer. This carried on until 9pm the next night. We felt like human Foie Gras.
…we were so drunk we came back with liver poisoning, a near broken leg and headaches the size of an earthquake….
Talking of earthquakes, as you know we`ve been banging on about an impending big one coming to a town near us. Well, apparently our informants were correct. While we were away Ulaanbaatar was hit by a 5.5 tremor. Not massive, but lets just say its proof Ignore This have the connections that matter. Ha.
Anyway, lots of filming left to do. We`ve got some more vids coming soon… including a short vid of when we visited an orphanage.
BLOG 21 // MOHANIK: 02.03.12
Last night we filmed a great session with Mongolian band ‘Mohanik’. They were a great bunch of lads and had some killer tunes that wouldn’t be out of place on stage at The Barfly, Camden. Really great sound.
We’re going out deep into the country this weekend, so most probably won’t have internet access. Hopefully we’ll be able to post up a new video blog when we’re back, but in the meantime, here’s a short snippet of ‘Mohanik’ in action:
BLOG 20 // HORSE TRAINING: 01.03.12
Yesterday we interviewed Professor Tseveenjav (Executive Director) from the Mongolian University – Oil drilling department. He is one of the most respected names in his field, and was such a warm and welcoming person. We left with so much respect for him. The quote that stayed with us was: “There are no bad pupils, only bad teachers”, which we totally agree with.
Today we’re filming Mohanik. They are a really popular band among the younger generation here. Looking forward to it. We’ll hopefully be posting up a video blog soon, so keep an eye out. Right, so as promised here’s the moment we came across some horse training in the countryside. Amazing.
BLOG 19 // SOME PHOTO’S OF WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO: 29.02.12
Lots going on here… we’ve been filming like rabid dogs all over the capital, we’ve gone crazy loco with cabin fever (vids to follow very soon!), we’ve realized our translator is an alcoholic and wants to eat a kangaroo and we have eaten noodles and plain pasta – A LOT.
We’ve got a new video blog coming tomorrow – which is very pretty with lots of horses having a knees up – but in the meantime, here are a few photos (for no real reason other than they are on our laptop):
BLOG 18 // IN THE GER DISTRICT: 28.02.12
We drove up to the Ger district recently (Gers are traditional Mongolian homes made out of felt). This is a sprawling settlement surrounding the whole capital. We haven’t ever seen a city anywhere in the world with a housing problem quite like Ulaanbaatar. The district is a combination of these structures and haphazardly built dwellings… from a Western perspective, it resembles a shanty town. More than half of the whole cities population live in this settlement without running water, sanitation or basic infrastructure.
The few hours we spent up there was heartbreaking… but we also found the inhabitants to be welcoming, hospitable and genuinely warm human beings. We left the area feeling humbled… the resilience and strength of these people living in harsh conditions should be an inspiration to us all.
Have a look at a short video of what we saw up there:
BLOG 17 // GENGHIS KHAN STATUE: 27.02.12
So, camp Ignore This… has been struck down by illness. Simon puked his internal organs out 8 times last night. Not a pretty sight by any means. He’s blaming the sausages he had for lunch yesterday. At the moment we’re sitting in a pizza parlor and he’s just ordered a pizza with sausage on it… go figure the logic.
Today we’re filming an interview with a journalist and then hopefully we’ll be able to go home and sleep. No matter how beautiful and inspiring Mongolia is, it’s getting hard out here now. We’re all getting homesick, missing loved ones and missing our lives: one week syndrome (we hope). There’s another two weeks left and we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of what we’re here to do. LOADS of interviews and filming scheduled. Let’s hope we can pull ourselves through this current downturn. This is an AMAZING project and we are so happy to be involved in it, but at the same time it’s hard not to drift off sometimes and dream about our kids, our partners, our families and our homes. To everybody reading / watching: Love.
…anyway, enough of the self-pity. How can we be sad when we’re experiencing moments like this:
BLOG 16 // FUNNIES: NUMBER TWO – ROCKY: 26.02.12
…as below (blog 14). At least we’re entertaining ourselves…Sorry. Note: Nick is actually not that unfit… we were at high altitude with sub-zero wind ripping his lungs out, “ADRIAAAAAAAAN!” (any film requests let us know):
BLOG 15 // FUNNIES: NUMBER ONE – CHARIOTS OF FIRE 26.02.12
So, although we’re being paid well for this Mongolian gig we still figure there’s enough time to have a bit of fun. So we’ll be posting up some little ‘funny’ (apologies for those that don’t find them funny in any way. We do. And we’re going ever so slightly insane over here as every day goes by… so either laugh along with us, or laugh at us…we don’t mind) clips every now and again. At the moment, we’re going for film references. If anyone has a request, please let us know! First one up is ‘Chariots of Fire’. Laugh, cry, cringe… but at least watch it (unfortunately Simon was the victor):
BLOG 14 // MEETING SOSORBARNA – A MONGOLIAN STAR: 26.02.12
Today we got up at 5am to drive 45 minutes out of the capital to film the sunrise coming up over the statue of Genghis Khan. It was soooooo cold out there in the vast open space of countryside…
Simon’s toes nearly fell off. My fingers will probably never fully understand the concept of touch ever again. But with the statue, the landscape and the clean air enveloping us, it was an inspiring moment… Magical in fact. A bit like living in Narnia.
Unfortunately, we just missed the money shot of filming the light hit Genghis. So we’ll be heading back out there even earlier next week. Fucking mother nature and her inbuilt clock…always on time!
We’ll be posting a video blog up here of our experience very soon – it’s a good one, so don’t ignore it.
In the meantime, check out the video of when we met Sosorbarna – on of the biggest stars in Mongolia:
BLOG 13 // A FEW PHOTOS OF OUR MONGOLIAN LIFE: 25.02.12
Everything is going well so far out here in Mongolia. We’ve been given access to some quite astonishing moments. The network of links that Julia has amassed is quite astounding and so far what we have filmed, the interviews that we have conducted and the life changing things we have seen has really been amazing… but we are only one week into the three week project, and Mongolia is sooooooo MASSIVE! Wow…
Today Simon and I did some more filming in the Ger district. Very emotional and very humbling. While we were filming, Julia was having a session with a Shaman. There will be a video blog going up about her experience very soon… while we were waiting for her to finish, Simon and I also managed to re-enact the final scene from ‘Chariots of Fire’. Very funny. Video blog for that coming soon as well!
In the meantime, here are a few photos of our life in Mongolia one week in:
BLOG 12 // A NIGHT OUT IN ULAANBAATAR: 24.02.12
Last night we went out for our first taste of the Mongolian Capital. It was god damn nuts. And a lot of fun… even Simon had a dance (for 2 minutes), and then promptly went to sleep on a table. Watch the video blog, it’s a good one:
BLOG 11 // MEETING A GER FAMILY: 23.02.12
As we said in an earlier post, we recently went out to the countryside to visit a Ger family. It was easily one of the most magical moments of our lives. And pretty impossible to describe just what we witnessed. Hopefully what we’re filming is doing justice to this most beautiful country. On the way back into the city we stopped to do some filming, and Simon summed up the whole experience in one sentence: “I want to tell everyone how amazing this country is, but at the same time I don’t want anybody to come here – because they would spoil it.”
Here is a short video we made about a family living in a Ger. Enjoy.
(Note: Please notice the billboard sign on the holding picture. Peckham comes to Mongolia!)
BLOG 10 // NICK & MARE’S MILK: 23.02.12
We were allowed to film the White Moon celebrations at the Monastery. It meant getting there on New Years Eve at 10.00pm, leaving at 12.30am, and then going back for New Years Day at 6am. It was AMAZING to be a part of it. At one point, Nick from the office got locked out in the -30 conditions for more than half an hour. Which meant his legs and part of his nose nearly fell off. To warm him up, one of the monks offered him some tea. Thinking it would be hot, he accepted. Unfortunately, the tea turned out to be freezing cold Mare’s milk… here is the video of what happened next:
BLOG 9 // SIMON & THE BULL PENIS: 23.02.12
Everything is going amazing out here in Mongolia. The country is so beautiful, it’s almost impossible to describe it. We went out to the countryside yesterday to visit a family in a Ger (a Nomadic house – ie, a mobile home). On the way we witnessed the most jaw-dropping landscapes, wild horses running across the plain and deserted monasteries… wow.
Anyway, there will be a video blog going up soon about this trip. But for now, have a look at our second video blog of the series: “SIMON & THE BULLS PENIS”
(Shot with a Go Pro)
BLOG 8 // DRINKING WITH THE YOUTH: 21.02.12
Last night was fun. We went to a bar and met up with some of the younger generation from Mongolia. It was so interesting to hear their point of view on the issues we are looking at. There definitely seems to be a division – or growing division – between the different generations and we hope this will definitely come out in the documentary.
Today we filmed our first scheduled interview for the film. It was with an amazing 65 year old photographer. The interview went something like this: “Could you just start off by saying your name?” and then he didn’t stop talking for about half an hour. We didn’t need to probe or question – he simply told his story as if we were sitting around a campfire. It was astonishing to learn about his life and the colourful history he has had. And the footage looks awesome. So job done.
Right, so we promised to upload blogs as much as possible throughout this project. We also said we would upload some short vids just to give a glimpse of what we’re going through out here. The first one we’ve made is a short snapshot of our journey over here and touchdown in Mongolia. We will keep on uploading new vids as much as possible so come back here soon!
(The videos are all shot with a GoPro – so forgive the quality)
BLOG 7 // BULL’S PENIS FOR LUNCH ANYONE?: 20.02.12
So far we have done A LOT. Just to list some to show you what we’ve been up to, here you go:
1) We’ve been to Dashchoilon Monastery and met the Administrative and Head Lama (and filmed an amazing ceremony)
2) Had a meeting with one of the biggest TV stars in Mongolia
3) Met the Administrator of Mongolian Flickr
4) Met an amazing photographer who is hopefully hooking us up into some great places no one else gets into!
5) Met the Adviser on Religious Affairs to the President of Mongolia (wow!)
6) And lots and lots more…. including LOADS of filming. AMAZING!
…Plus, yesterday Simon ‘nearly’ ate a Bull’s penis for his lunch. I think he was a bit grossed out as it was cooked, he wanted it raw. We’ll get him to eat one and upload a video VERY soon!
We’ll hopefully be getting internet access in our apartment soon, so we’ll be able to upload a few short vids and DEFINITELY update this blog every day!
BLOG 6 // ARRIVAL IN MONGOLIA: 18.02.12
We have arrived!!!! Woooooo!!!
It was a long journey – lots of Delays, a stop over as we ran out of petrol (!!), but we finally made it 16 hours later. It’s not that cold… Although Simons nostrils have frozen.
We’ve been picked up and are currently eating an English breakfast… Can’t take a man out of his country?
The city looks crazy. Very polluted. Lots of buildings being built. The people seem friendly, let’s hope this continues.
More blogs to follow….
BLOG 5 // MOSCOW AIRPORT: 17.02.12
We’ve made it to Moscow. It is snowing, there is a tiny rat dog running wild and everyone seems to think we’re spies.
Waiting for the connecting flight to Mongolia.
BLOG 4 // AIRPORT: 17.02.12
Ignore this… Are at the heathrow. We came ridiculously early. Omelette eaten. Check. Coffee drunk. Check. Now let’s hope our plane has an engine. Love to all. Xxxx
BLOG THREE // REPORTS OF AN EARTHQUAKE COMING TO MONGOLIA (OH, AND THEY STILL HAVE THE BUBONIC PLAGUE): 13.02.12
So, Ignore This… are only a few days away from the beginning of our big Mongolian adventure. We cannot hide from the fact that we’re slightly worried about the flight and the fact that the plane looks like it was made in 1931:
But hey, at least we have the in-flight entertainment to keep us occupied as the wings fall off and we plummet to earth. They are currently advertising their ‘new’ film as the “action packed family adventure: Home Alone 2″. Circa 1992. Goody.
But more to the point, reports in the European news suggest that the Mongolian government are preparing for an upcoming earthquake. How big it is or when it’s coming is not clear, but I presume it will begin just as we land. Luckily we have a steady cam.
What is worrying us the most though, is that we have just found out that the Bubonic Plague is still kicking about and seemingly having quite a jolly jaunt over there. Do flu jabs work? Ahhhh maaaaaaaaaaan!
BLOG TWO // WE HAVE JUST PICKED UP OUR VISAS: 03.02.12
IGNORE THIS… ARE GOING TO MONGOLIA, ARRRRRRRRRRGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! ARE THEY SURE THEY WANT TO LET SIMON FROM THE OFFICE INTO THEIR BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY THOUGH?
BLOG ONE // OUR SHOPPING LIST SO FAR: 31.01.12
This is the current list of equipment/clothes we’ve bought specifically for Mongolia so far. More on its way in the post… we’re going to need BIG suitcases:
1 x roll of 500mm x 100M Bubble Wrap
2 x Snow boots
1 x Joby Gorillapod
1 x Falcon Dust off
4 x 1TB portable hard drives
2 x Thermal capped fingerless gloves
6 x Thermal Vest and long johns
1 x Ski Pants
2 x Thermal neck tubes
2 x Thermal balaclavas
2 x Thermal layer gloves
40 x Extra thermal socks
4 x Arctic Zip neck
4 x Arctic underlay trousers
4 x Arctic Fleece
2 x SPF40 Suncream
1 x Sony EX1 battery
6 x Camera screen protectors
2 x Multi travel adapters
1 x 32GB SDHC card
4 x mini hot water bottles
1 x 32GB Compact Flash Card
1 x GoPro LCD
1 x GoPro HD
1 x GoPro suction mount
2 x Battery chargers and (LOTS) of batteries
1 x Canon 5D waterproof Cover
1 x Glidetrack 1M
2 x Physio back supports
1 x Nikon to Canon lens convertor mount
Borrowed: LOTS. Thanks to everyone. You are legends.