my new show on the BBC.

a year or so ago, I got a call from the BBC. they wondered if I had any ideas for a new show, so I sent ’em a few. one of them got picked up for 5 episodes.

it’s called ‘Treasure Hunters‘ [original, I know…] and we filmed the first season in South America.

they’re listed below, with links and a few production notes.

 

Argentina

1. Buenos Aires, Argentina [watch it here]. a long time ago, one man brought tango into the mainstream, with one startling act. in this, the first episode, I traveled to almost every neighborhood in B.A. in search of a 100+ year old record. what you don’t see in this was the constant rain, which hampered filming horrendously. when I’m sitting in the cafe, the sound is barely recognizable because it was pissing down outside. the man playing at the beginning of the show is famous, but he didn’t want me to talk about that. and the record store owner, Paco, turned out to give one of the best interviews I had on this trip, and basically carried the show. I got lucky.

 

Bolivia_22. La Paz, Bolivia [watch it here]. this was my favorite one in the entire series. half of that stems from Bolivia being my favorite place in South America, the other half being that this was black magic, something I’m obsessed with [learning about]. the treasure was good luck, but in the tangible form, so I travel from witch to shaman and back. hit with a discouraging fortune, dead llamas and a gorgeous [photo above] ceremony. and I still carry the treasure around with me.

 

Colombia

3. Bogota, Colombia [watch it here]. at one point, near the end, I border on losing my shit. this was the final episode we shot, and it all kind of came crashing down – but in a good way. remember my show on National Geographic? the one where I start crying after the Grand Canyon? same here. I suddenly realize I’m standing on the edge of the lake that launched the world’s biggest treasure hunt, El Dorado, and it’s me talking about it. on a show. for the BBC. to say it was ‘special’ doesn’t seem to do it justice. per behind-the-scenes, I went to this lake with my friend Jessica, who helped immensely. the expert at the beginning of the film was also my landlord, which seriously helped cover the cultural end of it. this is also a treasure I carry with me.

 

Ecuador4. Montecristi, Ecuador [watch it here]. this was the viewer’s favorite. it was also the first one I shot. perhaps it was the most popular because it was short, simple, but with a twist – of sorts. the town was a sad one, but the hat I left with is one I’ll pass down to my nephew. a funny side note is that I filmed all of these [save for asking strangers to hold the camera] myself. so if you notice in the walking shots, I’m looking out of the corner of my eye to make sure no one stole my camera.

 

Chile5. Valparaiso, Chile [watch it here]. this one was the most stressful, and one that I only got through because I have a dear friend who lives here. stressful because after filming in Ecuador, I got trapped at the border because of some riots so violent that they closed down the border [more on that in another post]. and then it was 30 hours of bus rides [one I got caught with coca leave on, and questioned by the police]. so then, finally, I arrive here and begin filming… only to get caught in another massive riot. I was stuck here for two weeks, with barely enough money to eat. but thanks to my friend, who happens to own a guesthouse, he refused any money and sent me on my way with a full belly.

 

 

… and that’s it, the first season. there might be a second one, there might not.

but I’m proud to have done it, to have gotten it out there.

I had an idea.

I made that idea work.

and it aired on the world’s biggest network.

so yeah…

I’ll take it.