Video of Vanuatu, Efate, Tanna, Mt Yasur Volcano

Here is a video of Port Vila and around the island of Efate in Vanuatu. At the end of the video is the island of Tanna and the active Mt. Yasur volcano. Filmed and Edited by David Whalen. Produced by Richard Taylor. Music courtesy of the Music Bed, "Unforced Rhythms" by Tracey Chattaway.

Shot on Panasonic GH3 in 29.97 1080. Most shots on an Olympus 9-18mm M.Zuiko lens.

Stills from Vanuatu and Mt Yasur:

Vanuatu Airlines

Port Vila Market, Vanuatu

Charter to Mt Yasur Volcano

Mt Yasur Volcano

Mt Yasur Locals

Video of Upolo Island Samoa, Apia, To Sua Ocean Trench

Here is a video of the island nation of Samoa including Upolo, Apia, To Sua Ocean Trench and Piula Theological College underwater cave. Filmed and Edited by David Whalen. Produced by Richard Taylor. Music courtesy of the Music Bed, "Shimmer" by Tracey Chattaway.

Shot on Panasonic GH3 in 29.97 1080. Most shots on an Olympus 9-18mm M.Zuiko lens.

Pictures from Samoa:

Welcome to Samoa

Piula Theological College

Flight over Upolo Island

Video of the Cook Islands, Rarotonga & Aitutaki

Here is a video of Rarotonga & Aitutaki, Cook Islands. Filmed and Edited by David Whalen. Produced by Richard Taylor. Music courtesy of the Music Bed, "Unforced Rhythms" by Tracey Chattaway.

Shot on Panasonic GH3 in 29.97 1080. Most shots on an Olympus 9-18mm M.Zuiko lens. A couple shots from the GoPro Hero 3+ underwater and on a DJI Phantom drone before it crashed into the ocean ruining both.

Some stills from the the Cook Islands:

Seafari Ocean Charters, Cook Islands

Rarotonga Airport

Aitutaki Airport

Selling Nearly all Camera Gear

La Mancha Media is selling nearly all its camera gear this week on eBay. We are selling off the only camera, Panasonic GH3 along with all of the lenses and most of the tripods. We are keeping the audio mics and one of the smaller tripods. We will use the funds raised to save for any potential work in the future and will most likely purchase this tiny little camera when it is released in November, the Panasonic LX100 which shoots in full 4K. It has the same sensor as the GH4 but is tiny and has a great lens. This is the new simple.

Of course, if we ever get a big enough job to justify something better, like the GH4, we will get that.

10,000 YouTube Views for The Wild West of Namibia

My OnePlus One Android Phone has the YouTube app installed which is logged onto my non-profit YouTube account, lamanchamediatube YouTube allows qualified non-profits to post full length documentary films in the highest quality, so I have been posting all La Mancha Media's movies and videos there. I will be deleting the Vimeo account very soon.

Yesterday the YouTube app sent a notification to my phone saying that my film The Wild West of Namibia was viewed 10,000 times. See attached screenshot. That was a great feeling. That movie has been posted for about a year and for the first 9 months it had about 1000 hits only. Then all of the sudden, it started rising and now there are about 100 views per day.

I wanted to share this news with followers of the blog. Please help my newest film The Wild Coast take off, since to me, it is a more engaging movie and much better quality in terms of visuals. You can help by going to view it and sending it to all your friends. Of course, please feel free to visit the website of the sponsored ads since this provides LMM will a small amount of money.

The Hokule'a Polynesian Voyage Malama Honua in Cook Islands

The Hokule'a is a full-scale replica of a Polynesian voyaging canoe. She is currently sailing 47,000 miles around the world on a 2 year voyage known as Malama Honua ("To Care for our Earth") without engine power.

This interview was at Muri Lagoon, Rarotonga, Cook Islands on August 5, 2014. Richard and I stumbled on this group near our hotel and did a quick interview. On August 6 she departed the Cooks for Samoa. She is currently still in the South Pacific near the Swains Islands. Her crew was recently greeted by the U.N. Secretary General. See their blog for more info and follow their progress at

Rotorua and Bay of Plenty, New Zealand

My last post while travelling in the South Pacific. Richard went home yesterday and I am driving around the North Island of New Zealand for 2 days. Today I went to Roturua. It is the home of a large lake in a volcanic region. Scalding hot mineral water from the earth's core oozes up in Rotorua and the Polynesia Day Spa has incredible pools. The actual location was founded by a catholic priest in 1878 who had severe arthritis, and after dipping in the natural pools was able to walk again. It turns out I had a second larger cut on my head from Samoa, diving in underwater caves. The blood was still caked in my hair and the mineral pools washed it all free and my head feels much better. I have two large bumps on my head now but the cuts seemed to be healing nicely without danger of infection (fingers crossed). Of course, the tetanus shot I got helps calm my nerves but made my arm and liver feel like crap for two days. I feel so stupid for diving in that cave when I knew it was likely I would freak out and hurt myself due to claustrophobia. It was a very vivid event and scared me so bad, I could in fact have drowned. It was reckless of me.

I left the spa to go north to the Bay of Plenty named so by Captain James Cook in laes 1700s because of its wealth of forests and resources. The pictures are from Mt Maunganui, Tauranga. The island full of pine trees (boat in foreground) you see is not set up for tourism as local tribes lives there and don't welcome tourists. It is called Matakana Island. I will be heading north to circle the Coromandel peninsula before flying home to Los Angeles late tomorrow.

I have never been so sad leaving a location as I felt leaving that mineral spa today!

Thanks for following the trip on my blog. I will post the videos in September and some educational posts about the countries as well as a intro by Richard, the producer.

The very last picture is from Fiji. We only spent one night and it was the most tourist friendly of all the islands. Even if I am one who loves off the beaten path locations, it was amazing nonetheless. The kind of place one would have a romantic holiday. Perhaps I will return one day if I ever get married.


Ile Des Pins, New Caledonia

Here is a few images from Ile Des Pins or the Isle of Pines in New Caledonia. It was the  most beautiful location of the entire trip to the South Pacific, and one of the most magical places I have ever been. I took amazing footage and images. But it was not meant to be photographed. The first time in my life, my SD card automatically deleted itself and began to write fresh from the very end of the day. All I have of that wonderful day on the island is a few clips of the evening and a few pics. Here are a couple. I will try to get a pro to retrieve from SD card but it does not look promising as I have already ran several programs and found a ton of old files saved on the disk, but none of the images from that day! I actually visited Ile Des Pins over a week ago but was so depressed about losing the footage I did not post this till today, the last night of the trip. I will write a blog entry about the day soon however. Look for it in September or earlier. The pic that looks like a sunset in fact is a moon rise during the amazing super moon of August 10, 2014. The girls I met on the ferry back to Noumea. We ended up talking and going for a drink later. They were really kind. Both from mainland France.

Upolo Island, Samoa

Here are some images from our day on the island of Upolo in Samoa. It is just a 30 minute flight to American Samoa but the flights were full so we could not make it over there. Our guide told us the actor called the Rock in the USA is Samoan. We went to a underwater cave at a Methodist Theological Seminary and because of my claustrophobia and freaked out underwater and breathed a lung full of water and smashed my head against rocks. I went to the local hospital since it was bleeding but did not require stitches, just shaved a small patch of my head and cleaned it.

We went to the most easterly part of the island called Lalomanu where each clock day of the world begins. The international date line lies just on its outer edge. You could be in the day today and yesterday at the same time if we had a boat to put out a bit from shore. It is also the site of a tsunami in 2011 that destroyed 20% of the population and houses.

Richard is heading back to California tomorrow and I will be spending two days in New Zealand driving from Auckland to Rotorua and then back to Auckland along the western coastline.

Vanuatu and Mt Yasur Volcano

Here are some images from our time in the islands of Vanuatu. You can see images of the bay and the Port Vila market as well as Mt Yasur volcano on Tanna island. It was exploding for us!

Aitutaki, Cook Islands

Spent the day in Aitutaki, Cook Islands yesterday. Its about a 40 minute flight from Rarotonga. They filmed several episodes of Survivor here as well as Shipwrecked. Here are a couple images I shot. Heading to Auckland, NZ for an overnight and then on to New Caledonia next.

Rarotonga, The Cook Islands

We landed in Rarotonga in the Cook Islands yesterday and went out exploring.

Here is Richard Taylor, the producer of the videos for this trip to the South Pacific. We are walking in the Muri Lagoon here.

To learn more about what we are doing here click on this overview page.

And we stumbled upon this group of people holding hands in a circle at the Avana Harbor, one of the only deep water passages into Rarotonga's lagoon. The great ocean going vakas (canoes) set off from here in the 14th century to settle New Zealand, the so called Great Migration.

We stopped to talk to the leader of this group and made a small on camera interview which I will publish later on. This group is called Hokulea, the Great Polynesia Voyaging Society, and they are canoeing around the world to bring awareness to the problems of the oceans today. They just started their journey two months ago and will be canoeing for the next 2 years. They had come here all the way from Hawaii. Some passages are a couple days, some a couple weeks long. You can follow their progress on their website.

I flew the drone once and got some beautiful underwater shots of the lagoon with the GoPro. But this morning I flew it again but due to a malfunctioning battery and some stray dogs, it landed in the lagoon and conked out along with the GoPro unprotected from waterproof case! So unless by some miracle the electronics dry out in a few days, my drone and GoPro are dead!

I will be posting every couple days so check back.

Travels to the South Pacific

I (David Whalen, Director of LMM) am travelling to the South Pacific for about 16 days in August 2014 from Aug 3 to the 19. I will be filming several sites in several countries including the Cook Islands (Aitutaki), New Caledonia (the Isle of Pines), Vanuatu (Tanna Island), Samoa, Fiji and New Zealand. Richard Taylor is funding this trip and we will be travelling together. Richard produced our recent film The Wild Coast. A huge Thank You to Richard!
Areas Visiting in South Pacific
The videos I will be creating for LMM will be short 3 minute videos for the countries and will be set to music.

I intend to accompany the videos with write ups of each with a bit of history of the place. I will also be doing some blogging from the islands during August so check here at LMM for updates. In September 2014 I will be posting the videos.

The great explorer Captain James Cook, explored and mapped a good number of these islands in the late 1700s. One of his first mates, Lieutenant William Bligh, later captained his own ship the HMS Bounty. To learn more of Captain Cook read "Blue Latitudes" by Tony Horowitz.

On the Bounty's return voyage from Tahiti occurred the infamous mutiny on the bounty by first mate Fletcher Christian and others. The mutineers took several women from Tahiti, of whom they grew enamored with, and lived with them on Pitcairn Islands (population today of 67) giving birth to children and founding a community. To learn more read "The True Story of the Mutiny on the Bounty" by Caroline Alexander or watch several films here (1985 with Mel Gibson) and here (1962, but in gorgeous 70mm Imax like film, fantastic).

Norfolk Island
There are many myths as to what became of the mutineers and their families. In the book "Tales of the South Pacific" by James Michener, he locates descendants of the mutineers on Norfolk Island near New Zealand with wild tales.

Michener's book deals with WWII events of the South Pacific, known as the Pacific War. Japan essentially started WWII when it bombed Pearl Harbor by surprise. Japan had been seeking expansion through the region and thought they could stop our interference before it started. We (the US) then fought them in the Pacific for 4 years. A great movie to watch on this is Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison and the PBS documentary, Victory in the Pacific which includes a 1944 documentary narrated by Ronald Reagan about the then new B-29 bomber mission to Tokyo. It's extraordinary.

The Pacific War ended when Harry Truman, the US President, dropped it's Atomic bombs' Little Boy and Fat Boy on on Hiroshima and Nagaski. A great book to read on this is "A Song for Nagaski; The Story of Takashi Nagai" by Paul Glynn, about a Catholic convert who lived through the bombing to tell about it, and to help the countless injured. Today he is considered a saint in Japan.

I will be dragging along my helicopter with GoPro as well as my Panasonic GH3 to film the beauty of the place.

Another thank you goes out to Vanessa Snider at the Bluefish Concierge who is organizing the details of this trip.

The Wild Coast: An Exploration of the Guianas

UPDATE 6/14/2018: The Wild Coast was remastered and released in three parts on June 14, 2018. Take a look at the newest remastered version here

The following was entered in 2014:

The Wild Coast Documentary Film is a physical, historical and philosophical exploration of the Guianas, the three countries that make up the northeast of South America. These unique, non-Spanish speaking countries, are still wild and untamed. The main theme of our film on the Guianas is freedom. Freedom has both been trampled on and clinged-to--at very great costs.

The film explores what happened at Jonestown, where more than 900 people died during a mass suicide/murder, led by US cult leader Jim Jones in 1973. It further explores the freedom-loving Maroon people of Suriname who were brought as slaves from Africa, but rebelled against their slave owners establishing their own communities in the jungle and fighting back against their former slave masters. This group later would fight against the Marxist dictator president of Suriname, Dési Bouterse during the Suriname Guerilla War. And finally we explore the penal system in French Guiana, specifically Henri Charrière and his book Papillon, the greatest story of prison escape ever told. We retrace several of his escapes, including his first to Trinidad and his last to Venezuela, with a a final glorious look at Angel Falls in the Canaima National Park.

List of Credits below images

The following are stills taken during production:
Georgetown, Guyana

Port Kaituma & Jonestown, Guyana

Kaieteur Falls, Guyana

Moiwana & Albina, Suriname

St. Laurent du Maroni, French Guiana

San Fernando Hill, Trinidad

Devil's Island, French Guiana (Iles du Salut)

Caracas, Venezuela

Angel Falls, Venezuela (Canaima National Park)

Evergreen Cemetery, Oakland, California

The Taylors, La Jolla, California


A Film by David Whalen

Produced by
Richard Taylor

Written, Directed, Filmed and Edited by
David Whalen

In order of appearance
Richard Taylor
Fitz Duke
(Cameo by Filmmaker David Whalen)
Wynne Taylor
Allan Greene
Colin Benjamin
Martina Amoska
Henry Djoe-Kastiel
Ma Atema Jintoena
Lauréne Priou
Emma Lozano

Special Thanks
Karen Taylor
Vanessa Snider
The Bluefish Concierge
Wilderness Explorers
Antonio Hitcher
Oswaldo Luna Arciniegas
Laura Kohl
Fielding McGehee
Rebecca Moore
The Jonestown Institute
The People of Moiwana
Monsieur le Maire
Monsieur Léon Bertrand
Mairie de Saint-Laurent du Maroni
Service Patrimoine
Mortimer Kansinaley
Mike & Paula Colarusso

Kickstarter Donors
Robert Taylor
Frank Brennan
Peter Tutelaers
Joshua Garcia
The Kneier Family
The Faggioni Family
The Cavalcanti Family

Research Sources
Papillon, by Henri Charriére © 1969
Published by Harper Collins
Translated by June P. Wilson and Walter B. Michaels

The Wild Coast: Travels on South America's Untamed Edge,
by John Gimlette © 2011, Alfred A. Knopf, New York

A Thousand Lives: The Untold Story of Hope, Deception,
and Survival at Jonestown, by Julia Scheeres © 2012, Free Press

Jonestown, The Life & Death of Peoples Temple
American Experience PBS © 2006

The Cayenne Guillotines

Film, Audio Tape & Book Excerpts
Papillon, by Henri Charriére © 1969
Published by Harper Collins
Translated by June P. Wilson and Walter B. Michaels

Papillon, A Franklin J. Schaffner Film, with Vintage Featurette
The Magnificent Rebel, by Eleuthyra Films, Warner Bros. © 1973

The White Diamond,  Werner Herzog © 2004, Marco Polo Film AG

The Jonestown Death Tape (FBI No. Q 042), November 18, 1978

All songs courtesy of The Music Bed, LLC
Always Smiling, by Dexter Britain
Twelve Labors, by Spirit of Spain
To Become Immortal, And Then Die, by Spirit of Spain
Belka, by Spirit of Spain
Rise, by Tony Anderson
Spirit (Extended Ambient Mix), by Tony Anderson
This is Space, by Windsor Airlift
Rivers Run, by SA
That Empty Space, by SA
Looking for Comfort, by Ryan Taubert

People's Temple and Jonestown
The following are courtesy of the Jonestown Institute
The People's Temple, San Francisco, 1970s
Tapes, Jonestown, November 19, 1978
Port Kaituma Airport, November 18, 1978
Jonestown Radio Tower, 1979
Jim Jones and Children, Redwood Valley, 1972

The following are from an FBI FOIA Request by the Jonestown Institute
Several images of the Peoples Temple Agricultural Project
Several images of Port Kaituma airstrip shoot out, 1978
Newsweek cover, 1978
The Houston family in Jonestown, 1978
Ryan with Houston family, November 18, 1978
Reporters in Jonestown (Ryan delegation), November 18, 1978
Military landing, 1978
Jim Jones speaking, 1978
Henry Mercer and young people, 1978
Military helicopter landing in Jonestown, 1978
Plastic baby, 1978

The following are from the U.S Army all shot by photographer
SSGT. Jose L. Sanchez on November 20, 1978
Aerial view of Jonestown tragedy
US military placing remains into body bags
A member of the US Army sprays disinfectant over the bodies
US Air Force helicopter assists in the removal of the remains
US military and volunteers offload remains of victims from helicopter
US military remove body bag from a truck
US military place a body bag in a coffin for transport
US military stack the remains onto a pallet for shipment
Lt. Colonel Leonard Morrisey examines a poster found at the compound

Other Jonestown Sources
Frame-grabs from deceased Bob Brown, NBC, November 18, 1978
Jim Jones with Parks family as they indicate defection
Frame of only video taken of attack at the Port Kaituma airstrip

The following are courtesy of Tropenmuseum Royal
Tropical Institute, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Portrait of three Maroon men and a child in Suriname, 1910-1935
Object # 10024950
Portrait of a group of Maroons, 1900-1928
Object #10019525
Maroon schoolchildren in a dug-out at Moengo Tapoe, 1904-1937
Object # 60006386
A group of Maroons poses with canoes, 1895-1915
Object # 60046994
Group portrait with Aukaner Maroon children in Manlobbi, 1919
Object # 10031754
A group of Maroons ready for the start of a regatta with canoes
on Rikanau-Creek near Moengo, 1904-1937
Object # 60043563
Village scene with Maroon children, 1920
Object # 60006027
Portrait of a group of Maroons, 1880-1900
Object # 60012336
Maroons engaged in manufacturing of an image ritual, 1920
Object # 60005968

Other Sources
Ronnie Brunswijck and Jungle Commandos
Source: (original source unknown)
President Boutourse
Source: Wikipedia
Body of Maroon child brought before medicine man, 1955
& Maroon village, Suriname River, 1955
Source: John Hill (Wikipedia)

French Guiana
The following are courtesy of Wikipedia
Papillon Book Cover
Henri Charrière
Napolean III
Quartier - Disciplinaire, St. Laurent
& Condemned men's block, St. Laurent
John Hill, 1954

The Cayenne Guillotines

Alfred Dreyfus, obj 20430368 (old image: Ullstein Bilderdienst, Berlin)
Dreyfus a Ile du diable
Image du Petit Journal - Affaire Dreyfus 1887

Français : Image du Petit Journal - Affaire Dreyfus.
« Alfred Dreyfus dans sa prison »
20 January 1895
Bibliothèque nationale de France
Author: Fortuné-Louis Méaulle et Lionel Royer

The following images are courtesy of Collection A. Heuret
Félix, Cayenne (1920)
Bateau d'évadés au large de Porto-Rico (1937)
Cimetière des Iles du Salut (1910-1920)
Une corvée de forçats à l'Ile St. Joseph (1910-1920)
St. Laurent, Radeau de l'Administration Pénitentiaire (1908)
Construction de la route St. Laurent - Mana par des forçats (1920's)
Léproserie de l'Acarouany - Le débarcadère et la maison principale (1910-1915)

St. Laurent du Maroni Archives
Francis Lagrange photos of paintings:
Guillotine & Prisoners being dumped to the sharks

Paris Match, 1969: Papillon Returns to the Bagne (article with pictures)

All images, video clips and quotations, either in the public domain,
pursuant to creative commons license, or claimed under fair use doctrine.

Google Earth Pro © 2014
Grant courtesy of Google for Non-Profits

Filmed in the following locations
California                        Guyana
Mt. Soledad                    Port Kaituma  
La Jolla                           Jonestown
Oakland                          Georgetown
                                       Kaieteur Falls

Suriname                         French Guiana
Paramaribo                      St. Laurent du Maroni
Moiwana                          Îles du Salut
Moengo                           Korou
Albina                              Cayenne

Venezuela                        Trinidad & Tobago
Caracas                            San Fernando                   
Angel Falls
Canaima National Park

Principal Photography by David Whalen
Additional Photography by Wynne Taylor
Panasonic GH3 Camera
GoPro Hero 3 Black
DJI Phantom Quadcopter
Adobe Premiere Pro

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