The Centrum Guardian Project is a television show that honours the men and women of the emergency medical and rescue services who, on a daily basis, place their lives at risk for the benefit of the public. Each year an individual or group of individuals is nominated and, subject to a public vote, can win R50 000 for their base station. Sometimes, however, it isn’t only these people who find themselves in dangerous situations, as the Time Frame crew discovered whilst filming on location…
A few long days and nights had already been spent filming the first two episodes for the Centrum Guardian Project. So far the crew, along with the generous help of the emergency services to whom the show is dedicated, had turned these episodes over without a hitch. Whole buildings had been set ablaze, put out and set alight again and a story that involved the dedicated efforts of hundreds of people was successfully recreated.
Then, moving on to Episode 3, where a single paramedic rescues a family from an enraged swarm of bees, things took a sudden turn. Beekeeper William Urqhuart and Ian Miller (DOP) in their bee-proof suits, stood amongst a growing swarm of bees re-creating the events that took place whilst the rest of the crew hung back at what was thought to be a safe distance. However, in a matter of seconds thousands of bees had launched their assault upon the crew, who fled to the nearest vehicles. Director Michael Yelseth was seen running off into the bushes trying to fend off bees with his flailing shirt and Ruda Landman, the shows host and narrator was subject to a few painful stings before she managed to find shelter. Jasmyn Asvat, the producer had this to say ” You know, you can wrangle anything, from lions and dogs to a camel from the Himalayas or even a twenty thousand strong crowd of people… but try wrangling a swarm of bees…”. Despite this setback the episode was pulled off, with some amazing photography helping to set the tone of the story. ”It was a stressful situation because we were pressed for time. You know, there was nothing that we could do except sit and wait until the bees went away…”, Thomas Pretorius (Camera Operator) had been one of the many crew members to have been stung as he fled, “…but we handled the situation professionally in the end”
This is the second season of the Centrum Guardian Project to emerge from Time Frame’s production house. The concept was thought of and shaped by director/DOP Michael Yelseth and through Time Frame the five stories, promo’s, web inserts and behind the scenes footage were conceptualized shot and edited for Centrum. Stories ranged from raging waterfall rescues, a team of over a hundred people fighting an inferno at an old age home, a devastating forest fire and the courageous singular efforts of everyday heroes.
Ms Natasha MacDonald, Brand Manager for Pfizer Consumer Healthcare/Centrum, had this to say at the finalists award ceremony ”…And The incredible work of all those who helped to make the documentaries. Their skill and dedication to the project gave a sense of realism, truth and urgency to all the stories – recreating the right atmosphere, telling the stories as they happened. A special effects company would have taken days to deliver less realistic sets and settings. These guys really knew what they were doing”
The challenge for this shoot was to re-create a situation in such a way that it allows people to engage emotionally with the heroes involved; To be able to empathize with the daily struggles members of the Emergency Services face. However, when it comes to a shoot such as this, one that affects so many peoples lives and reaches out to many more, it is not only the emergency and rescue services who need to be noticed. For the duration of the shoot, whether filming in a cold, water-filled gorge or in the burnt out shell of a building once filled with life, the communities’ where these often chilling events had occurred, where the lives of the people lost and saved had made an impact, there was such a sense of spirit for the efforts of the Time Frame Crew and the emergency and rescue service members involved. This willingness to help came in many forms, from a cup of home made soup on a cold night to partaking as an extra or providing a regiment of fire trucks and ambulances. One truly got a sense of the esprit de corps, the resilience of human nature.
If you would like to watch all the episodes and special behind the scenes footage or vote for your favourite guardian you can visit the Centrum website
Watch an episode from last years Guardian Project as well as a current episode on our Showcase page
SEE THE GUARDIANS ON TV
Tune in to SABC3 from Monday 1 August to Friday 5 August at 18:57 – Just after Isidingo and just before the News.