Friday, January 9, 2009

Gearing up

Jeremy Clarkson on a Vespa-boat on Halong Bay

I mentioned a while ago that Hanuman Films were commissioned as the production company to work with the BBC Top Gear crew on a Vietnam special. Top Gear is one of the BBC’s best known programmes and the most popular show on BBC2 in the UK. The Vietnam special was originally conceived as an old car journey from Phnom Penh to Hanoi, but later evolved into an epic bike journey from Saigon to Hanoi. Jeremy Clarkson on a Vespa, Richard Hammond on a Minsk and James May on a Honda Cub, the journey included Dalat, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Hue, Hanoi and Halong Bay. For those who haven’t seen the show - it aired in the UK at the end of December - it ends with the conversion of the bikes into amphibious boats to travel to the end point on Halong Bay. A television first, it is unlikely we will see motorbikes on Halong Bay again. It was quite a James Bond experience filming with six speedboats and a helicopter to capture all the angles. Our own Nick Ray worked as Line Producer on the shoot and coordinated everything from filming permissions to motorbikes and amphibious craft with a team of up to 15 in Vietnam. The shoot was a great success and the show received rave reviews in the UK press. The story behind the shoot is worth another television special all on its own.

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