As the sun rises in Horquetas, Costa Rica we don't need an alarm clock. The birds are up early, presumably getting the worms and broadcasting their enthusiasm for the morning for all to hear.
While we are weary from travel, this is the first official day of the Expedition and we are greeted by our friends from Dole. For the first time, we are assembled in the same room together, face to face after weeks and months of phone calls. The camera equipment is spread out on the table like Christmas loot for the film team. I assemble the camera helicopter (a Phantom from DJI) to calibrate its on board GPS and control systems.
Our director of photography, Loren is busy setting up a dozen cameras. Timon Behan has been wrestling with the satellite system for 3 hours. We finally figured out we needed to restart our MacPro to hook up to the antenna.
Today has been a day of production details, equipment malfunctions, steep learning curves (we finally figured out how to charge the helicopter's battery) and joyous bonding. As our crew's medic said, "We arrive as strangers and leave as family."
Our first live broadcast of the day was challenging. At the last second, we scrambled with an audio problem - swapping out a mic at literally the last 5 seconds. Unfortunately, we hit the switch accidentally and had no audio on our broadcast. We won't make that mistake again.
Tomorrow promises to be another long day - but this time, we'll be shooting "The Perfect Banana" lesson program with Dole in Costa Rica. With the equipment ironed out and the 'copter flying, our three young hosts will be diving in head first to learn how innovation in Central American agriculture is improving the local economy and lives of people around the world.
As America struggles to produce enough scientists, engineers and knowledge workers, The Perfect Banana will connect students across America with the concept that science innovation leads to a better life.
Tune in live each day at http://www.ExplorationNation.com starting April 5-15 at 2pm central for a special, behind the scenes look at the expedition. Tweet questions during the broadcast to @ExplorationN8n. Bookmark this page to read daily updates and join the adventure.
And this time, we'll not only deliver live video, we'll toss in the audio - on the house.
Previously in this series: