Posts Tagged With: Movies

He No Longer Lives in Brazil

images

The flight from LAX to Rio de Janeiro (GIG) had been a long one but while tired I was excited to be at last joining the movie company to film on location. I had been hired to train Jaguars and was the only America working for the British film. When I met Gabriel at customs, I soon discovered that I had stepped into a surreal world and time. He stared right through me wearing a sweat-stained t-shirt that read “Kill Them All and Let God Sort them Out.” I could just make out a faded French Foreign Legion logo on a worn canvas bag slung over his shoulder.

In a thick Portuguese accent, he said in rehearsed English, “Welcome to Brazil,” and commenced to orchestrate us through customs. This was the tone that the shooting of this movie would take for the better part of a year. We filmed in fifty-five different locations that year which took us from the coast to deep in the jungles of the Amazon. We were on a golden voyage, a real old school adventure and it was 1984. Each day took us further from what we knew to a world of wild animals, jungle darkness, danger, Voodoo and real outlaws. We were a long way from home.

Continue reading

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Just One More Story

 

Photo By Gail Fisher, LA Tiimes

Photo by Gail Fisher, LA Times, 1980

 

It is really gratifying to be contacted by so many readers (many are fellow writers) requesting the background story on Almost Human. As a writer, it is a humbling experience to realize your work is reaching out beyond the private and often lonely effort of putting the words on the page.

Recently, I received an email from a reader in Russia (Russia!) who asked where I got the inspiration for Chapter 3, Lester and Girlie. That chapter is based on someone I knew years ago when I worked in the motion picture business who had a unique relationship with an aging chimp. He was an animal trainer in his late seventies or so. The old man and chimp were a real odd couple, who I enjoyed visiting from time to time.

Continue reading

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On Being Smarter

 

congo

Ken Decroo and Congo, African Elephant, Photo by Gale Cooper, 1981

 

Concerning the training of wild animals, I often speak on the importance of being smarter than the animal you’re training. When asked to elaborate on this concept, I immediately think of Congo, an elephant I worked many years ago.

While all elephants are smart, Congo was a genius. He was a big African male that stood almost twice as tall as my six feet.  At the time I met him, he lived at an animal safari park in California. I first met him when I was asked to work him for a photo shoot promoting the book, Animal People by Gail Cooper. I was featured in one of the chapters and Gail Cooper wanted a dramatic photograph.  Continue reading

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Back Story to Chapter One and Two of Almost Human

moja

Ken Decroo with Moja (signing chimp) e. 1984

Several readers have asked me how Almost Human was “born.” I was working as the technical adviser and chimp trainer on a movie that starred Karen Allen and Armand Assante. One evening we were out relaxing after a long day of filming on location in Albuquerque, New Mexico. After a few drinks Armand commented on how human-like my chimp, Mike seemed. I put on my university professor hat and began pontificating on all the traits we humans shared with chimps including my work as a linguistic research assistant on a project in Reno that had successfully taught chimps to communicate using American Sign Language (ASL) as used by the deaf.

That evening after the bar closed I went home and wrote the second chapter where Dr. Turner is lecturing about the similarities and differences of chimpanzees in a University lecture hall at the University of Nevada, Reno. I had worked there on the signing chimp project. I wrote that chapter in about 1984 or so on an old Royal typewriter. Just before dawn, as I finished writing, Gordon Lightfoot’s “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” played on the radio. I put another paper in and wrote the first chapter before going to work.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

It's Riding Time!

Two travelling fanatics riding through different cultures, cuisines and places. Expect motorcycle adventures, “How To…”, food reviews & helpful tips.

INNER THOUGHTS

INNER THOUGHTS

Writing about Animals

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." - Gandhi -

A Note From Abroad

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sailaway from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~ Mark Twain

Festival for Drama in Film, Screenplays, Novels

Showcasing the of best of DRAMA stories from around the world.

The Blog of Travel

Motorbikes, dogs and a lot of traveling.

Cafe Book Bean

Talk Books. Drink Coffee.

SKYLARITY

Mindfulness, Spontaneity and Authenticity

The Story Factory

Dismantling my heart

deBlogTroop

It's never late to read

A Gentleman's Lifestyle

Men's Fashion, Inspiration and Lifestyle blog.

MovieBabble

The Casual Way to Discuss Movies

Milly Schmidt

The Cat's Write

Transit Address

YOU SHOP. WE SHIP.

A Girl With An Adventurous Fork

The story of a girl and her romantic adventure with food.

the Confessions of a Wanderer

constantly searching for my next adventure

MY LENSCAPE

Travel Photography Blog

Food for Poetryy

eat, sip, travel, click, pen down poetry = Helps best reflect on life !

Rounded Nut

How We Get About

through the luminary lens

The sun is the great luminary of all life - Frank Lloyd Wright

Discobar Bizar

Welkom op de blog van Discobar Bizar. Druk gerust wat op de andere knoppen ook, of lees het aangrijpende verhaal van Hurricane Willem nu je hier bent. Welcome to the blog of Discobar Bizar, feel free to push some of the other buttons, or to read the gripping story of Hurricane Willem whilst you are here!

I JUST WANT 2 RIDE!!

Our Motorcycle Blog about Motorcycle Stuff

edwardwrightblog

Kenyan poet, African passion, Global view. _W_R_I_G_H_T_ POETRY. POETRY. POETRY.

Tooting Hustle

Everyday in London

Unlimited Choice

A canvas to tell your story

Arrowhead Freelance and Publishing

Making the world a richer place, one story at a time

Writer's Treasure Chest

A blog for authors, about authors, written by an author

firefly465

Writer of horror/fantasy/urban/worldbuilding. All those nice things which mean I get to use my imagination.

Simply Lavish

Live a Millionaire life on a Millennial Budget

Learn Fun Facts

An Archive of Curious Facts for the Curious

Pictures & Plane Tickets

A Wanderlust inspired Travel Blog

P e d r o L

storytelling the world

Kenneth Louis Decroo

Author and Adventurer

Reade and Write

Words and wine by Amy M. Reade

Trent's World (the Blog)

Random Ramblings and Reviews from Trent P. McDonald

Heartstring Eulogies

Conjured by Sarah Doughty

unbolt me

the literary asylum

Rishav K Singh

Project Theos