In 2005 I was exploring the idea of expanding the work the we were making at SAVANT. Initially, we did small commissioned jobs and Sancoche, but more and more, I found myself wanting to make documentaries – take a story and explore it in depth. Carnival has always been a passion of mine – not so much the fetes and limin’, but the panyard practice sessions, the mas camp making and the irrepressible explosion of creativity. I had worked in Minshall’s mas camps over several years in my early twenties, and I knew that the combination of personalities, crazy hours of work, creativity and pressure would make for a really entertaining and interesting TV show. So I pitched – then general manager at TV6 – Shida Bolai the idea for a six-part series, ‘Makin’ Mas with Brian Mac Farlane’ and was THRILLED when they decided to commission the series. It was a seminal moment in my career – the first time I was commissioned by a television station to make something! My budget was modest, but I grabbed the opportunity with both hands and went for it!

Filmed in the months leading up to carnival 2006, the series was an all-access pass behind the scenes of the making of a carnival band in Trinidad and Tobago.

Making the series was PACE! We were essentially broadcasting in ‘real time’, so we’d shoot, edit and race to the TV station with the tapes (yes, tapes!) so the show could air that weekend. It was wild and taught me SO much about what shooting for a reality TV series must be like!

After the series finished airing, I decided to revisit all the footage to see if there was another story in there that I could extract – something that had the creation and performance of the moko jumbie carnival king at its heart. And that was my first long-form documentary, ‘The Insatiable Season’.

The crew:

Producer/ director: Mariel Brown
DP: Sean Edghill
Second camera: Eniola Adelekan
Camera Assistant: Kevin Thomas
Location sound: Cedric Smart
Producer: Sophie Wight
Composer: Martin Raymond
Editors: Michael Toney and Rose Long