Megan Thompson is a producer and editor at Worldfocus. She blogs about how she films such stunning shots for her signature stories – and about unexpected rainfall in Morocco while shooting An unusual weapon in the war against extremism.
Who knew it rained in Morocco?
We certainly didn’t, and woke up to a downpour on our one and only full day of shooting in the storied Moroccan city of Fez. Between the four of us, there was just one tiny raincoat – the one I’d brought for the camera.
We were in Fez to cover a festival of Sufi culture, and needed to capture the surrealistic beauty of the city itself. Looking out the window at the sheets of water, it was hard to imagine how. But imperfect circumstances are the norm rather than the exception in this line of work, so we just had to figure out how to make it happen. And first, we needed to find me something to wear.
We ran to a Moroccan version of Walmart, where they apparently didn’t appreciate the abnormal weather either, as there was no rain gear to be found in its vast aisles. But then we spotted something that could fit the bill. A metallic silver, two-piece, plastic “sauna suit” used for sweating off the pounds in the sauna. If it keeps water in, it could keep it out, so we bought it and headed for the door.
It’s pretty rare in foreign countries to see women operating television cameras. It’s even more rare in Morocco to see a blond camerawoman running through the streets in a shiny, billowy outfit meant for weight loss.
But we ignored the stares and went to work, capturing the sights and sounds that fill Fez’s ancient walls – donkeys piled with leather goods, men selling sweet mint tea, children filling water jugs from the tiled fountains, carts of fresh oranges and mosque after beautiful mosque. And then came our reward: the sun appeared and delivered a brilliant afternoon.
Since that trip, I’ve never left home without rain gear. And I’ll admit it: I wore the sauna suit back in New York City during a rainy bike ride. Turns out, it’s actually great at keeping the rain off, and breaks the wind too. Who knew?!
– Megan Thompson