Meet Camilla Andersen. As a child, Camilla Andersen,originally from New Zealand, wanted to be a detective. Now as an adult, she has not strayed far away from her dream. As she told FIJI ISLANDS, “being a producer and presenter is a little like being a detective…I love meeting people and finding out about them.” Camilla is the producer and presenter of The Blue Continent, a six-part travel television series made for Travel Channel International. The series features 12 Pacific Islands nations including Fiji, the first Pacific country Camilla visited. In the series, she follows the early settlers’ migratory path and wonders what possessed those who stood on the edge of the known world to journey into this seemingly endless blue void. Camilla shares her own personal journey filming The Blue Continent.
Like myself, Air Pacific is a great believer in the unique beauty and culture that the Pacific has to offer the international traveller and they really showed this by supporting The Blue Continent to showcase this part of the world to over 60 million viewers worldwide.
Q: Tell us about the Blue Continent...
The Blue Continent is a six-part travel television series made for The Travel Channel International that featured 12 Pacific Islands nations. The series loosely follows the migration trail starting with the Lapita culture and ending with the migrations to the corners of the Polynesian triangle. Each island nation is explored through its people and culture, with a look at the past, present and future.
Q: What was it about Fiji that made you decide to create this TV series? Had you been to Fiji before?
Fiji was the first place I ever visited in the Pacific. I spent quite a bit of time there on another project during 2006. It was my first taste of what is so special about the Pacific, the wonderful pace of life and the important role that culture and family and friends play in daily life. I am also a huge fan of the ocean and tropical fruit, especially mangoes, so of course I fell in love with Fiji that first time and knew I had to come back and share it with the world.
Q: And that brought you to partner with Air Pacific?
Air Pacific has been one of the key supporters of the project and greatly assisted us with flying the crew and our equipment all around the South Pacific on their network. Without Air Pacific, the series would not have been able to get to as many places and showcase this incredible part of the world. Like myself, Air Pacific is a great believer in the unique beauty and culture that the Pacific has to offer the international traveller and they really showed this by supporting The Blue Continent.
Q: Where can our readers find out more about the series?
The Blue Continent airs on Travel Channel International which screens in 118 countries worldwide in 19 languages and into over 60 million homes. The majority of the audience are in Europe and the United Kingdom, but you can see The Travel Channel on SKY TV in New Zealand. The Blue Continent will air a number of times over the next three years to ensure that all viewers can catch the series at some point.
The series has a website and a Facebook page. There are additional videos from scenes that didn’t make the final cut as we always had too much material to fit in, so we have put the extra content online. Both the website and Facebook have many photos from the shoot. Readers can visit thebluecontinent.com or travelchannel.co.uk to find out more information. They can also search for The Blue Continent on Facebook and share this series with their friends.
I love it that in my job no day is every like any other and every day I get to meet new interesting people and often end the day with a new friend or two and that is something I love.
Q: How long have you been a producer? Was it always something you wanted to be?
I’ve been producing for almost 10 years now and I do enjoy it, however when I was a child, I thought I was going to be a detective. Being a presenter is a little like being a detective as I love meeting people and finding out more about them.
Q: Being a producer on location is not an easy role, what was it about the project that kept you motivated every day?
Most mornings while shooting I woke up to the sound of the ocean and a plate full of exotic tropical fruit for breakfast that would give anyone motivation to jump out of bed. However, I love that in my job, no day is like any other and every day I get to meet new interesting people and often end the day with a new friend or two, that is something I love.
Q: For our readers who are going on a tropical holiday to Fiji, what would be your top 10 recommendations, and why?
1. Yanuca Island & Shangri-La Fijian Resort: An oasis of peace but with so many friendly, fun staff. If you are lucky, you will get to meet Binesh, the coconut guru. Make sure you check out the coral regeneration programme.
2. Nadi Market: I love markets as you really get to meet locals and check out the local produce at local prices.
If there is one experience that I personally enjoyed the most, it was learning about the coral regeneration being done on Yanuca Island and most of all, getting to join Moses, a volunteer with the programme run at Shangri-La Fijian Resort, to head out into the water and plant some coral.
3.The Pearl South Pacific Resort at Pacific Harbour: A beautiful property popular with visitors and locals alike. A great place to enjoy views of Beqa Island with a cocktail in hand.
4. Natadola Beach: My favourite beach on Viti Levu. Great for swimming or simply reading and soaking in the sun.
5. Suva: While most people come to Fiji for the beach, I love wandering the streets of Suva for an insight into the urban and business life in Fiji. I’ve made many friends wandering around here and you really get a feel for what makes this country tick.
6. The Yasawas: True island paradise. Enough said.
7. Buying fruit on the side of the road: The best mangoes I’ve ever eaten came from a roadside stop near Nadi Airport.
8. Stopping to watch late afternoon rugby games: It seems around 4 or 5pm each day in almost every village there are rugby games which are so much fun to stop and watch. I’m sure I’ve seen a future sports star or two in the making.
9. Kava: Any visitor to Fiji will probably not leave without tasting this national drink.
10. Swim-up bars in the resorts: When I finish filming for the day, all I want is a swim and a drink so this combines them both.Heaven.
Q: What is your number one experience in Fiji while filming this documentary that you will never forget?
In general, I will never forget the music I heard in Fiji, the singing was beautiful and it seems most of my filming memories are accompanied by songs. However, if there is one experience that I personally enjoyed the most, it was learning about the coral regeneration being done on Yanuca Island and most of all, getting to join Moses, a volunteer with the programme run at Shangri-La Fijian Resort, to head out into the water and plant some coral. It was so beautiful out in the water and so good to know I could do something to give back to Fiji.