Film Captures Essence Of Fiji

  A 23-year-old Utah filmmaker, Talan David, had one thing in mind when he was given the opportunity to shoot a video in Fiji for a US-based company called, “The
31 May 2018 10:00
Film Captures Essence Of Fiji
Filmmaker, David Talan with the children of Nakobo village. Photo: Ryan Noble


A 23-year-old Utah filmmaker, Talan David, had one thing in mind when he was given the opportunity to shoot a video in Fiji for a US-based company called, “The Vata Project.”

He wanted to capture the “real” Fiji.

“Fiji is not Fiji without its people. There are so many tropical locations all over the world, but very few hold open and welcoming people. Fijians are proud of their culture and love to share it. I wanted to bring that to light.”

Mr David’s three-minute long video featured villagers of Nakobo, Cakaudrove, Vanua Levu. It was posted on Facebook on April 19. So far it has received more than 4000 reactions and more than 3100 shares.

It was his highest trending video. He is hopeful that some of his upcoming videos will get the same traction.

“I think the reason this got so much attention is that it shows real life. It isn’t fake or fabricated. It encompasses the human experience and people relate to that stuff,” Mr David said.

“I was so excited to see it keep getting shared and all the wonderful comments people wrote. I kept getting friend requests and kind messages on Facebook thanking me for my video and for capturing the real Fiji.”



Mr David grew up in Denver, Colorado. He is completing his degree in Marketing and Communications at Utah State University in Logan, Utah.

He is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints.

“My beliefs influence my film making a ton. I want to create and share uplifting and inspiring content,” Mr David said.

“There is a lot of filth in today’s media and I want to battle that with wholesome videos. Stuff that makes people smile, laugh and cry. I aspire to create content that makes people have deep feelings of love for life.”


Getting to Fiji

Mr David was tagged in a post on Instagram by a friend about a company called, “The Vata Project.” They were looking for a videographer to come to Fiji and capture content for their clothing company.

The “Vata Project” donates 50 per cent of the company’s profits to installing water tanks in villages across Fiji.

“This really intrigued me and so I sent in an application video and they chose me for the job,” Mr David said.

Along with the two CEOs of the “Vata Project”, Spencer Cordner and Andrew Taylor, a photographer and three friends, the team travelled to Nakobo Village.

Their purpose was to install water tanks in rural villages and Mr David was to capture footage.

“Three of the seven people in the team used to live in Fiji and served there as LDS missionaries. So they already had a deep love and appreciation for Fiji,” Mr David said.

“That is why they chose to make serving Fiji a part of their business model. What impressed me most was how friendly the people of Fiji were. I was shocked that everyone would yell, ‘Bula!’ at one another. I loved that.

“I also was impressed that the Fijian people were very giving and loved to share what they had. It is refreshing to experience.”


At Nakobo

“They cooked the most delightful food and they were very appreciative of us installing water tanks in their village,” Mr David said.

“I was surprised to hear that often they would run out of clean water and it felt incredible to know we were actually making a difference.”


About Fiji

“When my peers ask me about Fiji I tell them that they must go, but they must experience village life,” Mr David said.

“We were lucky because three members of our group used to live in Fiji so we knew a lot of people, but if that is not that case, still go and try to take in as much of the Fijian culture as you can.”



Mr David’s set-up consists of two cameras, a drone and a stabiliser. Cameras are: Sony a7s ii and Sony a6500 and Drone: Mavic Pro.

Here are some comments from the video:

Sereana Narayan: A fantastic video Talan. Beautifully captured showing what truly makes Fiji unique and beautiful. A small country with big hearts. I hope u got to experience being in the village and watching the Fiji 7s team play on tv – it’s an amazing experience! Lolomas


Losana T. Ah Yuk: It is the people and the BULA spirit that is FIJI and you captured it both in a (coco) nutshell.   Vinaka, Talan


CK RobinsonPorter: I’m booking a village tour for real Fiji experience.

Edited by Epineri Vula


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