American Film Crew’s Backstage Inside Son Doong Cave

In addition to poor condition for personal hygiene, the film crew also had to overcome chasms and abysses to bring a ton of machinery and equipment into Son Doong cave.

About 10 am on May 14, the crew of ABC Television Company just set foot on the center of Son Trach commune, Bo Trach district, Quang Binh. They spent the whole week in humid cave, unconditional bathing, personal hygiene; everyone in the crew recognized themself “body odor.”

Do not hide the tiredness but everyone feels great for the success of the live program, introducing Son Doong cave to 6 million American TV viewers and 60 million viewers on internet.

Son Doong Cave (1)

Maria Stefanopoulos, a member of the crew did not believe his eyes when walking into Son Doong cave.

At noon, 10 crew members and more than 150 suitcases of equipment, 12 generators were gathered in the town center. A team of 150 experts and porters had to walk, went through forest and returned in early afternoon.

Sharing after the program, Maria Stefanopoulos, Member and Head producer of the crew said 10 members of the crew are the best people of the ABC TV from around the world. They leased two lighting experts from Thailand.

It is the first time the program was conducted in such a special cave environment, among rugged and remote mountains. Ms. Maria shared “It is difficult to bring equipment into the cave because of the mountainous terrain. The cave environment is complex and full of obstacles. During the implementation process, unexpected rains also hinder the crew”.

The poor light condition inside the cave had made the crew so worried. 12 generators were brought into the cave to ensure the best pictures of Son Doong cave to millions of viewers.

The 11-hour time zone difference between Vietnam and the US is also seen as a major obstacle during filming.  Ms. Maria said “It’s hard to communicate and exchange between the crew and the side parts in the US while it is daytime in Vietnam, the other side is midnight”.

Son Doong Cave (2)

The crew members review the program on the internet.

Returning from Son Doong cave, members of the crew reviewed the program on the Internet. All show their bright smiles as a result of efforts.

Ms. Maria shown “I do not believe in my eyes. Upon arriving in Son Doong cave, I know that heaven is real. Very crowded viewers feedback that the live program is a good one they have seen.”

At the same feeling about Son Doong cave, Romeo Durscher, a curator from flycam filming crew, used beautiful words to describe the extraordinary cave. Romeo described “I’m really overwhelmed by the beauty, splendor and vast of Son Doong cave”.

Related: CNTraveler Surprised At Son Doong Cave’s Capacity

With a large number of audiences watching the show, Maria felt proud because the program ended successfully. She said “From an original idea, we develop into a project. Son Doong is a big dream for me. For the program implemented in Asia before, we chose Thailand and have never thought about Vietnam.”

Maria evaluated “Son Doong is where the terrain is complex and dangerous, but there have been experts and professional porters who always bring confidence and sense of security for us. For me, discover Son Doong is one of the world’s best tours. It will bring success for tourism in Quang Binh and Vietnam”.


Equipment of the crew are regrouping to move to the US and UK.

Talking about the process of connecting to perform live shows inside the world’s largest cave, Mr. Nguyen Chau A, general manager of Oxalis, the company for exploring expedition tours in Son Doong, said the contacting lasted for months, but the decided time for implement the program is within a month.

Mr. A shared “150 porters and 25 administrative staffs, experts struggled continuously for 10 days throughout the program. We planned the program, transported equipment, contact the helicopter, etc. The imported time for equipment is right on occasion of long holiday 30/4 that caused many obstacles.”

According to the CEO, Son Doong cave is the reason for ABC to Vietnam to implement the program. But this great success is not only for Son Doong or Phong Nha but also forVietnam. The program also introduces Ha Long landscape, life and people of Vietnam, etc.

General Manager Oxalis shared “This is a major breakthrough, introducing Vietnam’s tourism to the world. Son Doong likes an ambassador, using the world’s largest cave in order to promote and introduce nature and people of Vietnam to the world “.

After the success of the program, both the crew and operators in the local tourism assessed that more Americans will be interested in Vietnam and also planned to visit the S- shaped country.

Currently, Quang Binh People’s Committee assigned Oxalis exploring Son Doong until August, 2015. Mr. A told “We hope Quang Binh licensed to maintain tourist activities in Son Doong as this year. I do not think increasing the number of visitors to Son Doong is a good solution. Fot those who love nature, cannot visit Son Doong, can choose many other appropriate destinations.”

Earlier, at 6pm on May 13  (Vietnam time), the program Good Morning America broadcasted the live program of Son Doong cave, lasted two hours. Vietnam spectators can watch the program on the internet.

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