We Bought the Wrong Damn Chickens

“We bought the wrong damn chickens…” Brandon Payne, Ti Laurent’s Production Manager, sighed as one of our Haitian colleagues, Widline made an unsuccessful attempt to shoo off a chicken that was supposed to be used in a key scene of the film. In it, the chicken needed to run comically fast, like in a Rocky training for a fight scene and be tackled by our main actor, Pedro. But our chicken calmly took two steps and continued to peck at the dirt. Brandon and Wildine had purchased the chickens from La Savanne, a crowded and depressing slum at the edge of La Cayes, where we were shooting some of the film. Bazil, the Haitian producer on the team, shook his head, “they must be Dominican chickens, Haitian chickens run,” laughter ensued. Producing in Haiti was like this, buying 10 chickens was relatively easy and cheap, but making the chickens run, difficult. Finding a hospital operating room to use was easy and free! But, finding a sausage to use as a prop proved impossible, as we found out after wasting two days navigating the intricacies of Haitian offerings, to finally end up with hot dogs.