Award-winning filmmaker Carlos Carvalho dies after on-set incident involving giraffe
Carlos Carvalho, an award-winning filmmaker, has died after a fatal accident involving a giraffe while on location in South Africa. He was 47.
Carvalho had been employed as a second unit camera operator for a television movie Premium Nanny 2 (working title), the Cape Town-based production company Two Oceans Production confirmed to EW. He was shooting at the Glen Afric Country Lodge, a gaming lodge in the Northwest Province, when he was hit in the head by a male giraffe on site named Gerald. He later succumbed to his injuries after he was flown to a hospital.
CallaCrew, a film crew agency in South Africa, first announced the news in a message published to Facebook on Thursday.
“It is with a very sad heart that we have to announce the passing of Carlos Carvalho, one of our favorite DOPs,” it read. “Carlos was filming a feature at Glen Afric and had a fatal run in with a giraffe on set. He was flown to Milpark Hospital [in Johannesburg] but succumbed to his injuries [at] 20:50 last night. Our thoughts and condolences go out to Carlos’ family and friends during this very sad time. He will be sorely missed.”
“The accident occurred after filming with animals had come to an end and the giraffe was moved off the set by animal wranglers who were in attendance,” a rep for the Glen Afric Country Lodge elaborated in a statement to EW. “From all accounts it is alleged that the cameraman decided, on his own accord, to obtain additional video footage of the giraffe. The cameraman ignored all safety briefings and protocols by venturing too close to the giraffe, who swung his head as giraffes naturally do, making contact with the cameraman and knocking him off his feet. Unfortunately, the blow proved to be fatal.
“The management and staff of Glen Afric are deeply saddened by this unfortunate accident and join the production company in extending their sincere condolences to the cameraman’s family and friends,” the statement continued. “An independent investigation into the accident is underway. Subject to the findings of this investigation, Glen Afric is unable to comment further on the matter.”
Drikus Van Der Merwe, a member of the film crew, also told The Telegraph, “[The animal] started chasing the boom swinger who joined our unit. The giraffe followed him but we didn’t feel threatened because he just seemed to be inquisitive. We started shooting close ups of its body and its feet. Then while Carlos was looking through the camera eyepiece Gerald [the giraffe] swung his neck and hit him against his head. It came out of nowhere and Carlos didn’t even see it coming. He wasn’t aware of the danger.”
Carvalho won the Silver Lion at the Cannes Film Festival in 2003 for a public service announcement for Childline. In 2014, he won an African Movie Academy Award for The Forgotten Kingdom, for which he served as cinematographer.