Preparations are well under way in Brazil for the annual Rio carnival.
GV EXTERIOR Sao Christovao Pavilion where carnival props are being built
GV AND SVs Women painting white bird float (2 shots)
SV AND CU Man cutting fibreglass blocks as part of float (2 shots)
CU Man hanging foliage on float (2 shots)
SV AND ZOOM TO CU Man pins eyes onto crocodile head at foot of float
GV PAN Workmen put finishing touches to floats (4 shots)
GV PAN Crowd dancing at pre-carnival samba event in Ipanema
CU PULL BACK TO GV King, Queen and other dancer on podium (2 shots)
GV Mole amplified band on float on lorry, followed by dancers
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Preparations are well under way in Brazil for the annual Rio carnival. Festivities commence on Friday (15 February) and for the next five days the streets of the capital, Rio de Janeiro, will be thronged with samba dancers and brightly coloured floats. This time the authorities hope to revive the popular spirit of the event, following criticism that in recent years only the rich and the tourists could afford to take part.
SYNOPSIS: Rio has staged its annual carnival for more than 300 years. The Sao Christavao Pavillion is now the centre of activity. Inside, workers from the municipal tourist office put the finishing touches to this year's street decorations. sheltering beneath its eves, some of Rio's dozens of samba schools prepare to compete at the climax of the main parade on Sunday night (17 February).
This school, from the heart of the docklands, has chosen for its theme the coming of the first slaves. The fibreglass float reflects the strong African involvement in Brazilian history.
As the final preparations went ahead the mayor of Rio told reporters poorer citizens had missed out on the enjoyment in recent years. Popular festivities will command a larger share of the 1980 carnival budget, and more street events and public dances will be free.
Originally the carnival marked the restoration of the Portuguese monarchy. Now it gives the cariocas - Rio's citizens - a chance to indulge themselves before the austere religious period of Lent. More than 600 thousand people are expected to take part in the celebrations, which will cost 240 million cruzeiros (50 million dollars) to mount. The carnival king and queen will officiate at a hundred samba parades and dances, and a flower battle.
Amid Rio's rising crime rate all police leave has been cancelled to ensure the party goes smoothly.