Ah, the wonderful unreliability of travel. I am the kind of person who makes lists, does research, plans things and is generally a fan or order. And yet I love to travel and create. These things are not always symbiotic. Maybe because I’m a Gemini or maybe because I’m a creative gypsy I carry both sides: the love of well-ordered plans and surprise adventures.
In any case, I’ve learned that the coexisting of these contradictions can be a great asset. In the case of making a music videos (but really, any of life’s adventures) it is imperative to make a plan—set a location, create a concept, secure wardrobe and props—and then be willing, when the situation arises, to chuck it all to the side and tackle the shoot guerilla style.
Right now I am on the 3rd leg of a back-to-back work/play trip and, true to travel form, while everything has been planned and organized, allowing plenty of time for normal delays, it has not gone to plan. To start with, our flight to Nashville—to shoot on the only day all schedules would allow—was delayed. We narrowly made our connection in Denver getting us there just in time for the largest snow storm in 13 years.
Luckily the shoot wasn’t going to require further travel and although the original concept involved more wardrobe changes, we’d already decided that we could work with just one.
In the morning, we awoke to ten inches of fresh snow with more falling. The roads were deserted. The flakes were perfect. There was no wind. And the cloud cover provided perfectly diffused lighting. So, because we weren’t stubbornly set on our original concept, we opted to run outside and shoot a few sequences in the beautiful weather nature provided and just see what happened.
It changed our whole shoot. Because it wasn’t my primary shot, I didn’t feel the pressure to get it “right” and found myself taking risks I wouldn’t normally take. I didn’t worry about all of our little hacks, like using an umbrella to protect the camera’s lens from snow or walking unsteadily backward through the snow for a one-shot. Collectively, we worked to take advantage of this amazing opportunity—one we couldn’t have possibly planned for—and got some fantastic footage.
We also got our planned shots, but, in reviewing them all, it’s clear that the shots in the snow were totally necessary to make the video that much better. And we never could have planned that.
Despite a random hip/groin injury from shooting, being unsure of weather delays at the airport thwarting my next travel plans and potential for skiing and a flight cancellation, it all worked out. We made it home. I made my ski trip. I felt good enough to get some turns in. And again, I was reminded of the grace of adventure.
(And now, please excuse any typos or sloppy writing, I chose to stick to my one-a-week blog schedule rather than give myself extra time to make things perfect because, well, I’m still mid-adventure and who knows what’s coming up next?)