On the Movie Set

Thursday I had a new adventure. I participated in the filming of a new documentary pilot. No, I am not replacing Daniel Craig as the next 007, although that would be enticing as long as there were plenty of doubles to do the stunts and the heavy lifting. The reality is that my friend Sherm is putting together a pilot for a documentary he is producing. Sherm wanted to make use of the Jeep for filming moving shots while he was driving his Porsche 356 through winding roads of western Connecticut. So, the Jeep is the star, not me. In reality the 356 is the star.

The day was lot of fun. The only downside is that I took the top and doors off the Jeep. The modifications were done so the videographer could get unobstructed shots. Getting to the location early in the morning was an adventure in the cold and dark. Fortunately I dressed for the weather with several layers and a warm hat. I must have appeared an odd site to the others on the road at that early hour, they being comfortable in their cars with the heater on.

Sherm hired both a videographer, Evan, and a drone operator, Tray. Both interesting young guys and totally serious about their craft. My part in this enterprise is to drive the Jeep. Something that I truly love to do. Safety was a big issue for both Sherm and I. Evan was made totally secured in place with harnesses and was in turn secured to the frame of the Jeep. It would have been bad form to have him fall in front of the 356 during the filming of a high speed closeup. And we certainly would not want to put a dent in the 356. The drone was an adventure in itself. The shots that were made with it was unbelievable. And, the technology is unbelievable and amazing in the hands of a fellow that knows his stuff. I should also mention the videographer’s technology with a gimbal mount for the camera that keeps it rock solid on a bumpy road, amazing. The camera looked like something out of Star Wars.

The Crew

The documentary production is, in my view, a very large and involved project. As I understand the goal, the documentary will focus on the change of the place of the automobile in our society. For me driving was a right of passage, a car was central to my young identity. I, and many other young fellows, washed and polished them until they gleamed. We took pride in working on the mechanics and loved the sound they made and the power that was in our control. All this was central to our independence and ego. This love of cars has stayed with many of us through our advancing years, at least it has for me. It seems that automobiles are now nothing more than utilitarian tools to be used and scrapped at the end of their useful lives like nothing more than washing machines. (These are my words not necessarily Sherm’s). At least I think that is the focus and the plan. I am not altogether on board. Whatever the product, knowing Sherm, it will be well thought out and beautifully crafted.

The task we had was to gather video scenes for the pilot and possibly in the finished produce. From what I said above, one might conclude that we were putting the cart before the horse, so to speak. Inasmuch as the bulk of the prep had not yet been completed. However, there was method to the madness. The fall is the most beautiful season in New England. There is a very short window to take advantage of the peak fall color. If we did not shoot the video when we did, there would have been a year long wait for the next opportunity. That is, if one does not want to compromise and use a less colorful season. There will be few compromises here, of that I am sure. So, we were off to Litchfield County, Connecticut for a day in the fall color. In addition to the filming, it was a great time to enjoy the beauty of our state and some great companionship.

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