The crew flew to Boston, MA for a sizzle reel shoot of a family-owned/operated soul food restaurant. Great-warmly-kind family and delicious food made this shoot both fun and difficult. Let's face it, it's hard to focus on work when you want to graze through their kitchen and eat every doggone thing in sight!!! We ate there for just about every meal AND brought dessert for the road too…because, well, it's hard to fiend for wheat grass shots and carrot sticks when you're working around soul food that smells AMAZING and you know first hand how amazing the chefs are in the kitchen. Yeah, good luck doing any better than we did.
From Boston, we decided to drive to DC, rather than fly. Yes, drive. What a team of troopers. There was obviously caffeine, personal stories, alternate sleeping, shared driving, bad back-up singing with the radio and shattered dreams of ever getting enough sleep on the rest of the three-city trip to make up for the 8-hour drive. Power sleep in the back of the minivan with the gear is not real sleep; although we give thanks for sleep at all.
With all of our gear, driving just seemed fastest when we looked at our schedule (rental car #1 drop off, fly, land, rental car, get to the hotel..). When you're traveling around with tons of equipment, airport-checkins become a thing of epically meticulous proportions (also known as headaches)--with lots of labeling, counting, recounting, re-recounting, and PRAYING that every shred of gear makes it in one piece…or at all. I'd already had a heart-pounding close-call, leaving from NY for Boston with a certain piece of equipment...There was really good reason not to gamble.
We rented a mini-van and got on our way. We arrived in DC early the next morning, checked into our DC hotel and scattered off to our respective rooms, divvied up gear, plugged in batteries and whatnot and slept.
It was New Year's Eve and there were three of us in a DC hotel away from our respective loved ones. So we figured we could AT LEAST head out for dinner after we set-up the interview set, and otherwise prepped for the next day's shoot. Dinner was DELISH. [Guess we did manage to eat well-enough on this trip! There's that.]
The casting session the next day was organized and went well. We used a two-bedroom suite as the main interview room; and another producer's one-bedroom suite became the holding area for the many casting interviewees we had set.
We got the information we came for and packed for our trip to Chicago, where we'd meet up with two more crew and yet more gear. Our planes all landed within an hour of each other and our crew van and driver were there and waiting.
Unlike the Boston shoot and the DC shoot, Chicago was going to be a serious test. We had a workplace environment where we had free reign in but still wouldn't be fully in control of; since these folks had real jobs and had real deadlines to go with them. Fair enough. We had a larger ensemble cast to coordinate, capture and interview.
Crazy trip. Crazy-amazing, talented team of friendly production professionals…who were super-committed to making Reel Roost's projects their best… made it memorable. Even with three cities and three sizzles on a fast-paced schedule, we managed to have some genuine fun. #productionfamily