This is my story of what happened on our trip to TN - good, bad, indifferent.
When I first pitched the idea of this film to Colle at our union meeting last month, I had no idea what I was signing myself (and my team) up for. Colle mentioned in passing that he was going to TN in October. I said, "Oh, maybe I can go with you." I didn't actually think it would happen.
Fast forward four weeks:
10.13.10 4am. My alarm goes off.
I have spent all week either lying on the couch with a fever or buzzing around preparing for this trip. I hop in the shower, try to feel OK, and get on the road to pick up Colle @ 5am.
5am Colle's house.
Colle is not ready to go. He is still packing, ect. until 5:30. We finally get outside and he wants to smoke. I usually don't let people smoke in my car, but we are LATE, so I let him smoke in my car as we speed to the airport arrive @ 5:45, at the ticket counter by 6am.
After another mandatory smoke break...we are not getting into the security line. Colle says that he is going to get a wheelchair escort to the front of the line. This does not happen. The plane is now boarding. We should be getting on right now, but we stay with him. Emily and I get through security but because Colle requires special procedure to get through security because of his disability, he does not. As they are closing the door on the plane, a flight attendant announces from the front that Colle will not be boarding and asks us if we want to get off the plane. Our hearts pounding, we choose to stay on with the equipment. The 2 hours of sleep I was hoping to get were hijacked by fear, anger, and heavy prayer.
layover in Denver
Got a text from Colle. He is going to take a direct flight from LAX and land almost the same time we do. I can comfortably sleep the next 1.25 hours until we get to Nashville.
Get out luggage (hallelujah, it's here, not broken)
Get the rental car (an upgrade to a big 'ol impala....nice!)
Get Brandon (our contact/guide in TN)
In a torrential downpour, we follow Brandon to a cafe so we can eat and Colle can email some work that is due.
4:30 Emily & I head to our hotel to check in while Colle attends a closed meeting.
We arrive to meet Colle & Brandon at Colle's hotel to go to a function at the school. We get there and wait for Brandon to arrive back from wal-mart with kitten supplies. Colle found a kitten in the bushes outside the hotel and has taken it to his room.
We arrive at MTSU (Mid Tennesee State Uni) and set up quickly in the hallway outside the room where the event is being held.
After the film (Boys don't cry) ends, we enter quickly and shoot from the back of the room. Brandon introduces Colle and Colle says a few words about his upcoming talk. We continue filming as Colle has conversations with several students.
Pack up, Get white castle, take Colle back to his hotel.
arrive at hotel, bring eqipt. to room, sleep.
Overslept an hour, running late.
Grab coffee/food, get to Colle's hotel.
Film Colle with kitten which he has already grown very attached.
off to MTSU w. Brandon & Colle for a balloon release.
Film the balloon release, and get some interviews from students
interview the Dean of Diversity
Drive in circles going to 4 or 5 credit unions trying to find an ATM which will deposit Colle's check.
quickly eat something
Film interviews with Colle & Brandon @ Munfreesboro mall.
Bring Colle back to his hotel so he can spend time with the kitten.
Back to MTSU
Set up in the room
interviews with students in lecture hall and then in library.
Colle & Brandon left to go to dinner.
We went to "Breakfast" @ waffel house w. students
check out of hotel, go to airport
1) footage. We got about 5 hours of good footage. (I hope)
2) crash course on how to use EVERYTHING.
3) experiencing TN. I want to go back.
4) New friends. MT Lambda is great.
5) I prayed. Alot.
6) Organization payed off in many ways. We (Emily and I) were booked, on time, on schedule, and on cue for everything with all the correct equipment. All of the equipment made it to and from TN in perfect shape, with the exception of one of the tripod zipper pulls that was cut by the bastard TSA idiots when they cut the lock off.
7) Thank you to my Android phone which kept us in perfect google directions everywhere we went.
1) I had bronchitis.
2) being sick, going on hardly any sleep, stress, being inundated with constant plumes of cigarette smoke, and having a panic-attack like reaction from my steroid inhaler did not make me a pleasant person to be around at times. By thursday afternoon, I was a fucking bitch.
3) No matter how highly organized I become, other people are not going to run on my schedule.
4) This was expensive. Very expensive.
5) I was afraid that we were not going to get enough footage.
6) It was a logistical nightmare.
7) There was only 2 of us to do a 10-person job.
8) at this point, I don't know what we got. could be great, could all be shit. who knows.
What I would have done different:
1) more people. I understand now why production crews have 483 people standing around.
2) more time. I would have gotten in a day early, checked out the sites and planned better so that so much time was not wasted.
3) One HUGE mistake I made - I put Colle's mic on the wrong side of his shirt collar, and you can see it through the first half of his talk.
4) The sound from the mall interviews is going to be horrible. I did not want to shoot in a mall parking lot, and would not do it again.
5) we have no B footage of MTSU
6) If I wasn't sick, I'm sure I would have been easier to work with.
Overall, I think we did a pretty damn good job considering how insane this whole thing was...but only the tapes will tell.