Working in a Coal Mine
The early, pre-production stage of No Reservations, where we decide what our next locations will be, is a complex and deliberate process.
Actually…no. It’s not.
I got the idea for the shoot we’re currently on while drinking a tall boy, watching VH1- too lazy to reach for the remote. It was “I Love the 80′s” or some show like that, a compendium of videos from mostly forgettable hair bands and the one from Duran Duran, singing “Rio” came on, the band draping themselves around a yacht at full sail somewhere in the Caribbean while trying to look alienated yet artfully tousled.
I never liked Duran Duran, but in a rare moment of inspiration, I realized that by late January of this year (around now), the crew would have just finished shooting in upper Manchuria (sub-zero temperatures), the Central Highlands of Viet Nam (chilly at best) and Maine (freezing cold with snow). I thought it would be a welcome reward for all the veterans on the show to warm their bones while island hopping between some of the smaller islands of the Grenadines, eating, drinking, sailing from destination to destination on some monster, multi-cabin yacht. That wouldn’t suck, right?
I heard recently from one of our shooters that Samantha Brown remembers the birthdays of all her crew and even gives them little presents and I thought, “Wow! That’s really thoughtful!” I’ve shot like 80 shows with Todd and I haven’t a clue to his birthday – though I do faintly recall that he always seems to be on the road with us when it comes around.
So, it wasn’t for me that I came up with the idea for a Caribbean show. Oh, no. Pristine beaches, gracefully arching palm trees, frothy boat drinks, the gentle lapping of waves against the hull of a yacht – I am indifferent to the charms of such things – preferring, as I do, a life of the mind and deep reflection – wherever I might be. It was for them.
That’ll show Sam Brown, I figured. “Nice? I’LL show you NICE.”
Day arrives and cameraman Zach Zamboni has to take the week off for some convention of video wonks – or yodeling retreat – or whatever he does when he’s not working. And head office picks this time to rotate in two new hires, Nick and Chloe.
Flash forward to right now. Nick is burned a nut brown color with fierce red highlights and Chloe is a rather more alarming bright pink hue and they have spent a fair amount of time drinking beer, eating fresh seafood and laying semi-insensate in the trampoline at the bow of a monster catamaran.
I hope they don’t think it’s like this all the time.
Though, after last night’s opossum hunt with requisite gnawing of the tail and burnt paws (obligatory for all newbies), I suspect they know that already.
Tomorrow, it’s Prague – and if it’s possible to have too much pork or too much beer, this is where that would happen. As you’ll see, I hope, it’s spectacularly beautiful there and the food, while a bit on the heavy side, is, in fact, delicious. But if ever a place had me craving a salad, this was it. If you commit a homicide as a vegan, they should sentence you to the Czech Republic. That would teach you the error of your ways. Death by sausage.