By Emily Mraz, Segment Producer
No Reservations is a small crew and for the most part we attempt to travel light. Hopping on and off international flights with cases and cases of gear is an art as well as toting it in and out of hotel rooms, crew vans, up mountains, through jungles and so on. So it was no surprise that while planning the Prague shoot our cameraman’s request for a jib and a remote head was met with some opposition. These are not the type of things that will fit in a suitcase and usually require additional crew to set up and operate. Prague , however, as a location, was begging for something special and Zach was so enthusiastic about his request we ran with it.
Upon arrival it was clear that Prague is the epitome of cinematic. The architecture is absolutely stunning. The winding cobblestone streets, the arching bridges and walkways, the statues, the trains… it is a breathtaking place to be. It is also a hub of feature film activity. For that reason we were able to easily put our hands on the right equipment for the job and rented the jib and truck as soon as we landed. After a week’s worth of hopping around the city shooting scenes we had devoted our last day to b-roll and our jib rental.
Sometimes the last day of shooting can be pretty tough. Everyone is tired and energy can be low. Every day that week it was absolutely freezing outside and a new record low for the month of October. That did not deter Zach though and even with the prospect of a 12-hour day spent completely outdoors he was ecstatic. He was like a giddy kid opening gifts on Christmas morning. He had waited all week and now it was time to play.
Normally, when one rents a jib arm and a remote head and wants to drive around a city to shoot they have also rented the appropriate truck for the gear. We, however, were trying to make due with a flatbed pick-up truck with some pretty crazy suspension. Luckily our driver was completely fearless and willing to go wherever we wanted. By the end of the day we had driven onto pedestrian walkways, median strips, trolley stops, public parks and the sidewalks at busy intersections. It was an amazing day.
We saw the city like no one had ever seen it before. We spent hours focusing on everything from minute architectural details to wide cityscapes from nearby hills. Zach was in seventh heaven. By the end of the day we were a well-oiled machine, driving in and out of cramped alleyways like we had done it a million times before. The footage was gorgeous. Zach had known all along what the results would be and he was right. It was the perfect way to spend our final day in a magical city.