We\’re in South Beach in February, which is exactly where you want to be in February, especially when you\’re from New York, which, coincidentally, unfortunately, and only mildly hilariously, is buried under a foot of snow AND in the midst of a flu epidemic. Conversely, I\’m in a tank top, covered in sunscreen, sitting on the beach. No wonder everyone hates me.
It\’s not all fun and games, however. It\’s hot out and I\’m pale and fragile and getting sandier by the minute, under a palm tree, wearing a giant hat, playing Brickbreaker on my BlackBerry, and guarding the equipment cart.
To be fair, it\’s the first sunny day we\’ve had since getting to Miami. We rolled into town during an epic thunderstorm, and the weather\’s been weird ever since. It\’s warm for sure, but humid and damp, and the sky is varying shades of gray, from light is-that-sun? to get-in-the-basement-kids-this-is-the-big-one! dark and forbidding. Normally, this is no big deal; we shoot no matter what the weather. Add enough lights and reflectors and a snowstorm can look like a day at the beach.
Too bad we can\’t fake a sunset.
What\’s a trip to South Beach without a great shot of the sun slipping into the ocean? The infamous \”green flash\”. The perfect end to the show.
We find a good spot, right on the water, that will all but guarantee a good, long shot of the sun going down. We sit and wait.
And wait as the clouds roll in and it starts to rain. Every. Single. Night. I watch Weather Channel relentlessly and have 17 weather alerts plugged into my cell phone. Every time it beeps, we crowd around, staring at the tiny screen, waiting for good news that never comes. The best we can do is Partly Cloudy with a Chance of Afternoon Thunderstorms.
The rest of the show becomes unimportant when we discover a bridge that leads from Miami to South Beach, the very end of I-95. Going over it one day, we realize that, depending on the car\’s location, it\’s almost possible to see the sunset. If you squint. And stand on your head. And jump up and down a few times. But it\’s there.
We reroute all our travel plans every day to take us over the bridge from 5 p.m. on, in anticipation of a 6:30 sunset. One night finds us parked under the overpass, engine idling, as if we\’re trying to sneak up on the sunset. It doesn\’t work. One night, we try to outrun the clouds by trying to break land-speed records in the minivan. Another, we wind up halfway to Ft. Lauderdale, convinced that the sun is \”just past those buildings, no, really.\”
Without exaggeration, we drove over that bridge 50 times during the shoot, including on our way out of town. It was a beautiful, clear, sunny day as our flight took off, bound for the frozen North.