It is always interesting to travel. However, having done it so often for work, I find that sometimes that interesting things that you can find get pushed aside for tasks and jobs. This last trip was no exception.
I boarded the plane and went about thinking not of what cool things are going to be in Florida, but rather what things I needed to get done in order to make the trip a successful one. The rest of the team was probably thinking about the day trip to Orlando, or checking out the swamp areas, wrestling alligators, or whatever it was, but not me. My focus was on getting shots that I needed, locations, meeting the actors for the first time (even though we have talked on the phone a few times), and generally making sure that we weren’t wasting money.
That was a big key for me. I didn’t want this to be a waste of money. In indy film-making, wasting money means nobody will trust you with it again. Well, at least anyone who is interested in making money (albeit not much). And it seemed that the day we landed, I was going to be tested.
Car rental was a little more expensive than we anticipated, and the ride to the rental place left a little to be desired. The hotel wasn’t the best, but then again it wasn’t the Hotel Coral Essex either. But it worked. We couldn’t meet with the actor’s right away, but finally got time to do so before shooting began. From there it was work, work, work.
Granted we ate good, got to try new places, ate alligator again (which I love), and did try some of the local craft beer. The first day of shooting actually got all of what we originally went down for, but I had a back up plan to get more out of the trip for the money. So we filmed a short with the actors, since they were already cleared for the days anyway. This time, I stepped on screen and we went with it.
It was fun, but hurt. Again, we we landed on a Monday and was slated to leave on Thursday, so with Tuesday and Wednesday already gone with work, all we had was the morning before we left to see the sights.
Quick trip to Orlando to check out a shop, get some gifts for people at home, and a trip into the swamp to get some footage, and we were off back to Clearwater. The actors were amazing people, the time spent there was fun, and I wish we had just one more day to spend looking around. Never even got a chance to step on a beach, but there is always next time.
So take heed, if you travel, even for work, make time for fun things. Sometimes it is what makes the trip worth it.