A few months ago i had the distinct pleasure of working with a wonderful group of producers from Phoenix, AZ on a worthwhile (in my book) project. The gig came through our partners at Extreme Lighting & Grip and in this instance we were flying under their banner and I was in the Key Grip role and Jim Gomez in the Best Boy shoes. It’s not everyday that you walk on set and are greeted with the kind of aptitude and professionalism that only comes with devout years of experience, but this was such a case.
The creatives behind this wonderful piece was a fellow by the name of Robert Reid, and he owns a great company in Phoenix called The Reid Effect Productions and a DP by the name of Damon Evans (his Vimeo) who was probably the coolest, down to earth cat i have ever met. Now, neither of them are paying me to say this, I promise, but I rarely run into people that impress me and these two and the rest of the crew on this day did, so i figured it was worth mentioning. Any time you learn something new, and i did, it’s a great day!
We got there a few minutes late because we took a wrong turn…boo, i hate being late to a gig…but it was in Lake Las Vegas, so if your familiar with the area, you know that if you miss your turn accidentally (say by driving a giant 3 ton truck that doesn’t corner well on a good day) you have to drive to hell and back just to retrace your steps. But we got there and after a brief intro and a walk through we got to work and started setting up. We had a while before the talent, Marie Osmond (yup), was supposed to show – 7 hours or so – so plenty of time to get everything right.
By the end of the day we ended up using every piece of gear on the truck in order to light the scene the way you see it below, and Jim Gomez was awesome as my right hand in making it happen. Every piece of light was bounced off of something else to avoid hard lines and give everything an even soft feel. It was a total pleasure working with people that knew what they wanted, knew what they had to do and let everyone do what they were there for without micromanaging or being overbearing. We got our preliminary shots out of the way (the end slate of the video with the ornament) and let the dressers finish styling the christmas scene. Marie arrived and like a whirlwind, went through the paces, sat down, managed to find her light (the way she liked it) and banged out three pages of dialogue like it was nothing. And as fast as she came, she was done and out the door heading to the Flamingo for her and her brothers evening performance of the Donny and Marie show. We packed up, said goodbye and headed our separate ways promising to look each other up if ever in the others town respectively.
The point of the story, if i have one is this : Every now-and-then you land a gig that makes up for all the other crappy ones that have come your way and that you have struggled to get through. Who knows, you might learn something new, make new friends or just have a great working experience.