I have to say right out that this production renewed my faith in production life…a little bit. I’ve been on the road most of this year and although I love the travelers lifestyle, it can be rough at times. You don’t get to sleep in your own bed. You don’t get to check in with your friends. You don’t get to work in your garden. You don’t get to hear the birds chirping in your yard. The things that are comforting and familiar about being home are replaced with the excitement and uncertainty of living on the road. New experiences. New People. Eating junk food on the go. Sleeping in hotels. Both ways can be good. However, when you are working away from home there are certain things, I have found that, I need to keep my manna high.
Short list of things I have found are critical in having a positive travel production experience:
- Support and Respect amongst crew members
- Good and healthy food options
- Non-violent AND constructive communication
Shopify is a canadian company that I honestly didn’t know even existed until this production. It’s a huge company that helps businesses accomplish their internet goals. They have recently created a studio arm of the company and “Shop Stories” is their first foray into the creative content production market. I got a cold call from Lucas the producer. We had a good conversation and I signed onto the project. We have finished the pilot episode now. We traveled with Leanne who started Vaute Couture from San Francisco to Los Angeles to New York documenting the ups and downs of creating and running the first %100 Vegan fashion brand.
It is common to get at least one of these things on every production. Less common to get two, and it is very rare, in my experience to be lucky enough to get all three of these things on a production. With Leanne and the Vaute Crew, all three of these things happened in abundance. I’ll give you a few examples. It is common on production sets for the different departments (Sound, Camera, Lighting, Direction, Writing, Talent) to not work together to accomplish the common goal of creating good content. Instead, each department tries to get what they need individually. They work amongst their own department to accomplish their individual department goals. It’s common that Camera and Lighting will work together. It’s common that nobody will work with Sound. Every experienced filmmaker knows you can’t have a good show unless all departments are able to successfully do their jobs. You need good sound. You need decent camera work. You need good lighting. You need good direction. You need a compelling story with good talent. We had all these things in spades on this show. I got along famously with each and every crew and cast member and most of the time we all worked together to help each other accomplish the common goal of creating a good movie. We did create a good movie. And even more important than that….we had a fantastic time together.