Invested In Success

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Today on “Bored To Death,” we did a photo shoot on top of a building in The Projects on Chelsea’s West Side. The rooftop perch gave us an excellent view of the Maritime Hotel across Ninth Avenue. One of our episodes requires a complicated Visual Effects shot involving a camera move that starts inside one of the Maritime’s hotel rooms, before magically floating through the window to the outside and away.

Last month we shot the interior scene on our soundstage. Today we were shooting high-res stills that we’d use to help form the “skin” of the outside of the hotel. Eventually all the various elements will be composited in order to create the final shot.

We were doing our best to gather the elements we needed guerrilla filmmaking style. At the time, it seemed more feasible than scheduling a 60-foot condor that would have bottlenecked half of Ninth Avenue!

Jordan, who works as my Post Coordinator, also has a passion for photography. When I started talking about our doing this shoot, he was all over it. When we got word this morning that we could have access to the roof this afternoon, Jordan quickly sourced out the 400mm lens we needed, and then met me at the location.

As I stood there on the roof watching Jordan immersed in his task, I marveled at his careful and thorough process. After he showed me the first batch of stills, I knew I had been right to trust him with the task. He, in turn, seemed to be shining with the knowledge that his efforts were going to contribute greatly towards reaching our final goal – a seamless magical moment that would carry the viewers along for the ride.

I know that at times in my life I used to think that success was only about money and fame. And while I’m not knocking either, it’s good to know about other worthy treasures.

As I type this, I know Jordan is probably still up, organizing and uploading the stills for our VFX Artist. He’s doing this because he’s invested in the success of the shot, which will ultimately contribute to the success of the show.

It feels good to know that my entire Post team operates this way. They’re all invested, because they each get a chance to draw out their individual gifts, which in turn add to the efforts of everyone else. It may be hard work, but not only do we collectively relish a successful execution of the show, we each get to challenge ourselves, and have a good time along the way! Not bad. Not bad at all.

Drawing out the best in others, now that’s what I call success!

About The Author

I was raised in the Des Moines, Iowa, and had the good fortune to come out during my early days at Stanford University, which meant that I came of age in the San Francisco Bay Area, circa 1978! (That deserves two - !! ) I was thrilled to finally understand that piece of myself, and found many inspiring members within the gay community that helped me feel great about who I was. After college I moved out to New York to pursue a career as an actor. My 20's were fairly eventful (it was the 80's in New York, mind you) but by the end of that period in my life, I was looking for a more satisfying way to work and live. When my agent and manager both started moving clients to LA, I went, happily. Eventually I found my way into Renaissance Pictures, the production company run by Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert, where I worked on "Hercules" and "Xena." After several very cool years with them, I headed back to New York, motivated by a possible position on a gay cable network (that never happened) and a new love (that most definitely did!). 13 years later I find myself happily married to my husband Chris, working on two cool shows ("Nurse Jackie" and "Bored To Death"), and living in Chelsea with our golden retriever Jezebel. During the summer we're lucky enough to balance our time between the Pines on Fire Island, and Ptown on Cape Cod. During those visits, Jezebel loves nothing more than to jump the waves after a ball, or chase seagulls along the beach. She's a good role model on how best to enjoy the simple pleasures, and as easy a child to raise and love as ever there was! (She is a golden, after all!) You can reach Brad at carpenterbrad@me.com.

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