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!