Forgive the lack of posting yesterday, but I was beat. Two days of traveling between which were two 10-hour days of running all over a small Wisconsin city asking people questions over a cameraman’s shoulder. Shooting commercials is a rarity for me these days, and I always forget how exhausting the process is: lots of standing-around boredom punctuated by moments of extreme pressure when everybody has to be “on” in big way.
Our little crew interviewed about 45 people at 10 different locations around Janesville (which has recently become famous as the home of Paul Ryan). It was a breakneck pace. Fortunately — because we had to keep our strength up — we ate everywhere we went. I ate cinnamon buns and spring rolls at the farmer’s market, tacos at a little Mexican grocery store, bratwurst at a place called My Apartment Bar & Grill (I bought the t-shirt: $7), and of course soft serve ice cream at this great place:
I caught a crewman in the corner of this pic: Diego, who’s swapping out batteries on the camera. You can’t see too well in the shadows there, but almost all the gear the crew used over the weekend is arrayed around Diego’s feet: a tiny cinema-quality digital video camera that’s no bigger than a still camera, plus a little 6-inch screen mounted on a tripod that allowed us to see what the shots looked like. Not pictured is the sound man who had a little boom microphone on a stick and a digital recorder that he wore over his shoulder. You could buy the whole kit for under $10,000…then go make real movies with it. Amazing.
Of course I played hooky whenever I could. On one of my little sojourns down Main Street I happened into Carousel Consignments, a well-known antique/junk shop where I found a treasure trove of baking forms and cookware. The cast iron section alone kept me busy for twenty minutes.
I also met some terrific dogs. This young fellow right here was my favorite: a black and white husky with pale blue eyes. My smartphone didn’t do a particularly good job of capturing the color in those irises, but it was striking.
I’m lucky the girls never saw him, or they’d have been completely smitten. It’s all I can do to fend off their pleas for a dog even now. I shudder to think what would happen if they were suddenly presented with their dream animal. All I see when I look at a dog with a coat like that is hair on the couch.
Anyway…it’s good to be back!