There are days and then there are great days.
For the second year in a row, and eerily, around the same time, I got to record Mr. Billy F’N Gibbons of ZZ Top fame. This time around it was for the show Whisker Wars on IFC. He is sort of an astral guide of theirs. We were shooting the 6th Annual Misprint Beard and Moustache Competition at The Mohawk in downtown Austin, TX. I was warned it would be a busy affair and indeed it was, with at least 1000 attendees over the course of the evening. Many categories of facial moss were showcased and I found myself laughing out loud many times during the gig. Based on the phone conversations I had with the brass a few days prior, I had over-prepared in a big way, bringing a 788t with several channels of wireless. We also included my trusty boom op and colleague Patrick Wiley as they were going to be using an F3 along with two Z1’s. This really was an OTF-fest due to the sheer volume of participants, which made it mostly a boom gig for both of us. We bugged the judges table and ran a direct line of it as well as the house output to a stationary Z1 and that covered the event itself. Sadly there was an onstage DJ that boned at least 90% of the event stuff, due to copyright issues. Not sure how they’ll sort that out.
It’s not not the cards you’re dealt, it’s how you play the hand…
With a proper process trailer out of the question, the talent today had to drive themselves. Two Joker 800s on the hood and a Kinoflex indoors, the one genny piggybacked to the rear was huffing and puffing something fierce. Let’s slap another on back there, howbouts?
Mom and Dad up front each had a line and then they (including the two kids in the back) all scream like banshees for several seconds. Alas, no room in the vehicle for the soundie so I had to do a set and forget on the 788t. MKH 50 up front covering Mom-n-Pop, Mom and Dad both wired (in case the gennies are really bad), and 2 Sankens in back to cover the noisy children.
After a late evening of getting timelapses under the stars it was finally time to head East. We had a loooong breakfast at Squeeze, said our goodbyes and picked up some last- minute souvenirs from Colt at Cobra Rock Boots.
We went back through Alpine and got on E I-10 for the long haul home. Sad it’s over…
The first half of the day was spent in the top of the Presidio County Courthouse in downtown Marfa. The elevator only went up three floors, so there was a lot of hiking up and down stairs. Afterwards we hit the popular Pizza Foundation.
The last setup of the shoot was back at the Austin Street Cafe to shoot in a sewing room. Lisa spoiled us yet again with the best iced coffee I’ve ever run across.
Shot at two remote-feeling spots today, the first being in Valentine, TX, a teeny place that most of us mailed Valentines from to get their postmark. Their PO is on the list of offices that may get whacked soon. Heartless, huh?
We wrapped the day shooting at an Airstream trailer in a field off the highway. If I were a writer, this would be a great spot to get stuff done. We used my van as a windbreak which helped a ton. Also, the power poles have a strange hum to them out here. A lonely horse appeared seemingly out of nowhere towards the end of the shoot.
There’s a whimsically artistic and eccentric entrepreneurial side to West Texas and Austin St. Cafe in Marfa, TX fits right into the meme. Now primarily a catering affair, it’s run by a lovely couple (Jack and Lisa Copeland) who were kind enough to work with (and around us) today while we knocked out two more segments.
Well, not Marfa today. Day one of a five day shoot was spent mostly driving from Austin to Monahans Sandhills State Park in West Texas. It’s for ancillary video that accompanies an author’s book. We’ll be shooting eight segments between now and Friday, the 17th. The Sandhills Park is a pretty trippy place and while it’s neat to be here, I’m glad for the gear’s sake it’s a one-day event.
Decided to make one of these myself.
This is stuff bored sound folk do during a lull…
Had a nice day over at Texas Green Screen working with folks from Invodo, producing a US Cellular spot, directed by Ken Lewin and DP’d by Jay Galvan. The talent was a fun actress named Merrilee McCommas.