Sh*t LITERALLY Happens
Every production has its problems: broken gear, bad actors, weather, etc. Things that are sometimes in your control and other times not so much. For the HIFIVE video team – when we did 3 video ads for Frank Eidson, a local lawyer – all of our gear worked, the weather was beautiful, the talent was amazing, but there was one small not in our control. Shit.
Creating a video requires 3 stages. Preproduction, Production, and Post-production. Pre-production is a fickle gal who sometimes doesn’t like to play nice. Pre-production includes location scouts, lighting diagrams, storyboarding, and close to 500 pictures so we have every angle covered. So that way we know what’s going to be in our shot and have no surprises. That’s what we did: 3 location scouts, 3 lighting diagrams, 2 technical diagrams, and 1,875 pictures. At 9pm, the night before our shoot with a 6:30am call time I see on Facebook there is a post from a local Orlando news source (Bungalower). The article was titled:
“ LAKE EOLA CLOSED DUE TO POO PROBLEMS”
Panic set in. You might be wondering why? Well, the biggest and most logistically demanding video of the 3 we had planned to shoot, is taking place tomorrow around Lake Eola. All activities in the lake are closed. We no longer have a video concept, because the lake, quite literally, is full of poop.
The original concept for the video was to have Frank paddling around in the famous Lake Eola Swan Boats. Our idea was that Frank would be in the swan boat talking about how hard it is to paddle but he will work even harder for you if he represents you.
I first call the client and tell him what is going on but to “hold on we are going to quickly come up with a solution”. I then call my Director of Photography Ben Gill and let him know what is going on. I hang up with Ben, sit outside my house and stretch my leg because I currently have a torn ACL and BINGO. The idea comes to me, I call Frank and pitch him the idea of “struggling to do yoga but he will work hard for you”, etc.. He wasn’t too keen on the idea because he would be struggling and we don't want a potential client to think he will struggle through their case. We hang up.
One thing Frank was known for in Orlando was a video of him wearing a baby blue seersucker suit where he spoke about 5 businesses that have office space in his building, and how they were impacted by COVID-19. The video got great traction online, with about 500k views on Facebook. So I think to myself, “how can we get him in this seersucker suit that is kinda southern gentleman like”?
Next, I reached out to Ben and he sent me a youtube clip of Frank Underwood in House of Cards in a dark basement using a rowing machine. I think “Frank Eidson has a rowing machine in his house”...so we call Frank. He loves it and loves the show House of Cards. But the story isn’t over yet. I have to go to Frank's house and location scout the area because we won’t have time in the morning.
I get in my car and drive to Frank's house. It is now 11 pm. I visualize the area that we will be shooting in, take a few photos, send them over to Ben and head home to sleep. When I woke up in the morning, everything seemed calm. We arrived on set and the team knocked all 3 videos out of the park. That is when I learned that the expression “shit happens'' can also be a literal definition. Having a great team who can adjust to and change things in a big manner on the fly will make everything easier and will help when Sh*t LITERALLY Happens.
If you're interested in seeing how these commericals for Frank Eidson turned out, check below: