No EVDO connection. No cell phone single. We've set up camp where the Skagit River runs into the Cascade River, surrounded on all sides by mountains ranging from 4,000 to 8,900 feet in elevation. It's very beautiful. People in town (Marblemount) say that we are 'in for a treat' tomorrow - I'm looking forward to it.
But I'm getting ahead of myself - I mentioned in my last post I was excited about uploading the first few 'official' shots (I say 'official' because we've been capturing tons with the two mp4 cameras and our Nokia), yesterday we stopped at a laundry mat in Concrete where I managed to import a few minutes here and there, and export them straight to quicktime-movies. This 1st clip is one of the many takes we captures with the sun setting behind the camp-site. It was very cloudy and grey all day but around 8:30 the sun came down under the clouds enough to just light everything up. I'm so happy with this 2nd clip - we had set up in the morning to get their 'taking off' moment, and on the 35 kit (HDV35), the guys had their zoom-lens (200). But Amanda had packed her SLR camera and one of the lens she has for it is a very long lens (a 300), we swapped it out and it looks just amazing. Unbelievably sharp depth of field. We stopped by a field yesterday to shoot some tall grass with the mountains in the background - and I couldn't believe how many 'layers' of field we could shift through. The great news is it's turned out to be much, much easier to film on-the-fly with the 45 kit mounted to the FX1. At first we were planning to only break it out for interviews. But Olivier is finding it very simple to focus and move at the same time - which I love, it's just one more 'look' we can play with for the film. I also can't believe how much I'm loving the mp4 and Nokia footage, it gives a less 'cinematic / grandiose' feel to the shot and makes it more personal. I've uploading some of it here, here and here... and one more here. We've been slowly and carefully breaking out our 16mm, we only have 30 minutes of stock for the entire two months (if anyone has any 100 foot daylight spools they'd like to donate, please let me know, we could use it). But... *deep breath* I do have some bad news. It was news that, I could tell, was very hard for Jay to come talk to us about. Amanda was curled up in her tent, and the four of us guys were at the picnic table looking at rushes and talking about whatever, when Jay let us know the situation with his knee. I've never actually talked about it here on the site, so this will require a quick catch-up: Jay is a snowboarder, actually a very good one. In the 2005 he took the bronze in the world championship. Yea, I know, he's good. But he's had knee trouble for years, gone through 5 major surgeries, and at the moment is actually completely missing his ACL. Both Larry & Jay have been training, in the mountains, a great deal - so it's hard to say if it's the added weight to the bike that caused the problem, or if it just finally caught up with him. But only 10 miles into the ride this morning and his knee almost brought him to tears, and Jay's a tough enough guy to know that's a problem... especially on a flat day like they had this morning. So, Jay is going to stay behind - Larry is pressing on... alone. He's, understandably, a bit terrified about the following 4,200 miles - but he's also a bit excited about the solitude. It changes things for us, not in a bad way, but we'll adapt with it. As a crew we are still trying to find the best balance for what we are doing - I know it will take some time in this kind of on-the-move environment. For example, Jeff and I had a hell of time today with a simple crane shot - not too sure if any of that footage actually worked out. But I am very sad to see Jay go - I know he was very excited and ready for this ride, I know he's sad to watch Larry ride on without him. But I understand and encourage him not to push himself to the point of ruining his snowboarding career, or even just simply ruining his knee. It's going to be a hard good bye tomorrow morning. Well, it's after midnight, I need to get some sleep. Goodnight for now.
(PS) I found out that a lot of the videos I uploaded with Transmit on the road didn't get transfered correctly and have been bouncing out bad files through the feed, sorry for this, I'll only try to upload from now on with a more reliable connection.