Friday, October 19, 2012

The Long Haul is Just Beginning

In the past seven weeks, I've flown more than 14,000 miles, bought and forgotten one pair of sunglasses (at home), replaced one pair of sunglasses in Mexico (I hate them), lost one hand towel (Belize), caught one chest cold (Mexico), pulled a hangnail that got infected making my finger swell like a balloon (Argentina), and gouged my big toe on a rock so badly that for the next three days it split open again each morning when I put weight on my foot (Brazil). But the footage looks great.

Even if I do say so myself. In the span of years that I've been working on The Peregrine Dame, I've filmed in 14 countries, first for the web series and now for the TV series that's going to The Venture Channel. This has been the first trip where I looked forward to coming home. Don't get me wrong; I had an incredible time, with wonderful, kind people, and I miss them all already. Each of the five countries I filmed was a fascinating, eye-opening place to experience. But by the sixth week of seven, I was ready to be in my own bed again. Mostly, my own bathroom. I stayed in hotels in some locations, and with couch surfing hosts in others. Both have their merits, but I'd forgotten the amount of sheer stamina it takes to pick up and travel every seven days when you don't get more than a day off in each location. The last two weeks, I didn't take a day off at all. If I was just hosting a show, it would be different. I wouldn't have to work on the days when the camera crew filmed B-roll, but I am the camera crew. I'm ready to produce and show that has a camera man. Or woman, I don't care. Not that producers get days off, either.

It was an odd sensation for me to be excited to put my key in the door to my apartment when I got home from LAX. Maybe I'm just getting older. Maybe I'm just exhausted and tired of sharing space with people and being endlessly social, which goes against my solitary nature. But you can't make a show about traveling and not get out and do things. All I know is it won't last, and I'll be longing to split again after I've recovered. And done laundry.

It always happens this way. I know, as with my previous long filming trips, I'll be ready to go again in a week after I've rested and eaten and knocked around my house and acted like a hermit. But I won't be able to leave. For the next couple of months, I will be chained to my editing system, actually making the show out of the dozens of hours of raw footage. I hate the tedium of the editing process, but I love the creative control. I will bitch and moan and gripe, but I will be happy to have my own particular set of problems. It could be worse. For now, the mission is clear and simple: make the best show I can out of what I shot, and deliver the episodes. If people watch, my dreams will come true. If they don't, I'll go back to studying journalism because traveling and writing about it is a helluva lot easier than traveling and filming it. Either way, I'll be back out on the road by hook or by crook. There's just so much more to see. Though I may have to get some antibiotics for my finger, first.


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