Shooting the Opening Scene

August 9, 2008

Last weekend we started shooting the opening scene to A Pilot’s Story. I will not tell you want we shot as that would spoil the film, but lets just say it involved the stunning California coast line and a beautiful little Piper J-3 Cub.

I will tell you about one aspect of the shoot just because you should know what I will do to get the shot. We were shooting on the side of a tall cliff on the Northern California coastline. I wanted to get a shot of the Piper Cub flying along the water from above. So my pilot in the Cub was to fly along and bellow the cliff and I would get the shot from above. There was a good amount of ice plant and other vegetation in my way to the edge of the cliff. No worries I am a hiker, I have my hiking boots and my good cargo shorts on . So off I trudged through the thick brush with camera and tripod in hand. About half way to the edge I noticed the green and red leaves of the bushes I was walking through. It was all around me, and I had about fifty more feet to go before I found the edge. I look down and notice that each leaf had a smooth side and a bumpy side. I think to my self, “Hey this is Poison Oak” and it was bushing up all over my legs. I looked back to see the fifty feet or so I had already walked through and said to my self. “Art is pain, move on Will!” Laughing it off and kept going. I got the most beautiful shot of the Cub flying along the empty beach and across the crashing surf. It is a beautiful shot and will defiantly make it into the film. 

Somehow I didn’t get any kind of a breakout of poison oak thank goodness. The film Gods must have been smiling down on me that day. So with the Gods on my side you now know I will do just about anything to get the shot.



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