Less than a week from my birthday this summer, I’d finally looked forward to “throwing a dart at the map and going”, as I’ve always said I’ll do one year… as I was born on the Fourth of July. Having just finished up touring as an Emcee for regional dance competitions nationwide, I had a few free flights to my name, so I figured this was a good as time as ever… so where to go?
At the last minute, less than a week from my big day, I nabbed a one-way flight to JFK for that very afternoon. The quick trip east brought me down to family reunion in Maryland, back home to Dolgeville for a few days, then finally down into New York City for the first time in almost three years. We showed up during the one and only rainstorm of the summer, which I walked right into, coming off the Long Island Railroad, straight for a big party, and opening with a bang: a $64 cab ride. Happy Birthday to me.
I may have missed the fireworks spectacle downtown, but my birthday was festive nonetheless, with a bunch of the ol’ chums from RIT’s film school. Over course of the next few days, I gave myself a quick tour of the boroughs, trying to familiarize myself with it all again, in hopes the next big project might take me back there for a short while. Expecting chicken noodles by the time I reached “Alphabet City”, it was still just more pizza. A quick walk across the Lower East Side prompted my visit to an old fraternity brother from college. As I walked in, he and a few others were just so happening to plan their inaugural web advertising campaign, right there in front of me, for Bedford & Broome, a locally based men’s fashion accessory brand, specializing in neck & bow-ties. They wanted to make a movie… how convenient!
We went out to a local bar, THE IIIRD MAN, wherein their first pitch was given to me, something akin to Old Spice meeting The Most Interesting Mn in the World (Dos Equis). Only it was to be a short film, a stylized instructional video. All in good fun, I agreed… but I then casually suggested we add a boat. They delivered. One month later, we were shooting on an old wooden yacht, last seen escorting Will Smith & cast around in the film Hitch. Docked in the North Cove Harbor, at the mouth of the Hudson and an endless Atlantic Ocean before us, one simply had to turn around to find yourself less than a stone’s throw away from the triumphant new World Trade Center. Shooting on Niagara Falls was pretty awesome, but I gotta say, this really gives it a run for it’s money. I wish there was a photographically feasible way to capture the breadth of that whole scene when right down at the ground level of it all, but it truly defies description or any justice your lens can do.
Courtesy of some of New York’s best young filmmakers, talent, and beautiful women… we’d love to show you how to tie a bowtie. A day of filming at the doorstep of the free world, full wind in your sails; there’s nothing quite like that experience.
Having repeatedly faced the heartbreak of losing footage after a shoot… or rather, seeing an entire night’s worth of football sidelines come back in slow-motion… I had a mini-panic attack the next morning when our video had missing audio. After a sobering two hour walk around the block, it turned out the specific mono track being played back was the wrong side of stereo, that everything was just fine… it was all on the other channel! Huzzah! Ten minutes later, we were off to the second location and all was right with the world.
We released a few of those videos individually over the summer, under the slogan “It’s never wrong to look right”, which can all now be SEEN HERE and on the Bedford & Broome website. Check them out!!! I picked up “The Washington”. It felt rather apropos for this whole story.
The trip home also gave me a chance to check out some upstate municipal airports. A lot of fun and a few good leads, but that’s another story… one I hope to be telling soon…