You would think that after half a century of assignments for TIME MAGAZINE, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, HBO, advertising for Saatchi and Saatchi, J. Walter Thompson and the list goes on… that I’d have no problem doing a 2 hour shoot at Kings Theatre in Brooklyn. Piece of cake right? Not so much! Why? That’s what I am going to try to explain.
I decided to use my Google for directions to the theatre. Didn’t really have to, because I knew how to go. The computer sent me through some Queens and NYC side streets to get to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel ( yes I know its not the name anymore). You enter on Joe DiMaggio highway. So what normally would take 2 hours took 3. Why should I complain – it was an 8 o’clock shoot and I was there early because I wanted to shoot some street photography. Brooklyn’s changed quite a bit and mostly in a good way. I made friends with a few NYPD officers and they gave me some tips on where to shoot. I left the bulk of the equipment in the car and shot with one camera and one lens on the street. I returned to my car and changed gear for the shoot. I put everything together and realized I left a 10 cent Alan key on the staging area in the studio. I went to business #1 and they told me to go to an auto parts place which then sent me to Sears. I Proceeded to explain my problem to 2 lovely people. Finally, one gentleman came back with the proper key and I took out my wallet out and he said just remember to shop at Sears! I was now ready to do my shoot. I got there and was supposed to have full media credentials. However, I was told it was now limited to 4 people and I was not one of them! I talked to the Director of Public Relations and he was kind enough to let me shoot in a neutral corner against a post which was fine. Kings Theatre is a very difficult Boxing Ring to shoot. It’s very small which is good, but it’s only 8″ off the ground vs. 4-5 feet off the ground. The end result of my take is acceptable – not earth shattering. Pre-Production is always the key whether you are an amateur, semi-pro, or pro. Do everything to avoid Murphy getting into your camera bag or brain.
You have to be positive, go with the flow, standardization and simplification! Enough with the clichés? As Willie says, “See you on the road again.”