Posted by: Greg Vass | November 24, 2009

SolidLine On-Location: New York City

“SolidLine On-Location: New York City”
By Greg Vass, Executive Producer
SolidLine Media

As we talk about often one of the greatest benefits of our job is the amazing places we get to travel to.  From coast to coast the SolidLine crew has covered most of the country over the last decade…several times over.  Every town we head to has its own unique characteristics, benefits, and of course challenges.  And one of the most challenging places to film is, you guessed it, New York City.  And wouldn’t you know, we just got back.

Our trip to NYC last week was a pretty quick in and out, from Saturday to Monday, with filming all day Sunday.  It was strictly a green screen shoot so our equipment needs were minimal…and when I say ‘minimal’ I mean we only needed to travel 8 production cases.  That means we were able to fly instead of taking the SolidLine bus.  Don’t get me wrong, we love travelling in our rig, but sometimes it’s nice to just get there and get back quick.  Even though flying with our equipment is, well, a royal pain.  It’s always pretty funny to see us at the airport; Smart carts piled high with film cases, as well as our personal carry-ons of course.  I can only imagine what other passengers must be thinking.  Probably something to the tune of “I wonder what their baggage fees will be…”

Michael Kromm surveys the gear on the curb at Midway Airport before checking in on Southwest, the official airline of SolidLine Media

We arrived to NYC with no problems.  The next step: get to the hotel.  Usually when we fly this is no big deal.  We would rent a van and head to the hotel or location.  No big deal.  But as you know, New York City is not a place to rent a vehicle, nor someplace you want to drive into…so alternate transportation was in order. Now, getting 3 people and 12 total bags into a NYC cab, or any other cab, is nearly impossible, but if you know SolidLine we are always up for a challenge.  We hailed a cab and began to use the Tetris method to fit everything in, even using the front seat to fit a large case.  After about 10 minutes we were packed and ready.  It was all good for us because we only had to take 1 cab, even though I don’t think the driver was very happy. But we got to the hotel, checked in to our typical tiny New York room, and headed for a crew night out.

Ed and Greg load up the SolidLine NYC 'Grip Truck'

Sunday morning rolled around quickly and we had to again load our production cases into the jigsaw puzzle of a cab, but we figured it out.  We headed to the soundstage we rented in the Flatiron district.  It was a great space and the staff there was in good spirits, especially since it was 7am on a Sunday.  Our talent for the day was a great guy named Siafa Lewis.  He is also one of the hosts of the 5pm NBC News show in NYC.  We were shooting the ‘host’ scenes for a promotional production for the National Society of Leadership & Success.  The President of the Society, Gary Tuerack, joined us as well at the soundstage.  We have the opportunity to work with so many great people and it always makes a production day so much more enjoyable when you have screen talent like Siafa in front of the camera.  He was professional, talented, and most important, had a great sense of humor.  We had about 12 scenes to do with Siafa and we nailed them all from 9am to 4pm on Sunday.  A pretty amazing feat in my opinion as Siafa had several complicated scenes where he had to interact on the green screen with graphics that he could not see.  We were impressed.  And on top of it all, we laughed all day and had a great time. After 9 hours in the studio, we wrapped the day and packed up the gear, with enough time to enjoy another night in NY before an early flight back to Chicago.

Another successful production day on the books, and, regardless of the logistical challenges, a great trip to NYC.

GsV

You can contact Greg Vass at gvass@solidlinemedia.com

For more information about SolidLine Media, visit us online at www.solidlinemedia.com.  Or call 312-939-8600.

Copyright 2009 SolidLine Media, a division of KV Media Group, Inc.

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