Saturday, June 30, 2012

The night before-- last day in the U.S.

It's now the night before (morning of really) I take off for Colombia. It has been an incredible time just prepping for the film and I can't wait to take the next part of the journey.

I was surprised to finish my packing with enough time to grab dinner and then meet some friends for a quick drink. I had to get back to sleep, so that I can stay awake on the plain so I am tired when I get there, but my excitement is keeping me from some Zzzzz's.

I, "prepped" and organized, now it's time to just let go, and DO IT.

I wanted to share some of the other videos and pictures that I have collected over the last couple of weeks. They are just little tidbits of different experiences that tie into my preparation for Cartagena, Colombia. Some were taken before my initial blog of this series, but I wanted to have them in one focused place below.

I want to thank everyone who has helped me thus far, there are so many people. Everyone has been so supportive with well wishes and such.

I'm going to basically try to upload one video per day. A journal of sorts to recap what's gone down. I'll be recording some stuff, which I may compile into longer videos that will go up every few days, but who knows-- we'll just see how it works out.

Gonna catch some Z's...see ya later!

Getting my Colombian Visa.

First visit to the airport to get a tour.

First Trip in a plane from the cockpit. -- here is a little blog I wrote on the pilot forum I joined. Video below that.

OK! LOL, I kind of had a feeling my couple of quick posts last night would cause a stir, but I really wanted to be able to put everything together and have a nice post, and like alfadog mentioned, I was still very much taking it all in.

I posted some pics below and I was recording some stuff for me to look back at, but also share as part of my experience and, hopefully as well serve as a gauge of what it was like for me. Unfortunately, the video rendering and such took forever, hence my posting now.

In short, it deserved more than a quick, "It was great, I'll post more later."

It was amazing, even more so than I expected. The whole day was just a real treat for me and Comanche was a very generous host! I am so grateful. I found myself so quiet as I was observing it all, and as you guys may remember, he said he'd eventually let me fly. I never actually did, but I truly so into watching everything and admiring the view, that it was still incredible. I was impressed with the focus, and as part of my homework, this would be one of the greatest examples of how it is done obviously, so I was keeping a close eye on Comanche's handle and reserve, and making tons of mental notes.

I'm someone that is just naturally curious about life. Even when I'm put in a position where I should be more focused on the technical questions, I always find myself drawn to the basics of understanding people and learning through others and their experiences. I figure I could always pop open a book for the technical stuff. Especially in a situation like this, where there can be a MILLION questions. I just sometimes like to let life happen naturally and eventually I'll get the answers. I definitely asked about some technical things, but the most helpful stuff was what Comanche shared about his experiences and how he got into it all.

We ended up flying into Carlsbad and grabbing a nice lunch (for me), he ate breakfast, haha. We chatted some more and flew back over the coast this time, which was an incredible view, and again, an experience that left me speechless for most of it.

I asked about his cooking skills, since some of you posted about this, and he was humble, saying that you guys were being generous because of some recipe's he has mentioned in the past, "I'm certainly no gourmet chef."

I helped him put the plane (which I thought was beautiful) back in its home and I happened to see a few large boxes that caught my eye.

One of the things I've been doing recently is researching model planes, not the type you fly, just the small ones you assemble and paint. I wanted to see if I could find one or two to take with me while I was in Colombia. There is mention of a model plane in the script for another character, but it is something I think I'd do in the movie. Not necessarily be seen doing it, but just one of those things to familiarize myself and also just relax and focus. I figured that someone's love for flying could probably translate into this sort of thing.

Well, the boxes caught my eye, I think one of them had the word, "model" written on them. I can't remember exactly what it was. I asked if they were models and they were. He told me about how he used to buy, sell and trade them and we just started talking about that for a bit! I could not believe the coincidence. Little did I know, that he said he might still have one LEAR JET left, and dug through a bunch of the boxes and in the last one, there it was. It was a fascinating moment for me. He gave me the model and I told him I'd send him the payment through paypal, which was nothing compared to what he already had provided me with throughout the day.

I spent about an hour and a half looking for a shop to buy the paints/glue and such, even drove out to a store that was for the models you can fly (I should have called ahead lol).

I ended up in a little model shop near me in Santa Monica, Evett's and spent about an hour there talking to the kind old woman who owns it with her husband. We chatted and she helped me because I was not familiar with this type of thing and eventually through our chat, the movie came up and I told her about my experience from earlier in the day. She then shared some great stories of a kid who had been visiting the shop for years, who eventually became a pilot and now flies private charter in Utah. She also shared a story about her husband, who from what I gather was on radio giving instruction to a kid on a plane, who's Dad suddenly died mid flight. The kid had one shot to land the plane with her husbands instruction, and he did it!

She finished helping me, and oddly enough, she laughed when she saw that she too had ONE of the SAME Lear Jet models, Comanche had given me (his was better priced ).

I finally got home and caught up on some production work on one of my other films, and then started to review the footage from the day and put together the video below.

As it was exporting, I took out the box of the model, (I also purchased a 747 since I fly that in the movie as well) and saw that it said it would take about 2hours. Obviously, I knew that would be for an experienced builder. Well, you can see how far I got in two hours below!

I also received a text from Comanche and he was saying we needed to have another go, because he completely forgot to let me fly!! LOL Looks like I'll be back again before I leave on the 30th!!

As Comanche stated earlier, I'm due to get on a plane in a few hours to fly back east and I'm sure I'll be grinning and spoiled by my experience yesterday.

Ok, now time to pack. Touch base with you all later!

Thanks again, Comanche!

The script:

I make bible binders for every film I do.

This is supposed to be me. I've aged.

Saeed, one of the Producers and I visiting the Colombian consulate.

My Colombian Work Visa

Brushing up on my Spanish

Where I go to recharge the brain..and heart.w

My visit to Santa Monica airport. The runway looks so peaceful

Skipping with Will, one of the Directors

A note from one of the pilots I met, Joe. Great guy!!

Joe took me to the room where we planned our flight!

A map of no fly zones. 3 small red circles are for Michele Obama and Biden.
The large outer purple circle is for the president.

Joes beautiful plane!

Obviously enjoying the experience lol

My view of the landing.

Closing our flight plan...Gate.

The Heroic city awaits me.

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