Tag: travel

Deb at R2R Festival

Inspiration at the Movies: Earth: One Amazing Day

Deb at R2R FestivalThis past weekend, I went to the closing night of the R2R Family Film Festival. It’s great to see family-friendly films from around the world on the big screen… but I digress.

Sometimes in a movie there’s a line that really rings true and you know you’re going to remember it for, well, probably for the rest of your life! It really speaks to you. Well, Saturday, I heard just such a line. Apparently it’s an African saying, but for me, it’s a line from “Earth: One Amazing Day” forever in sync in my brain with a flyover of African vistas and an adorable baby zebra. Here ’tis:

If you want to go fast, go alone.
If you want to go far, go together.

Which will you choose? In the meantime…

Cheers & a great shoot to you,

– – – – – – – – – –

Deborah (Deb) Patz is the author of Write! Shoot! Edit! for teens and Film Production Management 101 for the industry – both books are published worldwide by MWP. She’s also part of the editorial board for Prism International and she really, really, really wants to visit Africa someday.

WHERE IS DEB? (upcoming events and appearances)
Apr.19 – Guest Author – Tea & Ink Writing Club, Tri-Cities BC
May 2-3 – Guest Instructor – Powell River Digital Film (High) School, Powell River BC
May 19-24 – PM Instructor – Screenwriter’s Bootcamp, PEI
Jul.23-26 – UFVA Conference: Stories Without Borders, La Cruces, New Mexico

Paperback or eBook: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Chapters/Indigo, Waterstones, direct from the publisher and from plenty of other great bookstores worldwide.

400 Room Nights

htlSo I was calling around prospective hotels for sufficient room nights to house visiting cast and crew for the duration of the shoot.

There was a good estimate of the number of out of town cast and crew we’d need. Calculate who would be there for the whole shoot plus a bit of prep vs in town for a few days at a time. We ended up with a total of 400 room nights… that’s a pretty good booking and duration. I should be able to make a good deal.

But my first choice hotel turned me down with no negotiation.

Really? I was puzzled. What was the problem?

“We don’t have 400 rooms in the hotel,” was the response.

Ah. Right. I had to explain. It was going to take us longer than 1 night to make the movie…

Cheers and a good shoot to you,

How Many Parkas?

I have an industrial-strength parka that’s so big and thick that it stands up by itself. It’s perfect for standing around on set amid the depths of a Canadian winter. I’ve tried various combination of gloves and mitts over the years and found a combo of liner and mitt that actually warms my hands during those frigid outside days that never appear to end. On the feet… liners, sub-zero socks and heavy-duty Sorel winter boots, of course. I can be ready for the worst of outside winter weather.

Or so I thought…

After a trip to the Yukon in January and taking a dog sled ride I was rightfully humbled. The host – barely regarding me as he organized to prepare our trip – handed me a parka. I protested, saying that I had brought my own “real” parka, and started to explain its sub-zero features. He looked at me plainly and said: “You’ll need this one too.”

I was speechless.

I’ve filmed outside in minus 30, wearing but 1 parka. I’ve filmed dog sledding – albeit in Ontario – and wore only 1 parka. I’ve seen “Snowbuddies” and other films featuring dog sledding. No matter how bad the weather, I swear they were each only wearing 1 parka.

But sometimes film does not reflect life.

My host was so right. Layered parkas were essential. A human parka blimp, my body could take the cold and windchill as we sped across the frozen Yukon River. And what a ride it was!

Remember a time when your preconceived notions (from film life) surprised you in real life? Sure it’s great to watch it (on film) but it sure is awesome to live it, no?

Cheers & a warm shoot to you,

Set Visit to the MIR Space Station

Deb visits MIR

How cool to be filming on the MIR Space Station in space! That was my first thought when I worked on the “Mission to MIR” IMAX film. Yet as a non-astronaut, what are the chances of going on a set visit to MIR? Not very likely. As a matter of fact: impossible.

Yes, here on Earth we tackled logistical challenges issues like: the camera goes into the Space Shuttle which is launched into space; the shuttle docks onto MIR and the camera taken into MIR for filming. The Space Shuttle then goes about its business… how do you get the camera and film back to Earth for processing and printing? In what country can you land the camera and how many time zones will it be from the lab? What about the customs documentation? Unique challenges indeed!

And yes, it was very clear I’d never visit MIR except how everyone else here on Earth has been able to see it: on the IMAX screen. The dream of visiting the MIR Space Station would have to remain a dream for the rest of my life, especially since it’s now been replaced by the International Space Station.

Or  maybe that dream COULD come true after all…?

I just visited Toulouse, France where the Cité de l’Espace has a MIR Space Station! The one used for tests on here on Earth! An exact duplicate! Awesome. I was able to walk around it, climb inside it and just plain explore it… the MIR Space Station itself! A set visit after the fact and conveniently here on Earth!

Sure, I could scoff and say the replica of MIR wasn’t the real experience because it wasn’t floating in space at the time. Gosh, I could have decided not to go see it. But sometimes dreams come true in a slightly different form than you originally thought possible. You just need to be open to recognize them in whatever form they present themselves to you as. And because I’m open to them, another of my life dreams just came true today. Now that’s very cool.

What dream are you going to make happen?


Virtual Travel: Production Management 101

So, it appears I have travelled virtually through my books to more countries than I have gone in person! How cool!

Between “Production Management 101” and “Surviving Production“, my books are in bookstores and libraries in at least 20 countries, including: Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Morocco, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, UK, and the USA! I especially love the Amazon Japan site – seeing my book in English whereas the rest of the screen text in Japanese.

Bit of a shame I don’t have any travel memories from this virtual travel. I guess I’ve got a few plane rides to catch in order to catch up…


Recharging Through Travel – Belize

I’m not sure how I got the travel bug, but I have to admit that travel after completing a production is one of my best ways of recharging the ol’ batteries. Either international travel and spontaneous travel tie as my favorites.

On a 4-day shoot, a friend of my asked me on set where I was travelling to next. I told her “no way.” I mean, it was only a 4-day shoot! Then that night another friend tempted me with the travel section of the newspaper. Sigh. By next morning our flights were booked and 3 days later we were off to the jungle in Belize. A place where they turn off the generator that runs the electricity at 10pm… oil lamps in the room. Fireflies off the deck of the bar/restaurant. What a recharge trip that was! Spontaneous AND international! Oh yeah!

Hmm… where do you go?