December Roadtrip, Part 2

it's all about the snow, you know?
(photo of Highway 5, the day after it was closed down because of Southern California snow)

Despite the little challenges I faced getting this roadtrip together, including the unexpected closure of I-5 on Saturday, this has been a very successful expedition so far. Over the years as I’ve shot footage for the documentary, I’ve found that the story continues to develop in ways I didn’t expect, and I often have to return for follow-up interviews. Not that I had any intentions of doing anything like the “UP” series which documented the life stories of a few people, using a seven-year cycle to follow up on the stories, but considering how many years I’ve been working on this project, I could have certainly taken that path if I had the outside financing.

For the past couple of days, I’ve been spending some time with Pamela Berry and Richard Marcel Berry, the two oldest children of Richard Berry, author of LOUIE LOUIE. I shot some new segments with them, which was felt really great to do. They’ve always supported the project that their father approved, and it was wonderful being able to some with them this week. Together, not only will we all work together to do everything in our power to finish this film, but we’ll also see what we can do about releasing some projects that will compliment the documentary. When I get back to my homebase, I’ll assemble a special video greeting from both of them, wishing all of the readers of a very happy holiday.

Being on the road is something that I really enjoy. There’s a sense of urgency and adventure, living in hotel rooms, consolidating my essential items – suitcase, video equipment, lighting package, laptop, ice chest, food and media materials into crowded little compact car. I don’t have a monster-sized SUV, nor do I have any interest in spending any more money than I have to for the already-overpriced petroleum to fuel such vehicles. I try to keep things lean and mean, unlike my usual method of operation at the homebase, where I’m surrounded by a lot of my tools, and have an excess of information that is often overwhelming.

Today, the soundtrack for my travels was an MP3 CD-ROM disk I called “Exotica,” which features music from Yma Sumac, some Bollywood soundtracks, a Taboo LP from Modern Records (thanks to Nathan Nothin‘), and a best of James Bond soundtrack. Music from James Bond movies is always fun to listen to during these roadtrips. As I drive through a potentially dangerous neighborhood like South Central, or find myself getting lost trying to find the proper freeway exit, it always adds an extra level of excitement hearing this iconic music for my own adventures. Where it gets especially funny is when I’m listening to this music, and I’m stuck driving behind a senior citizen who’s pushing 10 MPH… if I’m lucky!

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