As you have probably read on this blog the past week, our intrepid trip up into the redwoods of Northern California went very well. Met lots of good people, saw lots of good locations, and made a lot of headway in process of making this film.
Since we had quite a ways to drive, we decided to take my 09 VW Jetta TDI (That's German for diesel). I just bought the car (used) recently, and was itching to take it out on a long (real long) drive anyway. Throw in 40MPG and an a/c adapter plug for our laptops, and you've got yourself a great roadtrippin' car! The car did great, everybody was happy, and I didn't even have to dive the whole way because Matt and Mike actually know how to drive a stick shift. ("Like Men" as Matt is wont to say)
The only technical hiccup on the trip came after we arrived at the Patrick Creek Lodge. A warning light came on the dash saying that the headlight on the driver's side had burned out. "Seriously?" I'm thinking to myself; we had just driven close to 800 miles, now was not the time I really wanted to be thinking about something as annoying as the car's headlight! But this was no time to whine: I had to shift gears, take a look inside the hood and figure out how to change it. Fortunately, the next town had an auto parts store and a few minutes later we were back in business.
People always ask me what exactly a producer does. It's not an unreasonable question; I took entire classes in college trying to answer it. But to put it simply, a producer does what needs to be done to make the production happen, especially when things go wrong. When your sound guy calls the morning before a shoot and suddenly can't make it, the producer has to figure out what to do. When the director is busy with the crew making "art" and the police stop by and wonder why your permits don't look right, it's the producer's job to work it out.
When that light went out in the car it was a small but effective reminder that when things go wrong, I can't sit around and cry about it, I have to figure out how to solve the problem.