At the end of August, we sent senior photographers Adam Wilde and Thomas Cook down south to High Point, North Carolina for a photo and video shoot at High Point Regional Hospital. What was supposed to be a routine location shoot began with a series of calamities we couldn’t make up if we tried. Still, after the wacky and frightening road trip in the “sketchy” company van, our photographers had an incredible time working with the clients and producing some truly amazing work, thus proving that no matter the obstacle, we shall overcome!
Our story begins with two guys, lots of photography equipment, and an underperforming conversion van. Adam and Thomas decided to give themselves a little extra time to get down to the location and scope out the scene (and possibly do a little shopping in the “Furniture Capital of the World”), so they left on Saturday, two days before the shoot was scheduled to begin. The TRG Reality company van already had a nefarious reputation within our studio since its latest fun feature was to pull hard to the side, causing any driver to have to grip the wheel, white knuckles a blazin’, and force it to stay straight. Going up the Appalachian Mountains wasn’t too bad, but coming down – in the rain no less – was a different and much scarier story. Treacherous as the trip was, our brave photographers rolled into town in one piece the day before the shoot was to begin.
This should have been the end of Adam and Thomas’ misfortune, but it doesn’t stop there. These two wild party animals were extremely excited to get down to High Point and check out their world-renowned furniture stores. They had discussed at length what pieces they were hoping to find for their homes, and how they could stack the furniture in the van for the long ride back later that week. They pulled into town, unloaded everything at the hotel, and set off for an afternoon of furniture shopping. However, it was a Sunday, and unbeknownst to them, all of those famed furniture stores were closed. They couldn’t believe it, so they checked them all, one by one, driving up and down the streets of High Point. All closed. Every. Single. One. They eventually – and dejectedly – gave up, deciding to grab some food and head back to the hotel. Thomas found a fantastic Mexican restaurant on Yelp and proceeded to GPS the address. As if fate was truly against them, the GPS took the guys on wild ride through the backcountry dirt roads for close to an hour, eventually leading them to a church in the middle of nowhere - not a Mexican restaurant. At this point, Thomas and Adam had pretty much had it. That is, until they met up with the client the next day.
On the first day of the project, our senior photographers wrapped up the location scouting that had begun the evening prior (post-hunt for Mexican food). It was a situation no unseasoned photographer would like to find himself in: no chance to see where they are shooting, but expected to produce something pretty out of things that perhaps are not. Though it isn’t customary to decide on the locations and shots so late into a project, Adam and Thomas felt comfortable given their many years of combined experience. When they finally met up with the client, Knox Marketing, the shattered dreams of the past two days quickly began to fade. Both Adam and Thomas had worked for years with Knox Marketing, which only solidified their confidence and comfort level, making them feel completely reenergized.
Bridget, our Studio Producer, was also on hand (she flew down and thus skipped the rollercoaster ride through the Appalachians) as the line producer and assistant director of the shoot. She made sure the talent was where they needed to be, that the makeup was on time, and she kept track of what were the best takes. She essentially made sure all Adam and Thomas had to concentrate on was directing and shooting. Between the three of them, what normally takes the studio weeks to figure out was managed in a matter of days. TRG trio of triumph for the win!
In addition to the TRG folk, there were about 6 of the clients, the grip the guys hired once they arrived in NC, and roughly 15 talent on any given day on set. Additionally, when they were shooting in High Point Regional Hospital, depending on the time of day, many more “real” people were coming and going. That is a lot of people to consider and manage for one project, but it was our job to make sure all of those people were arriving and leaving when they are supposed to, making sure they are there for their shots, and also making sure they aren’t going over their budgeted time. It was a complete collaborative effort and everything went off without a hitch. The agency was with us the entire time, which sometimes doesn’t happen on a shoot. Our art direction was on top of things; the wardrobe was bought, paid for, organized, steamed, etc.; the account people dealt with the higher-up clients in the hospital to talk about the specifics of the shoot as far as who goes where and when. Everyone got his or her hands into the mix, working hard and having a great time while doing it.
From about 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM each day, everyone worked diligently for this project, including the client and the talent. All three TRG representatives were incredibly impressed with the efficiency, dedication, and wonderful attitudes of everyone on set, and that’s exactly what kept Adam and Thomas going on those few long days of shooting. They established great relationships with everyone, which only aided in the creation of some truly phenomenal work. After 4 long days, three television spots and three print ads were in the bag, and even though Thomas and Adam still had a long journey home, they didn’t dread it as much this time. The combination of the down-to-earth people they worked with, the laughs they all shared, and the fantastic final shots they produced had completely erased the less-than glamorous beginning to this tale. Adam and Thomas laughed their way through it all, never letting the setbacks and mishaps cloud their attitude or professionalism. And that’s just how we roll at TRG – unless we’re in the company van, in which case we roll all over the place.
Thank you to Knox Marketing, the good people at High Point Regional Hospital, the talent, and the crew who made this ultimate tale of collaborative team effort a reality. We can't wait to share the videos with you, so once they are finished, we will post them here. Make sure to check back in with us soon.