On March 26th, we received an email from a LA producer saying that he had gotten our name from a director friend of ours (Warren Sonoda) and that we had come highly recommended as a great production company to work with. He went on to say that he had a bit of a crazy request…He was working with More Media (a Los Angeles music video company) and that they were planning on shooting a music video for country pop star Hunter Hayes in Saint John on April 1st. Now remember, this is March 26th, a music video usually takes a couple weeks of prep before it goes to camera. Furthermore, the shoot date seemed a bit suspicious: April 1st? April Fools? Nevertheless, we spoke on the phone and we did our background check on the producer, the company, and, of course, Hunter. Turns out they were all legitimate and Hunter was in fact scheduled to play at Harbour Station on April 2nd with Carrie Underwood. We accepted the job. The next 6 days would prove to be some of the hardest (and longest) days of my career to date. Some of our responsibilities for road housing this project was: location scouting, casting, finding over 20 crew members, production management, location management, all equipment (lights, grip, camera, plus insurance), accommodations and travel arrangements for out of towners, filming permits, payroll for Canadian crew, per diem for American crew, finding an airplane and hanger, getting on rooftops and throwing bottles off of it, finding a school we could “break into”, and so on.
The days leading up to the shoot were tough, tougher than I thought actually. Not only was it a last minute project, but it was Easter (long) weekend too. That meant finding gear, locations, actors, and crew was very difficult. We ended renting gear from over a half a dozen places in four provinces and bringing in some very talented people from Ontario, New Brunswick, Los Angeles, New York, Nashville, and Nova Scotia. One of the things I love about Saint John is how willing people are to help out. I love that it never changes and that it always makes me feel proud to call this my home. The locations we ended up with were amazing. The people, who owned, managed, or worked there, were all accommodating and willing to go above and beyond. Big ups go out to all our beautiful shoot locations with Marijke and Danny at SJ High School, Carl and Jim at Mahogany Manor, Stacey, Nick, Shawn and Seamus at the Atlantic Flight Centre, Keith and his lovely family at Historica Development, Derek, Terri, and their two little boy wonders at Revolution Strategy, and the best driver this side of Montreal Jim at SJ Executive Limousines!! Thank you all so very much! I could really go on about the great experience, but why don’t we just watch Hunter's behind the scenes video instead
Oh! And here is my interview on CBC Information Morning Saint John about the filming of the project!
Big love! xo, Steve