Aug 18

Filmaka asked Varda Hardy to write a blog about her experience shooting her upcoming feature documentary. Here’s her second entry:

Endless Roads

Endless Roads

By the time we actually started shooting, I had traversed the state of Iowa six times. And mostly along small country roads. The first time I traveled the state in a cushy bus like the ones that big bands tour in. Joining me was the production team, producers Talia Rodriguez-Shakur and Susan Gorrell, line producer Bernie Cassar and our music supervisor Mopreme Shakur. That journey had a real “magical mystery tour” feel to it. I was discovering Iowa for the first time. Some of the landscapes reminded me of French Countryside. And of course there were acres and acres of cornfields. Several weeks later, I scouted the state with key crew members in a traditional passenger van with a local Iowa PA, Joel, at the wheel.

The actual shoot took me across the state for the seventh time in less than eight weeks. That comes to about 3,150 miles. Scouting a whole state was an insanely fun challenge! My producers would have to drag me from edges of country roads where I was immersed in conversations with town folk whose curiosity was piqued by this wild haired woman dashing around taking still photos of their community buildings, churches, post offices and front porches. Of course, I would ask them about Ragbrai and they all had stories to tell. I was just soaking it all in.

In response to a Facebook post I put out there, a producer friend who had shot the Tour de France and other bike rides told me that I must use motorcycles to shoot the ride. He said I absolutely could not cover a bike tour without motorcycles. This was an absolute must. So I called my producers and asked for two motorcycles. That’s when I learned that we would not be allowed to use any motorized vehicles on the route

Uh, now what

(This is Jason from Filmaka again. If you would like to contribute to our blog, we would like to hear from you. Just e-mail us at info@filmaka.com. Looking forward to hearing from you.)

Aug 18

This is Jason from Filmaka.   We have been a bit busy with the DIRECTV competition and have neglected our blog.   So, thanks to Varda Hardy, multiple winner of Filmaka competitions, for writing the blog entry below.  She recently landed a very exciting assignment but, rather than explaining it to you, here’s Varda – in her own words:

Three weeks ago, I returned from directing a feature documentary on the longest, largest, oldest bike tour in the world.  This annual tour (not a race) called RAGBRAI can include as many as 20,000 participants and spans the state of Iowa. Two months ago, I had never even heard of Ragbrai now I have over 120 hours of footage covering this year’s tour.

Mopreme Shakur our Music Supervisor

Mopreme Shakur our Music Supervisor

Although I’ve mostly directed scripted movies, I am always up for a challenge. I’m totally into bike riding, so when Monica Daniel, an editor I often work with, sent me an e-mail from a producer looking for a director who would be interested in directing a feature documentary about a bike tour, I decided to check it out.  I interviewed with producer Talia Rodriguez-Shakur and her husband Mopremeat the Urth Cafe on Main Street in Santa Monica. During our meeting, I mentioned quite randomly that I often ride my bike to the Urth Cafe. Talia’s eye’s lit up. Turns out the other two directors don’t ride bikes. Perhaps that off handed remark did not get me the job, but I think it cinched it.

To be continued . . .