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