No matter where you are in the world, every film location scout has a certain rhythm and shape and tropes familiar to anyone in the business. The beautiful island of Guadeloupe was no exception.
Here is a little photoblog of some iconic moments from our preliminary look-see for your enjoyment.
The driver is usually one of the most important local members of the team, and often the coolest dude. We were blessed with a father and son team, Max and Patrice, whom we dubbed Mad Max and Danica Patrick for their mad skills behind the wheel. You never knew which one was going to show up each day.
More often than not, when you see the most beautiful location and fall in love with it, you will be told that it has poor access, no place for a base camp, is too steep, or otherwise massively unfriendly to production.
It can be an amazing and wonderful thing when people generously open their homes and share their interior worlds and lives with you. Taking the time to hear their stories invariably enriches your own understanding of the world, and seeps into the DNA of your film project. This woman was a cook, and one of the greatest organizers to maximize the use of a small space that I have ever witnessed.
This woman had come to Guadeloupe from Algeria, and lived in an old 1930's wooden beach house that was as weathered and experienced at survival as she was; only when her daughter arrived did we discover it was also her birthday!
Snack food is an inevitable part of driving around in a car all day. There has been a movement over the years away from loading up on donuts and other junk and towards providing the team with some healthier options.
The Film Gods are always prone to laughing at our futile efforts to impose our organizational will on nature, so it is not a bad idea to light a candle and say a prayer wherever you go. As they say, the quickest way to end a drought is to take out your film camera and set up for a shot!
If you see a location you like during the day, it is usually a good idea to go back and take a look at night, too. Or if you visit a place in the winter and it has a great view, try to imagine what it will look like when you come back to shoot six months later, when it has been completely blocked by foliage, or even worse, torn down and paved over by new construction.
But the local aged Rhum Vieux was to die for!