Recently, I was asked to visit our lovely sister island of Tobago, to film and photograph a resort that will be placed on the International market for sale. This was the first property outside of Trinidad that I have been asked to film, and certainly the first International Resort! It was my first time on a golf course too, and with 156 acres to visit, the shoot was sure to take the fully day that we booked for the production.
I met with Roger the agent at the airport and we boarded the Caribbean Airlines flight for the 15 minute flight over. Landed Safely, we were on the drive to the hotel when I thought “That was the easy part”, As the challenges were stacked against me having a smooth shoot. The weather, the time allotted for the shoot, and the limited resources I took along with me on the flight, meant that I had to keep to the schedule of shooting all day long to get the footage I needed. Any bad shots or shaky moves that I normally identify in post and remove from the edit, I opted to dump directly off the flash cards on the spot. It saved the much needed space on the memory cards and also helped a lot in the edit stage.
Normally, when I’m on a shoot, I begin with a simple walk through of the property to get a feel for the space and to help me identify specific details of the property that I then use in the narration. With this much space to tour however, that was not going to be feasible. I had been to the resort before tho, about five years ago I stayed a weekend for a friends’ wedding. She got married on the resort’s private beachfront. I did not go wandering off tho, so to be honest,I never saw all of resort there was to see.
When we got to the location the first thing my Agent / Guide did, was secure a golf cart to take us across the entire course for the shots needed. The weather was cooperating and we had to make the best of the shots while we could. The Rainy season was in full swing already, and if you’ve ever been in Trinidad or Tobago during the rainy season, you’ll understand how quickly the sun can be drowned out with torrential rains, only to have blistering sun again within minutes of the downpour.
Real Four Wheeler!
This was one of the highlights of the trip, truth be told, I’d never been on a golf cart before and was amazed at how easily it navigated the course. We shot angles, reverse shots, and even got some shots of golfers teeing off, (With their permission of course). We were well on our way to shooting the entire eighteen hole golf course when, you guessed it, the rains came.
We decided to seek shelter at a little hut when, while navigating an uphill bit of now muddy track, we got stuck. Im happy to report that with a little elbow grease and some surprising strength I honestly though I lost along with my gym membership, I was able to pull the cart out of the ditch with dear Roger the agent driving. Yes pull, not push people, standing behind a sliding golf cart on a muddy uphill track in the rain, isn’t a good idea!
The rest of the shoot went well. and by night fall we had managed to cover the entire golf course, beach front, pool, lobby and even squeezed in two delicious burgers, (medium-well) Salad and a pot of coffee for a late lunch. By the evening Roger had left me to it, and I went on to film the suites and cabanas of the hotel all in time to catch the ten pm flight back home.
I must say, in the three (or maybe four) years I’ve been filming this series, this certainly was the largest and most exhilarating shoot I’ve been on. The location, tho dated, certainly is a gem of a location and I will have fond memories of this shoot as one of the most exciting and informative. Needless to say, I’m gonna have a go at learning the game of golf after such a fun day on the course.