In 1998, I was a few years into the Location Scouting thing when a project asked me to find a country road surrounded by crops.
The creative was about a working guy taking a break from his busy work day but still staying in touch via his cell phone. Back then, this was the introduction to a new revolution.
I set out on a search by driving the many country roads in the area. Some time around day two, as I came over a dirt road hill, there it was, a lone tree near the side of road greeting me. I’ll admit, it spoke to me. While a tree wasn’t in the storyboard per se, I always try to “plus them” by finding better or something slightly different.
“I have to show the client this,” I said. The production company was a bit hesitant but to my surprise and joy, the client loved it.
A production day was selected a few weeks later. We shot the entire spot near the tree, we ate lunch there, and then it was over, like so many one-time locations. We wrapped and left to never return…
Ten years later, I was in the area and a feeling of rediscovery came over me. “I think I’ll go visit.” There was my old friend the tree, still standing as proud as possible – but leafless in the middle of summer. Sadly, the weather and wind and years had finally caught up to my old friend.
The lone tree had died.
I parked and paused and flash-backed to the day of our shoot. I relished and smiled of similar days. I wandered toward him and laid my hands on his dry aged skin. “Hello old friend. We go way back, you and I. Do you remember that day? We blocked the road, brought in a special camera crane and had decent sized crew. All for you. Yeah, the Actor did damage the car. We laugh about it now. Oh and the phone? Wow what they do with a phone today. You still look good. I don’t care what they say. Thank you for stopping me that day.”
Proud to the end. Respects paid. Good-bye old friend.
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