Scouting, Filming “Nebraska”

Lone tree at sunset Jamie Vesay WM 912 DSCF4984

I just returned from a four month journey on the upcoming movie Nebraska.

Working with Director Alexander Payne was simply wonderful. Beyond his story-telling style, the guy was one of the kindest human beings I’ve had the pleasure to work with on any project. The early weeks of location scouting were particularly beautiful in both scenery and a genuine collaborative process.

In the coming months, I’ll follow up with set stories and more tales of the journey.


PHOTOS and words Copyright Jamie Vesay USE requires permission.


There is a style of production, a genre if you will, that when produced correctly, can be a fantastic adventure.

Production on the road. Where a project gives you the gift of visiting new places, meeting real people, and collaborating with fellow professionals in a different environment – it all can make for some of the most memorable experiences in work – and life.

When you are paid to do such amazing things as rise before the sun just to watch it come up, to listen to human beings tell their very personal stories, to explore landscapes and historic structures in the name of better photography, to learn about an industry other than your own or a plight or cause – because you’re genuinely interested, to bond with strangers and have them become new friends for life.  All of it becomes very difficult to call what I do – a job.

Among all of these elements that are offered by this kind of opportunity, far and away my favorite thing is the simplicity of spending time with colleagues.  Yes, you have collaborated all day toward your common creative goals. The work is completed. But while you travel to the next location or have a meal together, a new level of camaraderie within the crew – can happen. And when it does – it’s all good.

Some of the greatest career production experiences of my life have occurred on the road.

Thank you crew. Thank you clients. Thank you all.

If you liked this, read Production Nirvana.


Photos and words are a COPYRIGHT Jamie Vesay USE requires permission.

What’s Next?

Many people ask me about the state of the production business (as in film, commercial motion pictures, video, photography for advertising, or whatever it’s called these days). Well, the short answer is – if I knew those answers, I would be in the business of predicting the future.

It wasn’t long ago, when all of us who were doing it – felt like we were members of a community. A semi exclusive club, held in somewhat of a higher regard. Respected and respectful. Proud. Entry was earned through dues paid or who you knew… or even the occasional resume got you work. You were the envy of those who aspired to be like you. Those who wanted in, asked questions. How do you do that? How can I be a part of it? Will you teach me?

Things are different these days.

Changes affect everybody’s world in different ways. Adjustments must be made to continue on. Especially if you are doing what you love and hope to be doing it for years to come…

It’s too easy to blame technology, the economy, or the new generation. The facts are, the process has been tweaked, the budgets are smaller, and our industry is different. Yes my friends, it is different. There are different Definitions.

These times are indeed the most exciting yet the most scary at the same time.

I would put this out there to my colleagues. Change – for your own better. Adjust your paths as they narrow. Consider – alternate revenue streams – now. Expand your view of where you are and where you want to go.

You can still be a part of it or watch it all go by from the next scenic overlook.


Photos, words COPYRIGHT Jamie Vesay USE requires permission.