I have finally found a moment to update everyone with our adventures. I am currently sitting in the other room as Phil, John and Dalibor (our crew) are filming an interview. When everything is going well, my job is easy, and thus I have time to write an update!
If you want to skip to the photos, scroll down. These photos are from my cell phone, I will upload more from the Canon Markiii cameras that we rented soon.
Our trip began in New York, where we gathered gear and figured out how to pack 4 cameras, about 10 lenses, support, batteries, etc, etc, into three carry on rollers. Somehow we managed to piece together this 3d puzzle thanks to the expert packing skills of John Meese.
We flew from Newark to London Heathrow, expecting masses of people to deal with from the Olympics, however it was nearly empty. We then drove (on the left) up the M1 to Kegworth to our first stop, Nick Aikmen and his boutique balsa cutting operation. Nick was a great host, and we stayed at a little bed and breakfast run by his friends. The B&B is located above a fine jewelry making studio called "In the Studio" We were very impressed with Terry and her skills.
From Kegworth we drove back down to London, flying out of London City Airport. We had a very early flight, so we decided to go to the airport early. Turns out LCY is a small airport and it was closed for the night. The guards were nice enough to let us in and we spent the night in a closed airport, quite the surreal experience. Some complications arose with the schedule, and we were faced with last minute cancellations. We were going to have 6 days with nothing to film, so with some quick thinking, and after I crunched the numbers and budget, we flew to Munich and I spent 4 hours at the service counter for Lufthansa. After 4 hours and some very tense moments, we had tickets to Tokyo for the next day. We spent the night in Munich and walked around taking photos and eating chocolate and wurst. We had an 11 hour flight ahead of us....
Arriving into Tokyo Narita airport we did not know what to expect. We were to visit with Akihiro Danjo, one of the top Indoor fliers in the world. Tokyo was like nothing we had ever seen before. Everything is fast, efficient, and usually comes equipped with a touch screen interface! We stayed in Osaki, and quickly figured out how to navigate with the JR line trains. We spent time with Aki at his home in Zoshiki, went to Kawasaki to a practice flying session at the Marina building, visited the Tokyo NS building to see where Aki set the F1L world record, and our last stop was at the Kawasaki Daishi, a Buddhist temple built in 1128. It was serene, peaceful, and too beautiful for words.
After only 4 days in Japan, we had another 11 hour flight back to Munich, then a hop-skip-and-jump to Belgrade. We were to meet our Serbian crew the next day and drive the 14 hours to Galati to visit Cornel, and Popa, two of the 3 Romanian F1D team members. The drive took us along the Danube River, over the boarder and through the small towns and villages of rural Romania. Culture shock from Japan to say the least. We passed through the center of Bucharest around 11PM to find its neon lights glowing. After many hours in the car we arrived at Galati, and a full day of filming awaited.
Later today we head to the Salt mines in Slanic Romania, and then back to Belgrade for the 2012 F1D World Championships. This trip has been an adventure so far, and the footage we have been getting is beautiful, and the stories are priceless. More to come soon!