Filming the shoot presented a question about what kind of stories we tell in our series and where “sustainable” begins and ends. I’ve always considered our show to be less about the answer, and more about presenting different points of view, and so I was curious to hear the point of view on the ethics of shooting birds for food (and sport).
Perhaps it is the appearance of drone shots in every single video I watch on TV or online. Perhaps it was the money. Perhaps it was the fact that Ireland is a windy and wild place, and the locations where I wanted to film, just can’t handle a drone flight. Perhaps it was a relief to let go of some gear and focus on the filmmaking. When you have a video camera, a still camera, a gopro, an iPhone and a drone, all trying to document what’s around you it ends up being stressful and you lose sight of what you are doing — capturing a real and true story. So drones: you are fun and cool, but at this moment in my filmmaking career, I’m going to wait till you can handle Ireland’s wind.
When we venture out on film shoots without a babysitter, and without Hunter, Daniel and I split up the work: One of us films our intended subject, while the other watches the baby. Last week, Daniel went up the mountain in the Burren with a sheep farmer while James and I stayed back on the farm. Within a few minutes, he had changed into his wellies, and was running through the open fields while the farm dogs trailed behind. For the next couple hours, that farm was a playground. James discovered horse manure, climbed on the tractor, mooed at the cows and stared at awe in the sheep. He fell in mud, and stumbled on the rocky dirt road. He squealed at the cat perched near the warm chimney watching him, and he munched on biscuits and butter made by the farmers wife. He slept the whole ride home and didn’t even realize that he was the luckiest boy in the world.
In Ireland, instead of eating out, we are shopping for great local ingredients, and eating from home. We do however have one large advantage, the airbnb we are staying at happens to have an acre kitchen garden, a dozen apple trees and alpine strawberries growing in the cracks of the various pathways.
Our backdoor opens to a trove of apple trees. Ever since we arrived, I’ve been anxious to take advantage of this amazing bounty and start baking. Unfortunately, the house isn’t yet stocked with the necessary baking supplies (rolling pin, measuring cups, mixing bowls…)
I recently took a little solo trip to Brey, a small coastal town south of Dublin. There I did the “Brey Cliff Walk,” a 6km hike along the ocean that leads you to the neighboring town of Greystones. The next day I went to Glendalough National Park to hike in the Wicklow mountains. At the base of the trail there’s an old monastery (built sometime between 900-1200 A.D) founded by St. Kevin.
Since arriving to Ireland I’d been wanting to have a traditional pub experience. I asked James, the owner of the house where we are staying, (not to be confused with the baby), if there was a good pub to visit in the nearby town of Athy. “What night is it… Thursday?” he asked me. It was. “Oh, go to Clancy’s. You’re in for a treat. There’s music.”
So, Daniel and I went.
We made it to Ireland! And though it took way longer than expected and the actual traveling was a disaster, the good news is that the crazy stress did not cause Daniel and I to divorce, and baby James proved his worth in gold. So Im keeping both of them! But here is my recommendation for how to travel internationally with a 19 month old. And mostly, it involves not relying on the airlines.
Over the past few years, I have flown back and forth (inside and out of) over 20 countries. And during that time, though I’ve always waited with bated breath as the suitcases came round the moving luggage belt, I’ve never had an airline lose my luggage. I’ve never been rerouted 5 times and transferred to 4 different airlines during a single trip, I’ve never had to run like crazy to two different gates only to be told that the doors had just closed, and I’ve never had an airline refuse to issue me a ticket (even though I’d already booked a seat). I’ve never sat in the last row of the plane with a shoddy tray table and had coca cola pour into my lap every time the plane moved slightly. But just last week, the first time we took our baby son on an international flight, all of those things happened. In one day.
So I debated writing this blog entry because it’s on a topic that is quite personal and I hesitate to broadcast to the entire Perennial Plate following. But it’s also something I’m very excited about and stands out among the many adventures in Colorado. So what the heck, here we go… There’s a girl I […]