February 9, 2013

Client: Costa Rica Tourism  |  Agency: 22 Squared  |  Production: Drive Thru Productions

Easily one of the greatest professional honors of my life, as well as one of its greatest adventures.

9 crewmembers, 27 days of straight filming, 18 hotels, countless loads and un loads, impossible roads, crocodile infested rivers, vast breathtaking ocean shores, washed out bridges, rabid angry monkeys, insect bites that feel like bullets, sunsets that melt
richly into the corona and so much more. On the offset it seemed like a ridiculous epic task but the people I worked around were so up to the challenge that everyday seemed like a new creative joy that we would take with us forever. My title of director seemed perfunctory in the wake of these uncommonly talented individuals.

In March I came to Costa Rica with friends and on my own accord decided to film it. I really wanted to capture not just the spirit of the country and its peoples but my own personal relationship on this journey. It wasn’t a very easy time in that part of my life and inspiration is what I craved; it felt like medication for my own creativity. When I arrived back in the States I put together what I thought was a modest edit but it became more than just that. Maybe something really deep and special happened that just burned in my spirit, I can’t say for sure but it came across as honest, humble and complimentary of a country that deserves accolades for how marvelous it is. Call it magic maybe.

The film went viral and was hugely successful in Costa Rica as other parts of the world. Looking back on it now it all feels pretty amateur in comparison to what has been accomplished on this new journey. However, that does in no way take away that experience that so many people connected with or the opportunities that came from it. Such as this job, travelling and filming non-stop for the Costa Rican tourist board.

I don’t like to talk about jobs all that often, well, with details online, but this one is different. One of the most incredible career moments in my life happened so serendipitously it’s hard to not talk about it. Outside of myself it’s quite a story, it’s
the equivalent of winning a lottery ticket in my industry. All the twists of fate, the people, the emotion. You really can’t write this stuff. I implore all of you to film it, paint it, build it, write it, and sing it because life wants to give back to you if you
give something to it. It surprised me entirely just how rich karma can be if you don’t expect it and only give.

The people of Costa Rica are some of the finest of character caliber; you can see why they call it the happiest place in the world. For some who have so little their happiness exceeds Americans who have so much. Earlier in the trip I was able to put together an edit to show the locals what we have been up to. Many of them were quite emotional because the pride in their country had been represented and respected by a hand full of gringos that worked everyday in awe of the marvelous Costa Rican life that would make anyone envious. It was certainly moving to see farmers; surfers, shopkeepers and restaurant owners all unified in a mutual
appreciation of what we hoped would not fail their expectations. Waking up everyday knowing that this was our task, to represent their country, was both scary and overwhelmingly joyous. It’s an honor I will never forget.

At the beginning of the trip I gave my direct camera crew iPods with music that I thought was suggestive of the shoot ahead. I like to think of it as working with emotion rather than a structure that we are all so used to. There were no storyboards, just the raw unexpectedness of a new location and situation everyday. I’ve always felt that music is a marvelous way to dictate what cant be said verbally to translate into something visual. When these elements are paired what can only be describes as epic comes from it. It becomes a personal experience, an intimate one, and a true and honest one. Your not forcing emotion because your already overflowing with it. That’s what I was after, to see the rest of the crew make a relationship that was theirs and theirs alone, to fall in love with it everyday because holy shit this was a long shoot.

I can honestly say this has been one of the most dedicated crews I’ve ever worked with. There were a lot of pitfalls but they were all met with smiles and everyone inspired the other to push on. No matter what happened, cold beer at the end of the day and sharing the days stories and tomorrows plans always felt rewarding. There wasn’t a moment where any of us stopped sharing knowledge and also eagerly listened. Everyone had their individual quirks and ticks that just clicked. You really did have to stop yourself and say, “This in one of those special moments isn’t it? The ones you always hope to have”.

It’s a lot to gush about, from its beginnings to this its conclusion. It’s the kind of experience that I hope everyone can indulge it. Whether you think it or not, believe me, you deserve it, an adventure of your own. I think I’ll be bringing much more home of me than when I left it. Whatever I go home to or continue to work on I know that it will be filled with Pura Vida.

Thanks Doug, Tom, Steve, Danny, Soren, Andreas, James and Larkin for being big, bold and creative everyday. Seriously, you’re all kings.

Thanks Drive Thru, 22 Squared and the CR tourist board. Your belief in the project, your patience and hard work is brilliant.

Most importantly thank you to the people of Costa Rica. Without you this opportunity wouldn’t exist. Your outpouring of support for my creativity, love and perspective of your country is the most touching thing I’ve ever experienced. You’re a proud and wonderful people and I hope to see you again.