Up before dawn again.
The video guys have to re-pack the vans. Again the tires were flat due to too much weight and an additional van was found so the gear was repacked to spread the weight around.
I’m up to help the producer/director shoot a few scenes around the hotel for use as a tag at the end of the DVD’s. We use the Sony HDR-FX1 that I had brought along to capture some Mexico scenes for test use. Because of the time constraints of the shoot I’ve probably only shot about 10 minutes tops with it all week. Too bad I won’t have enough footage to use for proper testing. Because the vans are packed we are using the FX1 to shoot the tags. At least we don’t have to take a full camera kit around in our mad dash shooting before leaving. But, we’re using a Sachtler 80 with metal sticks. A sixty pound tripod for a Small Format HD Camera…
We shoot until 10 minutes before the vehicles have to leave for the airport. I race back to my room, finish packing, take a quick shower, and run to the vans. All in 10 minutes.
The video guys arrive at the airport before us. There is a mountain of cases in front of AeroMexico. There are customs folks lurking around. AeroMexico says it will not transport the equipment. The AeroMexico documents that specifically describe how this equipment will be shipped back to Miami by AeroMexico on this day are of no interest to the PV AeroMexico employees. The vendor in Miami (who was/is responsible for all shipping per the job agreement) has staff talking on several cell phones of the crew and producer. It also seems the cash money paid to a customs official, when the gear entered the country, is now only part of the payment. This customs official now insists that $1,500 US in cash will solve all of the shipping problems including the AeroMexico problem. There are two cash machines in the airport. Neither of them are working. The Miami vendor arranges for a Mexican shipping company to take the gear (several pieces at a time in a Datsun pickup) and presumably ship via other means. Everyone’s planes are near departure time. The gear is left in the hands of others… on the outside sidewalk of the PV airport.
My Continental Airlines flight arrives in Houston 25 minutes early. But, there isn’t an international gate open for us. We wait on the ramp. We wait some more. We finally got off the plane maybe 15 minutes after scheduled arrival time. My connection time to Richmond is close to departing. I run to Immigration. I run to Customs to pick-up my bags. 45 minutes later my bags finally appear on the belt. I exit Customs 2 minutes after my flight to Richmond has departed.
The next direct flight to Richmond will get me there a 5pm tomorrow. I could take three flights and get to Richmond by 2pm tomorrow. It’s snowing in the northeast and I decide to stay in Houston and get back at 5pm tomorrow instead of flying to three different airports in snowstorms. My short 1hr 15min layover has extended to nearly 24 hours.
No famous quotes today. I’m too tired to listen for any.