3 Days at Sea – To Work Or Not to Work – To Die Or Not to Die

For Movmedia crew shooting onshore, offshore, up in the air or down on the ground is sometimes all in a day's work, make that a couple of days work.
This time I experienced it too. I was asked to go with our crew for a 2-day off shore shoot. First I thought it would be lots of fun and adventure joining the team for this shoot but not for long.

Day 1:

We started off from our office straight to the port. We raised the boat (seemed big enough for me) and arranged our stuff. I was checking the sea and assumed that today it was calm. As we set sail I asked the captain if the sea is OK and he told me that its OK but the sea is starting to swell and we have 1-2 feet of waves. So in my mind I measured 1-2 feet and told my self that it's not high. Then after a few minutes I felt that the boat is quite shaky and asked the captain what's happening and he said that its OK we are just experiencing small waves.

So after 1 hour of traveling I started to feel a cold sweat and started throwing up … whew it's so bad that I just lay down and slept. While thinking what will happen to me in the middle of the sea Arul our cameraman rushed in and informed us that we are now approaching the vessel and need to go out and start video shooting. Honestly, I do not know if I could stand but fortunately I did.

By evening we had to transfer to the larger ship where we were to spend the night and return to the smaller boat early morning to complete the shoot. But transferring is not as easy as I thought it would be. Our transportation from one deck to the other was something I had never experienced before … it was on a Billy Pugh.

My initial nervous reaction was 'why am I here?' But I do not have time to question, to ask and to complain just wear the life jacket and hold on tight … and I survived (I hope in flying colors =) We slept overnight on this big ship and WOW should I say the accommodation was like a five star hotel. It was very impressive. This big ship is so clean and well-maintained even though it was not a passenger cruise liner. The food was good too and of course everyone on the ship was nice and very accommodating.

Day 2:
Woke up by 4 am to get ready since we need to be on our service boat by 6 am to start shooting. Can not eat much of the breakfast since I'm expecting that the sea would be like yesterday. The sea was little quighter than yesterday but still it's like its rocking me up and down. We need to start shooting since the operation has started. George, our producer-director, asked me to eat something and then that's it … the food I ate was in the bin again …

I drank some water and again back to the restroom … its now taking its toll to me … I thought I'm going to die … (actually I already called all the saints that I know) then I asked George if he is OK and told me that he is but I do not see that on his face. I know he was struggling but we need to get good shots so the work must continue.

Wow how's that for passion and commitment to get the job done right! Then I heard the news that we can not return to the port today but need to sleep one more night on the big ship … Back to the Billy Pugh. Sigh! So we finished the day wondering that what if our crew are not committed and just laid down and felt sick?

Final day … I had a good breakfast and was excited about returning to shore, but I was still worried about the sea situation.

Looking out at the sea it appeared and felt calm. When we started sailing off I was OK and felt relaxed. The sea was really calm and now I'm enjoying the trip. For the first time I started talking and smiling again. I had flashbacks about how I struggled the previous day, how I prayed, how I felt sick and felt that's my last day. But I also thought about how our crew reacted when they needed to finish their job whatever the weather, come rain or sunshine. No matter what the situation is and no matter where they are they are ready for action and ready to move and shoot.

I believe if you have the passion, the commitment and love what you do everything is possible … everything is easy. Believe me or not I Survived and should I say it was a good experience and quite an adventure for me. The Billy Pugh experience, the hanging bridge, jumping from one boat to another, the trip to the restroom (well as for me yes) and everything that happened those days are just unforgettable.

My advise to all is if you are looking for a video production company make sure they have the experience, the passion, love what they are doing and the commitment to finish the project without a hitch. At the end of the day you need a good film for your company right?