Someone asked me the other day, “Does Aero really need a jet?” And to that I responded, “Well, do you really need pants?” I mean, technically, no, you could go without either… but they sure are helpful to have, and they enable you to get things done in a way that could never do without. (And both aid in job security!)
I will elaborate....
During the production of an ambitious Chevy campaign spanning geographically from Aspen to Alaska, the Aero team encountered a potential disaster at Canadian customs. (WHEN MOOSE ATTACK!! I kid. Sorry, I love some good moose humor… Bygones.) We had a truck full of all our camera/grip equipment and planned to drive across Canada to Valdez, Alaska; however, customs officials were intent on holding the truck for 48 hours to check the validity of the paperwork relating to the serial numbers on ALL the gear. We didn’t have 48 hours to sit around, as the shoot was to take place in a remote part of Alaska within 48 hours and once through customs, it was a 25-hour drive. So, this border holdup was unacceptable.
Moving the shoot wasn’t an option. The time schedule was already very compressed on the agency and client side (as to meet an upcoming airdate) so we were cutting the footage shot in Aspen before we even started shooting in Alaska to compress time in the post process. So basically, the only answer for our problem was to get from Montana to Alaska and circumvent our northern neighbor altogether.
And this, is when you need a jet.
The agency, director and production team had already arrived in Valdez, Alaska and upon hearing the news of the border delay, Aero Chief Pilot, John Vandervort (along with co-pilot/grip and Cinemoves owner, Scott Howell, and cameraman Mark “Sparkles” Reid) began taking out the interior seats of the Aero Jet, thus converting it into a cargo plane!
|Every seat is an aisle seat.|
|John and Scott|
They were wheels up within an hour and were flying to Montana at 500 mph to meet our trucks that had driven back into the US. They loaded up the plane and the jet departed from Montana, flying directly to Alaska, thus bypassing Canadian bureaucracy.
|Thankfully there is no carry-on limit with Aero...|
The morale of the story:
The gear was in Valdez eight hours after hearing of the predicament.
Because of the jet.
And to be clear, the Canadians were happy about our problem solving abilities! They weren’t really jazzed to have to meticulously go through every serial number, especially since the gear wasn’t going to a location on their soil. And could we have hired a private jet when this situation presented itself? Well, sure. But finding a private jet from East No Where, Montana to fly to Mid Bumblefluff, Alaska is no easy feat. Especially within an hour. (There’s sadly no Lens Crafters for jets.)
|You can't get this view driving!|
We're very happy to report that the shoot was executed in a perfect window of weather and time by Director Klaus Obermeyer and his terrific crew, empowered by our very own time machine. Who needs a Dolorian and a flux capacitor? THAT would be overkill. But pants and a jet? Yes, please.