The time has come to start capturing the final footage for our documentary On Board. It’s been an incredible journey filming for the last year, but after sitting down with everything, the holes in the plot need to be filled. A lot of that is the b-roll. When compiling our footage, one of the things we needed for the trailer that was clearly missing, was footage of Paris. When the trailer is released (perhaps by the time you read this), it is clear why we needed it, but I struggled with the best way to get it. One option was obvious – go online and buy a few clips of the city of lights. However, as we are shooting this documentary in 4K – that option was expensive.
We have made some incredible friends in the process of making this documentary, and our good friends at Norwegian Airlines have made getting to Europe a very cost-effective option. What that meant for me was, if we need B-roll of Paris, we’re going to France. This was not my first trip. I had been to France once before for 8 hours, back in 2014 while shooting Back in Time. I hired a local tour guide at the time to show me around, and take me to some of the best photo spots. It was a great intro to the city, and I needed to remember as much as I could because this trip was only going to be 24 hours. The difference this time was I was going to get to see Paris at night.
I went with my production (and real life) partner Andrea on the trip, and we were immediately dealt a curveball. Our flight was delayed 3 hours leaving New York. From a practical standpoint this meant that almost everything we wanted to shoot the day we got there was going to get scrapped, and we’d have to go straight for Montparnasse Tower, which has by far and away the best views of Paris. It is a 59 story office building, and no other building in the city is allowed to stand taller than 7 stories. Its the place I got the incredible cover image of this blog post (Shot with my iPhone btw).
Over the course of the night and next day we would end up shooting at The Arch de Triumph, Notre Dame, The Louvre, various locations along the Seine River, and the hotspots all along Champs Elysees. We even made it to Moulin Rouge (OK we shot the outside). The problem with a trip like this is that everything has to be done so quickly that there is no time to stop and enjoy. On day two, we had a crepe in the back of an uber on the way to the airport at 3pm. That was breakfast…
We partnered with our great friends at LensProToGo.com and I’ll have an article in their blog about the specifics of shooting video b-roll in Paris, with a ton of images and an exclusive look at some of the footage. (I’ll post it here once they post it as well). Suffice it to say Paris is as amazing as the movies make it out to be. I personally can not wait to go back again.