Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Miss Morocco and Me

Sorry to start off with yet another driving photo, but I wanted to share the Cairo sunrise.

My assignment this time: shooting a car advertisement. (How fitting.) Or rather, shooting the shooting of a car advertisement.

And let me just say this--there are drivers and then there are drivers.

The driver of this vehicle happened to be Miss Morocco. I didn't know when I agreed to shoot the assignment that my transportation would be with the star of the car commercial. I was supposed to meet my "ride" at a restaurant in Zamalek at 5 a.m. for the hour-long drive to Rihab. Unfortunately for me, I slept in and was awoken by the sound of my phone at 5:30 a.m. Fortunately for me, Miss Morocco also slept in--she was even later than I was--AND she lives in my building.

Small world I guess.

Instead of allowing her driver to drive, Miss Morocco herself took the wheel and I am glad to have survived the trip. She was more than a little stressed out at being over an hour late and I have to say I have never seen anyone drive like that. Nobody seemed to know where to go, least of all me, but we were going there like something was chasing us.

When we arrived a little after 7 a.m., filming of a segment with famous squash players had already begun. The director of photography was handling all of the lighting, so I didn't have to worry about that, I just had to shoot stills of the ad. (None of which will be shown on this blog.) The squash players were both really nice, even though I admitted to them I didn't know the first thing about squash. (It looks a little like racquetball.)

The crew included what seemed like a hundred gofer-like guys to take care of every little detail, including keeping all surfaces spotless.

Left to right, the assistant director of photography, assistant director, director of photography and director scope the outdoor location for the best angles.

I need to get myself one of those giant reflectors. They're pretty sweet for all of your mid-day lighting needs.

Alas Miss Morocco was unable to drive a stick. Everyone was trying to give her instructions and grumbling. I felt bad for her. You know how it is when a whole group of people is depending on you and expects you to perform a task you've never done before on the spot?

It all worked out in the end. She was a trooper. I guess that's why she's Miss Morocco.

By mid-afternoon, I wanted to hug the guy holding the umbrella so that I could stand in the shade. Everything was reflecting or creating heat--the lights, the pavement, the reflectors, the sun...

Miss Morocco reacts to having to do a particular take for about the 50th time.

I wonder how many cameras have been lost during the driving in the car segment.

As people in Egypt would say, "Khallas!" Finished! (Or, I've had enough, depending on the context.)

I still had to survive the trip back in Miss Morocco's car.


ingrid barrentine said...

This is a great story, and sounds like it was an awesome adventure of sorts. Thank God Miss Morocco overslept ;)

Frank P said...

What does Miss Morocco do in Cairo. Is this a temporary job for her? So far nobody is much of a driver.Does she have a free car of the ad brand? It was very interesting to see. You show good stories Holly. mom