Chicago Weekend Trip
This past weekend (April 12th, 2019) my assistant, Jay, and I set out on the road for Chicago for a weekend full of photoshoots and video shoots.
As i’ve said before i’m the Director of Film for Transilient and although we’ve been off the road for a little while, we’ve still been working our butts off on securing funding and planning our next couple projects that we have lined up. We will be launching a kickstarter on April 23rd to raise funding for a short documentary series covering mental health in Appalachia and will use any extra funds raised to put towards pre-production of Transilient’s Full-Length Documentary.
So, Why Chicago?
We ventured out to Chicago to shoot promotion photos for our Kickstarter campaign, plus we filmed a short promotional video while we were there as well. We’re collaborating with Transfigure Print Co to bring to life three different designs to choose from.
Saturday in Chicago
Chicago is a very fun place to visit, with a lot to do, see, and eat. We got in extremely late Friday night, so as soon as we got to Chi we passed out.
Saturday was one big day of shooting, but we made sure to catch some breakfast and coffee before starting our work day. The last time I was in Chicago I was introduced to this cute little joint called SmackDab. This place is AMAZING. They have the best breakfast sandwiches ever and they’re Gluten-Free and have Vegan Options! As soon as you walk in, it’s a small but welcoming space. You feel very at home and comfortable. It has the feel of a small coffee shop, but a very inclusive one because theres trans, pride flags everywhere and they have cute merch you can buy.
After filling up at Smack Dab, we headed back to Basil’s to set up gear, talk shoot details, and also just to have a general team meeting while we all had the chance since we were face to face. (Basil, Transilient’s founder and executive director, lives in Chi while Jay and I live in Cincinnati) After getting all the equipment together we started our short walk to one of Chicagos beaches, which was our first shooting location of the day.
We lucked up on the weather being so nice on Saturday. It was a bit chilly due to being right by the water and also the intense wind (they don’t call this place the “windy city” for nothing). BUT Sunday took a turn for the worst with a snow storm heading straight for Chicago! Since Jay and I had to drive back home Sunday night we were a bit worried due to the snow, so it was essential that we got enough footage Saturday to pull everything together, incase we needed to for sure cancel Sunday due to the forecast. We just swept that thought out of our minds and kept hoping all Saturday that the weather would magically change.
Before models started showing up, we took some photos of Basil modeling a couple different shirts to test angles, make sure the Ronin was performing properly, and to get a feel of the areas around the beach that we wanted to capture.
All the models we met throughout the day were so nice and very easy to work with. Everyone was laughing and having a great time. Our first two models were Jacob and Hal. During the shoot, we found this old Colada stand (pictured above). They had left quite a bit stuff laying around and we were able to hoist up a Trans flag and briefly call the area we were shooting at “Trans Beach”. It made for some awesome photos and the wind came in handy! (pictured below)
The Rest of Saturday
We continued our shoot by taking a short walk to the area known as the mile of murals. We got some photos of models in front of different murals and lots of cool video footage, which ya’ll will get to see once our Kickstarter video launches.
While walking around we saw a cute little park and decided to get a short clip of one of our models coming down the slide, which was fun! And then went to the subway to get some more different shots.
After wrapping up a full, jam packed day of filming Jay and I couldn’t figure out what we wanted to eat. So many great options when you’re in Chicago! We decided to grab some Mexican food and after eating we headed back to Basil’s briefly to go over footage before we decided to pack up and leave that night due to the impending snow storm about to hit Chi.
So we once again hit the road and headed home with a lot of great photos and video content to share! We ended up having enough footage gathered from Saturday, but it was still saddening to have to cancel Sunday and not meet all the other great models who had signed up. We can’t wait to come back to Chicago to make up for the weather! :)
Talk to you soon and if you’re traveling yourself, safe travels and cheers to being creative