Perseverance is defined in the dictionary as “steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.” In my line of work, I would say most production professionals have some decent amount of perseverance. Working in film can be very difficult and can take years to achieve success — if-ever depending on what you are trying to be good at (e.g.,actor, director, etc.).
As of right this minute, I am waiting to hear if a commercial will be receiving a permit to film a two-day shoot. This would be the second time this particular team came to the area. Last year, they spent approximately $100,000 for a few days of filming in our region. I want them to stay. They are a reputable company with great ethics. Their sole job is to make commercials on location all year long.
As soon as the production started looking in the area for their epic places to film, the location manager reached out to me. They had been scouting and were interested in a few locations that don’t get used often. The hard part would be having those entities that supervise those locations process a permit for filming simply because they didn’t experience it often and there were new people in the position.
Lucky for me, the location manager and I both have perseverance. After making sure that the production would be responsible with location, I went to bat with the permit specialists and asked how we can make this happen. Time went by. Lots of it. Meanwhile, the production kept doing their work … turning in the appropriate applications, tech scouting with the director and team, and constantly checking in with me. We are now close to the 11th hour, past the point of no return and it’s the holidays. Earlier this morning, we actually received a no. The reasons being sound for their agencies mission … however, in the film world, they were all things that could be solved or worked around appropriately to make it a win-win situation.
Seeing this might be an email, phone call, or application misunderstanding, the location manager went down in person to their office. Low and behold, a lot of the concerns were alleviated once the permitting agency understood the micro details of how a shoot of this stature was operated. Basically, there were assumptions by individuals who were new to film. Happens all the time. Can’t fault them for that. Just like you can’t fault me for not understanding languages I don’t speak. Film can feel foreign and has its own language even, if you will.
Thanks to the perseverance of the production, myself, and even the permitting agency (once they realized they had misconceptions and was willing to take time out of their very busy day to process the permit after all), it appears that there will be a responsible, lucrative commercial filmed in our region after all. It pays to not take the easy road. Sometimes you must make that extra phone call or show up in person to make sure there are no misunderstandings. Especially when your business counts on it. Cheers to perseverance!
Cassandra Hesseltine is the Film Commissioner of the Humboldt-Del Norte Film Commission. She also is a local theater director and actress, and a mother of two. You may reach her at email@example.com.