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Wednesday, January 23 , 2019, 2:19 am | Fair 40º


Captain’s Log: Filming a Soap Opera at Sea

I have a great sea story to share with you. I recommend you read this where you can bust a gut in peace, because if your sense of humor is as warped as mine, this may get messy.

Years ago, my boat was chartered to be the camera boat for filming a scene, at sea, of an extremely popular soap opera, though I am not at liberty to reveal which one. It was a love scene (no nudity) on a sailboat, and my powerboat continually maneuvered around the sailboat to get all possible horizontal camera angles on the embracing and smooching couple.

These show folks don’t mind working hard and fast. We were in and out of the harbor twice that day, so that the director and filming crew could hightail it to the airport and get out on a helicopter to film the scenes from above. By doing everything twice, they got all horizontal and vertical shots in varying light throughout the day.

The sailboat stayed out for most of the day, so the stars were on the boat for a long period. Before leaving the dock, we were all talking about plans and concerns. Both stars were a bit worried about becoming seasick. My crew member (and daughter), Capt. Tiffany, told the stars that her seasick prevention is chocolate. Now, please bear in mind that Tiffany’s cure for everything has always been chocolate, which makes us all wonder how she keeps her nice figure.

The stars ate up the concept, and Tiffany sent them off on the sailboat gobbling handfuls of chocolate. At the end of the day, I asked the gal star if the chocolate helped. She thought for a moment and said, “Well, I guess it did. We kept eating it, and neither of us got seasick and our kisses tasted really good!”

Show folks try to think of everything and keep it all tightly controlled. Mother Nature, however, tends to shake her wild finger at folks who try to control everything, and on this day she was shaking fingers of dense fog. I was truly impressed with the way the director studied conditions and considered everything in sight to be an opportunity of some kind. There were little things he would make great use of, like the fact that a full moon was visible in the daytime sky. So the director wanted a shot with the sailboat mast pointing directly at the moon. That’s good stuff!

But what I just about died laughing at was when the director and filming crew were aboard the helicopter and thought they would make use of the fog by filming straight down, during descent, while the fog seemed to open up as they came down over the boat. It was a great plan for a stunning visual. The problem was, they came down through the fog, right on top of the wrong boat, and scared the living daylights out of some very unsuspecting boaters!

Life is full of fun and surprises — providing we don’t die of fright!

— Capt. David Bacon operates WaveWalker Charters and is president of SOFTIN Inc., a nonprofit organization providing seafaring opportunities for those in need. Visit softininc.blogspot.com to learn more about the organization and how you can help. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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