6:19 AM, Friday, October 27th, 2023:
Firsts in The Journey are pretty difficult in year 24, but the switch to VR180 has certainly created some strange situations, so here's one: the piece for the NFL went over so well, the money guy took off the headset and said "we have the budget for the Super Bowl, let's do it." The exact same way he greenlit the test, he has greenlit the Super Bowl. Because of course that's what happens next.
However I'm presently in "NEED AN ENTERTAINMENT ATTORNEY" mode so I'm more focused on that instead of celebrating. I'm also so accustomed to never believing anything because of 2000-2010 PTSD so I don't think I'll believe this until I'm on the plane in February. But the real surreality of this is? It's stuck inside an entry about New Zealand that's 3 weeks behind. None of this has happened before on The Journey. Sure, I would have a "placeholder" entry for a GolfKon video that would get inserted later... but because I'm focused on making each of the videos for New Zealand their own separate stories - AND THERE'S SEVEN - they get spaced out and we're also at the end of the year and I do 100 entries a year... so there's not a lot of freedom to make an entry where the video is just me reacting to the Super Bowl news... which is also a non-reaction. My real reaction was when I saw the trailer (and you all saw that) everything else is just "Yup, that's kinda why I lost it... saw that comin'."
And of course we have this entry and video from New Zealand which I'm certain will be my favorite. Oh and the last entry being locked... I have to just express it has NOTHING to do with Ihi or my experience surrounding that video. There's some political drama that even with my decades of experience in showbiz surprised me (like soap-opera level lying/deceit/power plays) that again, couldn't be it's own entry so it's stuck within that one and now LOCKED. Fucking annoying. Wait, which means I didn't even get to comment on THAT badass video. Goddamnit.
So THAT video was also ridiculously awesome - how peaceful is that video in VR180? To be on that outrigger in the water with that view... and one of the strongest men you'll ever see in front of you? I mean what in the fuck with that dude's hands. He shook our hands when we met him and Nick and I looked at each other bewildered. Nick goes, "I type on a keyboard for a living." LMFAO. Not even shaking MICHAEL JORDAN'S hand felt like that. His hands are machines. And, mind you, I work construction, play piano... do heavy, heavy shit with my hands sometimes. I have STRONG hands. This dude has a thickness to his paws that can only be described as... nordic? Viking? That's what I picture. Some massive gentleman from the 11th centrury wielding swords the size of tree trunks. Insanity.
But yes, that video was wonderful to experience as is this one. Everything I'm releasing about New Zealand is in chronological order with no other rhyme or reason. To be honest, it's more confusing now that I have some distance to it. Literally nothing that was told to me before New Zealand has had anything to do with anything I shot. <shrugs> I mean, it's cool as fuck, and it was the trip of a lifetime but it makes absolutely no sense to me in a "selling media" construct. But that's for them to figure out, I just had to document everything they told me to document. And a month's worth of media in less than a week pretty much covers that.
So this whole swimming scene came up the literal night before. We drive to Rotarua, do the outrigger stuff and get to a hotel. The other 2 Google peeps join Ihi on a mountain bike ride which I have to turn down because I can't risk an injury with the NFL day looming. Good thing as they wiped out a bunch and I'm already nursing a sore shoulder from roller blading a month ago. Then Ihi texts us he's gonna be teaching some swimming first thing in the morning. Uhm, ok. No idea why or how this fits, but of course I'm gonna shoot it...
...and then the steam coming off the pool at sunrise. Ho-Lee-Fuck-Balls. I hadn't even gotten the greenlight to film and I just RAN to the blocks and shot what became the opening of this video. My emotional ass started to TEAR UP. This is where the thousands of hours of practice really come in handy because you've nailed the fundamentals of the camera and you can just focus on the movement (which actually wasn't perfect) and there's room for your brain to go a little hay-wire. Just, WOW. And of course this is the first (and I do believe only) time we see Ihi actually talking to the athletes and some insight into the whole "Environment before people" (Atua Matua) mentality. On the surface that seems kind of obvious - understanding your surroundings that you're competing in - but it's more. The usual mindset for athletes is seeing the environment as obstacles to overcome, but that puts YOU before the environment. It's better to put the environment first and work WITH it as opposed to battling against it. It's simply a mindset that can help high performance athletes gain a mental edge over others who are centered on themselves. The coach in the previous video mentioned that as well. Pretty interesting stuff.
But yeah, mixed with some Olympic music? Yeah, wonderful piece.
Moments after this is shot I rush off to become permanently changed thanks to Ihi and the Maori people. What an adventure...