The ride to San Antonio consisted of traffic getting out of Houston, a lot of SiriusXM, and a stop at Buc-ee’s. It is a HUGE truckstop off of I-10, between Houston and San Antonio. David had told us so much about it, and we had to stop there. It was a necessary bathroom and snack-food break. As we were leaving, I snapped this picture of the mascot of Buc-ee’s. Cute, isn’t it.
We got to the Alamodome around 11:30. I power-walked back to the hotel for a quick shower. I wasn’t able to shower in the morning, and nothing is worse than filming a 9 hour show when you already feel disgusting. When I got back to the dome, we finished set up. I tried taking a quick cat-nap in the press box, but that ended up not working.
The closer we got to the show, the higher the stress level went up. When the live stream went live a 2 p.m., David, who was doing quality-control, realized that there was no left-channel audio coming through. After a discovery of a bad connection from the DA to the canopus box, we switched out some cables, used some duct tape to keep it in place, and it worked perfectly.
I went down on the field to capture some b-roll. There were three Open Class corps, and 22 World Class corps. After the Open Class corps went on, I went into the lot. I have to give it up for the members. It was hot, and there was minimal shade. I didn’t stay out there long at all. Before I knew it, the first 13 corps were done, and it was time for an hour intermission, which could’t have come soon enough. All that lack-of-sleep and hunger caught up with me. I hit a wall.
During intermission, I met up with my mom. She flew out for the show, and to do a little sight-seeing. It had been close to two months since I had seen her, so it was very nice to see her. I brought her up into the press box to show her what it was, what we did, etc… While I was talking to her, Jeff came in and told me it was time to go up on the catwalk.
You heard me, the catwalk.
We had gotten permission to go up there and do a time lapse video from up there. We met up with Logan, one of the Blue Devils videographers, who also wanted to go up there as well. Now, I wouldn’t consider myself scared of heights, but that was scary. The walkways were all grates, so you could see all the way down to the field.
Once we got in the middle, Jeff got the GoPro camera ready, and had to leave to continue with the live stream. It was just Logan and I up there. I was up there for the rest of intermission, and beginning of the Blue Knights performance.
Talk about an adrenaline rush.
After that, I was wide awake. I got my second, or third, or fourth wind. I was down on the field for the rest of the show, getting some awesome footage. Now that I am comfortable with the shows, I am starting to feel out where everything happens, and the different nuances to all the shows. That gives me more time to focus more on my shot composition, and less on what is happening on the field.
By the third to last performance, I started losing faith that the show was going to end. At 10:55, the last corps, Carolina Crown, went on. At that point, I was just making sure I got a couple shots I could use, and use my energy to stay awake. They finished up around 11:10. After a quick break, the drum majors came on the field for awards. I got all of the different salutes from the different drum majors. Once Dan Potter, the announce, said “Goodnight, and drive safe,” it was done!
Breakdown was relaxed, but hurried since everyone was tired. Jeff, David and I went up on the catwalk again to retrieve the GoPro. David was a little freaked out of heights, but went up anyways. It was a lot better the second time. Since I wasn’t that scared anymore, I was able to enjoy the scenes. Once we got to the middle, David decided to take a planking picture. He lay, face down and eyes open, on the catwalk. I couldn’t do that.
Best planking picture ever? I think so.
Once we got down, breakdown was pretty much complete. We headed off to the hotel. Pizza was waiting for us, per the usual pizza party we the DCI staff have after all of the shows. Mat, Jeff and I went out for drinks at Mi Tierra, by the Riverwalk. Time flew by. Before we knew it, it was already 2:30. We went back to the hotel, and by 3, I was in bed passed out.
I met Mat down in the lobby at 8:45 to go to the airport. Jeff and Zongwei were staying behind to go to I and E, and David was staying behind to visit with Taylor and some of his friends. At the airport, I got a set of headphones, that were really needed. The ones I had from Christmas were only coming out from one ear bud, and the free ones AirTran passed out sounded like garbage. I got really good headphones, that came with a case to protect them. Mat helped me get some good ones. He knows audio, and which ones were the best.
In a nutshell, that is was happened in the “…heart of Texas…” this weekend. Time to watch some Community and sleep.
Totals from the Trip:
Miles: 3,000 miles (est.)
Performance Times: 13 hrs
Footage: 5 hrs
Sleep: 15 hrs
Total: One awesome weekend
Schedule for the coming week:
Murfreesboro, TN: 7/28-7/29
Atlanta, GA: 7/30-7/31*
*Going to try and make it to the race at the Indy Motor Speedway Sunday once I land)