Recently, a few members of the Parachute Media team traveled to Portland, Oregon to capture video and photo content for client, Triumph Pet Food. This city is considered one of the most dog-friendly cities in the U.S. Therefore, we knew this would be the ideal spot to feature real owners and their dogs in nature.
With its scenic mountains and trails, incredible landscape, and waterfalls by the dozen, the beauty of Portland and the coast of Oregon can’t be put into words. However, no shoot is complete without a few pitfalls. The key to success while working on these critical projects is to learn to work with what you got.
Rain, rain, go away
We can control many factors when it comes to project planning, but sadly, Mother Nature is not one of them. The PNW is famous for its misty rain and overcast skies. However, we knew we had to shoot our shot but traveling to this location.
Leading up to the trip, the forecast showed sunny skies and comfortable 70-degree weather. As the day of departure crept closer however, this all changed. Suddenly it was a prediction of rain every day, with wind and cool weather. Unfortunately, our weather apps were not wrong like they usually are. The only day of blue skies and sunshine we had was the day we arrived (when all we wanted to do was sleep after a 5:30 a.m. flight).
The location scouting on these first two days became more about finding locations we could shoot in the rain. Instead of focusing on the negative, we knew we had to find a way to use the weather to our advantage.
After all, Portland receives a lot of rain year-round, so we knew the shots would look more authentic in this weather. The key takeaway from this is simply learning to work with what you have, and thinking of solutions as you go along.
Flight Delays and Late Starts
Now, thankfully it was not Parachute’s flights that were delayed. Though I don’t think a delay on a 5:30 a.m. flight would have caused us an enormous amount of trouble.
On the second day of our shoot, we had planned to capture content in the city. We wanted to show how adventuring with your dog can be urbanized, and still counts as getting outside! Our incredible talent, Alex Borsuk and her dog Otto, were delayed from flying in from another location that morning.
We unfortunately didn’t start shooting until almost 1 p.m., when the plan was to start at sunrise on each of the days. Just like with the rain though, we weren’t going to let that stop us from capturing what we needed.
As soon as Alex arrived, we hit the ground running. The late start to shooting worked to our advantage, in that we were able to capture a shot at the very end of the day as the sun was setting. Ryan was even able to capture some drone shots of the city in the evening.
Though tired from the long hours, we all knew that getting a little extra sleep that morning helped us perform at our best.
Sand, Surf and Sun-Not so much
Our final day of shooting lead us all the way to the west coast on Cannon Beach. Let’s just say, this day started out the most cloudy and rainy-and we had planned to shoot on the beach the entire day.
The drive from Portland to the beach is about two hours, and thankfully we were able to take advantage of this road trip to capture some footage. We worked with Winnie the dog, and her two owners, Callie and Scott. Scott drove his truck and we captured several shots of Winnie sticking her head out the window on the way down.
Despite the weather, the day was looking promising.
Upon arrival to the beach however, things took a turn. The wind was absolutely chilling as we made our way outside to find shot locations. A few of us began on a trail that overlooked the beach, while Ryan began on the beach with Whitney and Jasper. We assumed time would help the weather improve, and the wind would calm.
Mother nature had different plans. The dark clouds started rolling in and we could hear thunder in the distance. As we wrapped up the shots on the trail and beach, the rain begins to pour-and I mean really pour.
We climbed back in our cars and decided we would wait it out. We waited, and waited, and then waited some more. The clouds seemed to unleash everything in the one spot we had chosen. Slight panic started to set in, knowing we were flying back to Nashville the next day.
Breweries and a Good Time
We came to the conclusion that there’s no point in sitting for hours, waiting for a storm to stop that we knew wouldn’t anytime soon. This may have been a work trip, but there’s always a little room for some fun.
We took all our talent back to the local brewery in town, and found our spot for the next few hours. I would argue that this was one of the best parts of the trip, as we had the chance to learn about our talent on a personal level. We talked and laughed, and just took the time to enjoy ourselves after a long week. Connecting with the people you work with is just as important, if not more.
The Home Stretch
After a few hours of relaxation and camaraderie, the rain started to slow. As much as our feet and bodies hurt from the non-stop hiking during the week, we knew this was our last opportunity to capture any content.
We made the executive decision to head back to the beach to try and capture the shots we came for. Well, the rain didn’t exactly stop cold turkey; in fact it had become a blowing, sideways mist. We ventured out to a spot on the bench, set up firewood for a campfire, and surprisingly, made a successful one.
The ocean seemed so angry that it was anything but a relaxing and sunny beach day. However, we set up our site as the dogs ran around the beach playing fetch. The best part about working with dogs is they could care less about the weather.
Our faces and hands were frigid cold. But, we pulled out the marshmallows for some s’mores and made the best of the worst possible situation. The key takeaway from this day, is that positivity can change the outcome of something in an instant.
To sum everything up, nothing goes as planned. Even when the perfect plan is crafted, there are bound to be roadblocks that come in the way. The difference between an agency’s success and failure in these situations is learning to adapt and change. It’s just as important to be able to think about other solutions, instead of simply giving up.
Be sure to follow out client, @Triumphpetfood as we share all our content we captured. We couldn’t be more excited for the brand and to see the outcome from this project. And of course, if you’re looking for a production team to help knock a campaign or project out of the park, we’d love to help.