being prepared is needed in what we do, especially when it comes to larger commercial projects. but, one of the the most exciting times on any shoot is when something surprising happens and you can just run with it.
one of the most interesting times this has happened was when we were spending time with Ernie Els for Callaway. like many professional athletes, there is often red tape around some of their lives – particularly around family. it’s very understandable, as so much of their life is public domain, home is often the one and only sacred place where these very public figures can be private.
with Ernie Els, it was certainly the assumption we had going in to the shoot – we knew there may be an opportunity to film at his house, but overall it would be a small part of his film. but as many shoots start with one plan, schedules and locations can shift and change, and in this case what was originally slotted for a very short time at Ernie’s house changed to an entire afternoon with his family.
we certainly didn’t expect to have as much time with him in his home, or have the opportunity to spend time with his entire family as they spent this sacred ‘off’ time together. it was a welcomed surprise, but a surprise none the less. with that, came a whole slew of other challenges we weren’t expecting (minimizing our size, sourcing a last minute underwater housing, etc), but in the end, it made the piece to me. this is the most successful Callaway film at showing what the win within the win is – for Ernie, it’s being able to spend more time at home and more time with his family, whether it’s swimming, playing tennis, or just hanging out.
by the end of the shoot, we felt like family – so much so that we weren’t allowed to leave their house at the end without sharing a homemade cake with Ernie, his wife, and his children.