Fly to Charles de Gual Int. France via Alitalia operated by Air France - 1 large pelican for Film Gear, 1 large Patagonia Duffle for living, 1 Tripod in Case, 1 Large camera bag for carry-on, 1 small patagonia backpack for additional carry--on-laptop, travel needs, etc. One 9’ 8” Tyler Pig, prototype model. 24hrs. before the next swell is to arrive, must fly asap - just bought the ticket.
my producer, greg, drops me off at Tom Bradley 2:30pm for 4p flight (a bit late / which is funny since i live about 7min. from LAX) not funny since i was working a job the day before and packed 3months of gear in about 5 hrs - approach Air France Check-in, told to go to Alitalia Check-in / at Terminal 2 (about 400yds away!).
begin walking with gear on cart - cart falls off curb, spills EVERYWHERE, someone asks to help - greg pulls back up, jumps out - we load gear into his car, strap board back on top and drive airport loop. Arrive T2 - i jump out and find Alitalia, we parked 50yds shy. We hump gear to counter - i try to check in, the lady tells me i need to be at Air France Gate !!! she says, sprint or you’ll be late. i say “I WAS JUST THERE.” she says nothing she can do. greg is gone. I grab an empty cart. load it with bags, grab 35lb tyler and sprint down curb - 80degrees, August - i’m soaking wet with sweat. wondering why i'd ever want to make another independent film when commercials feed you so well.
I trudge back to Air France Counter - run up - they tell me i’ve missed the flight and i can only do standby. Standby!!! i say, I WAS HERE. finally, the manager nicely looks through my itinerary - after 15min - she comes back, she says i can confirm you on the 9pm flight. You are good to go (which means i will make the swell, so i’m happy) but then she says, “you’ll have to check in at Alitalia - it is an Alitalia operated flight.”
At this point, I can only laugh. I schlep cart - slowly this time, back to T2 and check - now really soaking wet. I ask for a free up-grade, she says no - but she does nicely give me an Air France Lounge pass and a food cupon - her name was Layla - good song. she dings me $300 for board and gear - that's a $100 discount, for my troubles, she says.
I call greg - he comes back to pick me up (great producer, better friend) - i go home, take a shower, wash my clothes - head to a nearby tiki bar and throw back 3 Mai-Tais, not the lame, pink, grenadine-ridden kind, but the real deal, dark-ass rum, Tiki Mug toting kind. good stuff. now happy.
Back to airport - pass security easily, enjoy free Martini at Air France Lounge (as a "sorry we made you hike all over LAX with 300lbs of gear) - get on plane, take Ambien (don't try this at home, i'm a professional) - sleep 10hrs. wake up near France. Next flight delayed, do email. have some bad food - fly to Pisa.
and the journey begins. bellavitafilm.com