Maria starts the day at 9 am, showing us around the Lexington Center in Johnstown, NY, the band’s headquarters and where Maria and George’s offices are. The center form March 9th was the Lexington Center in Gloversville (about 15 minutes drive away) where the band holds rehearsals.
Maria shows us her and George’s office. Kristin, Brennin and I cringed when we realized how we should have had our camera out for this impromptu visit… Initially thinking this would be a good way to get to know Maria outside of filming, the little anecdotes she revealed while showing us around brought the Lexington Center and the beginning of the band and its connection to Lexington to life. We kept making little mental notes about the anecdotes, hoping she would talk about them again in her interview the next day….
Next, we followed Maria to David’s (Flame’s drummer) house for a personal interview in his home. Setting up the interview was easy, and David’s story was just as powerful as Adrienne’s. While there, David’s ride to the Lexington recreational bowling alley was on its way. We were definitely at the right place at the right time to get shots of David getting ready to go bowling (with his Flame bowling ball) and head out into the van.
We followed the van to the Lexington bowling alley called Perry Lanes. There, David met Adrienne and we got shots of the two of them explaining their bowling techniques. Both Adrienne and David are blind, and the conversations they had with Brennin and Kristin about sight – asking what stars look like… what sunsets look like… what burgers look like – was simultaneously beautiful and emotional. It’s interesting… how can someone explain what a star looks like without using other visual imagery? Since they have never had sight, what can we say to explain what something “looks” like? Other things we learned: Adrienne knew Brennin was shorter than her by sensing the source of Brennin’s voice, and David knew Kristin and I had brown hair from the way light reflected off of us!! These experiences at the bowling alley were so important for us to film since they allow us to capture their lives outside of music and outside of Flame, giving these characters a lot of dimension and depth, especially for a future audience who doesn’t know Adrienne and David yet.
Filming-wise, we went tripod-less. It was less menacing and intrusive in the bowling alley. Some difficulties we faced in the bowling alley: only capturing Adrienne or David on camera; the group of other people from Lexington on the trip did not want to be on camera so we had to frame our shots carefully.
4 hours later, Kristin, Brennin and I stumbled out of the bowling alley in desperate need of nature. We drove around Johnstown, through Gloversville, up winding roads and past old houses. When we got back to Teddy’s (our couch surfing host), the three of us sat down and brainstormed for the next (and last) day filming this weekend. We wrote down key points to bring up in Maria’s interview based on everything from the past two days, key points for George’s interview, and footage/B-roll/audio we still wanted (thinking ahead to editing… i.e. we made a note to capture audio and visuals of Michelle –the singer- tuning her guitar). We also thought generally about the overarching themes that have emerged in our process thus far (i.e. from our observations and interviews, like the Lexington budget cuts and stories about Paul Nigra, the late executive director of the Lexington center who had an immense influence on Flame’s members) and making notes to ask about them the next day.