The story about how Good Morning Good Evening Qigongwas developed continues to unfold. Sensei Tristan has shared about its conception and development (part 1234). Now we get a behind-the-scenes look at the actual experience of FILMING the program… in the next chapter of “The Curious Tale of The Surfer Dude & the Longevity Sage.”

Bend Without Breaking

We're here! SunsetSo here we are… all of our plans have been made and we’ve made it to Santa Fe…

Me, Sabrina, Peter, Katrina and the videographer… all in our little zen-cottages — all excited and planning our shoot for the following morning.

Now, the “morning light” that we want for the Good Morning routines happens in Austin at around 6:45am. So we think if we get up at 5am, we can be set up by the time the sun starts coming up (with more than enough time to shoot what we need against the beautiful mountain backdrop.)

Sudden Sunrise!At least you’d think so.  But by 5:30, the sun is already up!

In Austin, we have a gradual sunrise… it gets lighter and lighter and then the sun peeks over the horizon.  But it seems that in Santa Fe, sunrise is a little different.  It’s dark and then suddenly, BAM!  The sun is up!  What’s up with that, anyway?

So, still determined, we start driving up the mountain roads to the first location we had scouted for our shoot.  But we don’t get very far.

The roads going up the mountain are all closed because they are having these massive fires in Santa Fe.  And SMOKE!   The smoke and smog are really heavy in the air.  More and more heavy as you go higher up the mountain.

We realize the location we have in mind is blocked off.  But we really want this to happen… so we hike up as far as they let us and go into the woods to try and find a place that has the right “feel” and also gets enough light coming through the trees so we can film.

Forest ShadowsBut every place we find, is fine for about 10 minutes but then the shadows from the tall trees inevitably move and fall right across our shot. So, on we go.

Now, picture this.  Our little group, trekking up the mountain trail, from spot to spot… hauling all our camera gear (remember, it’s just the five of us.)

Fortunately, we eventually find a great spot!  Just the perfect look and feel for what we want!  Less fortunately, that spot happens to be on one of the main hiking trails.

So people and their dogs keep walking through the area.  We’re in the middle of shooting something and then we need to stop and let people walk by and then start again.  Looking back, it’s actually hilarious!

Oh! And one thing you might notice in the videos if you watch them full-size is the incredible amount of bugs in the air.

Smokey Mountain!Apparently — because of the fires — all the bugs that are usually higher up in the mountains are flying lower to get out of the smoke.  So, every time we try to film, there are all these bugs flying around us.  During one of the meditations, one even flies right into my ear!  Talk about distracting!

If you watch the full-screen view of some of the Good Morning routines, you can actually SEE some of the bugs flying around. (And believe me, it takes work to remove buzzing from an audio track!)

But the day ends perfectly.  We get exactly the shots we are HOPING for… probably better than the ones we had PLANNED.  In fact, we find several times that we’re able to do something new in the moment, precisely BECAUSE everything is happening in this way…

As I walk back down the mountain, I wonder how much easier it will be to shoot the Good Evening routines…

We’re planning on indoor shoots for those so it should be a cinch, right?

Right?  😉

I bet you can see where this is going…  but that will have to wait for next time…