I had a truly wonderful experience on Saturday…
A week or so ago, I was contacted by a new client who wanted me to produce a dvd slideshow for him. Okay, no problem there. Then I found out the slideshow was to be played at the memorial service for his recently deceased father. Well, having lost my father just a couple of years ago it occurred to me that I had an opportunity to produce something really special.
I contacted Will Hawkins at Wilco Films who is my “all-things-video-and-film” superhero and got started on the project. The client sent over the images and music that was to be used and WIll (once again!) went above and beyond anyone’s expectations with regard to the quality of the work and the design/layout concept. The project was completed ahead of schedule and the client was absolutely satisfied with the preview of the finished piece.
Not wanted to leave anything to chance, I suggested (since this was all local) that I meet the client at the restaurant where the gathering was to take place. I was told that they had all of the equipment that would be needed and I just wanted to set things up, put the dvd in place, run the presentation and make sure everything went smoothly. Then I would hand over the finished DVD to the client so he could bring it to the Saturday event and play it in the DVD player…. simple right?
You know the answer already don’t you…
We arrived at the restaurant only to find that they had a PA system but absolutely nothing in the way of TV/DVD/Projector equipment other than a portable screen. This was Tuesday… the gathering was on Saturday.
Think fast wabbit…
Okay… I new I had my laptop with a digital copy of the presentation, and I knew someone who had a projector. I had (only a few weeks earlier) helped a client setup his new Epson projector and configure it to his laptop for presentations at his local Rotary Club. I rang Dr. Bob Turcios of Advanced Eyecare Optometry and he was gracious enough to let me borrow his projector for the event. Now with only a day or so to get this all together, and since I would have to used my own laptop for this, a decision was made that I would actually attend the event and run the presentation myself so I took everything back to my office, set everything up, configured it and made sure the presentation ran smoothly.
Saturday came and I arrived at the event to find a double sized meeting room filled with people. The setup went smoothly and went it came time for the presentation, the announcer called for a champagne toast and then I hit the play button… I must admit I held my breath for a second or two, but then the presentation started and the gathered friends and family fell quiet.
The presentation itself was less than 10 minutes long although it seemed much longer. As the music and slides played I watched and listened as certain groups connected with the music and specific images. It was incredibly gratifying to know that Will and I were responsible for producing this piece that touched people in a very special way. As I stood in the back of the room I could see people react to the images and hear the comments about… “oh I remember that” and “oh that’s so-and-so”. There were some tears and some laughter, and at the end there was some applause and smiles on almost all the faces.
I packed up my equipment quietly as the speakers and presenters continued and just before I left my client came up and let me know how grateful he was that I was able to make this happen for him. I told him I was very happy to have helped make this event special for him.
Sure Will and I got paid for this project, but on occasion, there are other things that make the work that I do so much more satisfying than just getting paid. This was one of those very very special projects that I will always remember working on.
It makes me smile thinking about it even now as I write this.