The Latvian Connection / by Mahting Putelis

A few weeks back I was able to reconnect and work with friends whom I've known since childhood. The interesting piece of working with my old friends is that the majority of them are Latvian and we all speak the language. While I don't often have Latvian language speakers in my daily life, for a week, I did. In order to be inclusive of the entire crew, we limited the Latvian during shooting, but bantering with each other is more fun in Latvian.  The project was a TV pilot. I took on the role of Field Producer. In the past year, this has been a role I have stepped into more and more. When shooting adventure focused content I feel really comfortable guiding folks around and managing the situation. Combine that with an eye for details and camera angles and voila I'm field producing. I was also able to step into camera work as we were shooting a lot of varied Go Pro and Osmo X5 angles.  Having a couple of exclusive product sponsors gave me the opportunity to shoot still photographs as well. Lastly, I was finally able to bring the new Mercedes 4x4 Sprinter on the road in a production capacity. Being able to have a camera truck provided a great working space. We were dragging around a lot of gear and two big camera packages. The 75lb Arri system mounted well into the rig to be able to shoot car to car shots. The van is now rentable for production. I will always come with the van as a driver at the very least and more if you need.    

 The G-Wagon in full effect!

The G-Wagon in full effect!

 The Brolis bothers were our talent. They were the talent that delivered the story. Their unique perspective on the Mountain West from working for the Nature Conservancy and in National Parks gave them lots to talk about.  

The Brolis bothers were our talent. They were the talent that delivered the story. Their unique perspective on the Mountain West from working for the Nature Conservancy and in National Parks gave them lots to talk about.  

 The star of the show was the 1987 Mercedes G-Wagon. 

The star of the show was the 1987 Mercedes G-Wagon. 

 Dinara Strikis-Brigis is a wizard/ producer. She always had the next ten things planned and ready for us to shoot. 

Dinara Strikis-Brigis is a wizard/ producer. She always had the next ten things planned and ready for us to shoot. 

 Director extraordinaire, Alvis Brigis, led this whole crew with laughter and precision. He's got a wildly creative side and it was fun to tap into his energy for the week. 

Director extraordinaire, Alvis Brigis, led this whole crew with laughter and precision. He's got a wildly creative side and it was fun to tap into his energy for the week. 

 This crew came together from LA to New York, Michigan to South Carolina to gather in the mountains of Colorado. 

This crew came together from LA to New York, Michigan to South Carolina to gather in the mountains of Colorado.