Back in LA after my trip to Sausalito. After four AMAZING days filled with filming and connecting with locals, the next three days were spent indoors as the rains came. It was disappointing in a way, but also a blessing. I had gained better clarity as to the story I wanted to tell with this film project, and the time indoors allowed me to build some structure for the project. After all, the current idea for the film only came to me a few weeks ago, so I felt it was a bit rushed.
What I have learned with filmmaking is that it doesn't happen over night. With publishing I was able to spit out books left and right, the fastest in 30 days. Film is an entirely different animal. There are so many moving parts in making a movie, and each has its own time frame. I'm happy with what I accomplished over this last week and excited to return to the Bay Area. I'll be back in August to wrap up the one-on-one interviews.
So for now I'm going to work with what I captured and build a good framework for moving forward. Stay tuned for more updates along the way, and thanks for checking in.
Day 5 of my "Save Me Sausalito" film shoot was a day of rest which I REALLY needed after waking with a massive headache. My brain was fried after going non-stop for weeks on my MANY projects. Spent the first part of the day just relaxing.
It was a glorious mild day and I wanted to go outside as rain is in the forecast for the remainder of my time here. So I headed out to have some lunch at my favourite spot, the Bayside Cafe. Along the way I stopped to capture some photos and footage of the houseboat community for my film project. I then stopped at the market and picked up a few things including food for the next three days so I don't have to venture out in the rain. Wrapped the day receiving some fabulous drone footage of Sausalito from a friend. They are perfect for my project and I'm excited to add them.
The Mermaid Goes Home
DAY FOUR of my "Save Me Sausalito" film shoot was a dream come true for this mermaid. After getting some aerial street footage of downtown Sausalito thanks to management at the Hotel Sausalito, I boarded the Freda B schooner for a day on the Bay. We were heading out to watch the cannon battle between the Tall Ships "Lady Washington" and "Hawaiian Chieftain". I'm looking to feature Freda B in my film so this was a great opportunity to capture some footage and also enjoy time on the water.
Power of Women!
DAY THREE of the "Save Me Sausalito" film shoot was absolutely EPIC!
OMG! What a day. Worked on scheduling in the morning and then in the afternoon I caught the ferry to the city. The storm clouds were amazing and I loved capturing the sites of the Bay. I was heading to an event hosted by Film Hero showcasing women in film with a screening of "The Empowerment Project" directed by dear friend, Sarah Moshman It seemed only appropriate to watch this film again, the film that inspired my own filmmaking career. It was interesting though this time around as I watched. Instead of the storyline I focused on camera angles, close-ups, and timing frames. Ah, life as a filmmaker. LOVE IT!
After an amazing event I got a ride back to Sausalito with a new friend and then got ready for another event, the dress rehearsal for Jinks at the Sausalito Women's Club. I had planned to feature the Women's Club in my film, so the timing was perfect, and the evening a SMASHING success. The talent was incredible and I haven't laughed that much while also learning about history in quite some time. I had a blast. Many thanks to dear friend Lorna for the invite and setting it up so I could attend the sold out event. It was simply fabulous.
Sausalito Goes to the Movies
Day Two of the Sausalito Film Shoot was pretty quiet, then pretty fabulous. The first part of the day was spent scheduling interviews for next week. Have my list and excited to pull it all together. Then this evening I headed to one of my favourite haunts, the Sausalito Library where I've hosted some of my book signings and where I still have friends.
I was attending "Sausalito Goes to the Movies", a series of events around movies that were filmed right here in Sausalito. The opening event tonight welcomed film critic and Sausalito resident, Jan Wahl. Jan shared several stories of the films shot here and I learned a lot. We watched clips of several films and it was great to look back at the city some 50 years prior. Also great to have Steve Moore join us to share some stories as well. Fun night.
Day 1 began with a text message that my flight to San Francisco was delayed. It wasn't necessarily bad as the extra time was plenty to get some additional work completed. Accomplished quite a bit actually including coming up with a NEW name for my production company that I want to create and purchasing the domain name that was available. YAY! Super excited. Will reveal more when it's all set up and running.
It was a glorious day in Santa Monica and after a great ride to the airport, I checked in and waited to board my flight. It was a great flight and I was able to capture a couple shots of the beach as I left. Oh SaMo, how I love you so. About three-forth way to SF we hit the clouds and they lasted until the decent when glimpses of the beautiful green land below came into view. Captured some more pics and some video, and then I saw IT - this incredibly beautiful rainbow. It was incredible and I couldn't help but smile. I kept repeating THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! Such a gift.
Arrived at SFO around 1:15pm and waited for the Marin Airporter to take me to Sausalito. I decided to take it to the Spencer Pad which was close to where I was staying. The driver called ahead for a taxi to be there when I arrived to take me to my accommodations. Well, after waiting nearly 30 minutes for a taxi that never came, I called a local taxi company but was told they didn't have anything available. (I don't have Uber/Lyft on my phone). So I thought, hmmm....what to do? I could walk down the hill. It would take a while and my luggage was heavy, but instead I decided on another option, wave someone down.
I noticed a young woman drive by and caught her attention. She rolled down the window and I explained what had happened and that I just needed to get about a mile away. She was kind enough to offer me a ride. I placed my bags in her car and when I got in she asked, "You're not a serial killer are you?" I laughed and said, "No, I'm a filmmaker". She laughed and replied, "Really, I'm a producer!" We had a great chat along the way and she was a lifesaver, and I told her so. Angels everywhere.
Settled in at the house and then got ready to head out to two events planned for the evening. The first was a wonderful event hosted by Harmonia Work & Play Collective, a magnificent space run by my friend Jennifer housed at the historic Record Plant. I had connected with Jennifer many years ago when she was just dreaming of what she wanted to create with the space, and it was amazing to see the result. I will be interviewing her next week as part of the film project. Can't wait.
Then it was off to Bank of Marin for the Sausalito Chamber of Commerce monthly mixer. It was so wonderful to see so many familiar faces and everyone was so welcoming. So much love. Connected with so many great people, lined up a couple more interviews and met some new kindred spirits. It was simply a fabulous day.
If this was just Day 1, I can't wait to see what the rest of the trip delivers.
Until tomorrow, keep dreamin BIG!
Bags are packed!
Bags are packed and tomorrow I head back to the Bay Area and to Sausalito for a week of filming. I have my list of those I'm going to interview, my shot list, a number of events I'm attending, and super excited. Also a bit terrified as there is a LOT to accomplish in EIGHT days, and lots of RAIN in the forecast, but I know it will all turn out precisely how it's supposed to.
Plus, I figure years from now when I'm standing on the stage at the Dolby Theater making my Oscar speech, I'll look back at this experience and hopefully laugh. Every filmmaker has to begin somewhere, and this is my first take. It's fascinating how this project came to be, originally slated to be an adaptation of my Serendipity book, and now more like a short documentary. Ideas come daily as to how to make it stronger and I'm excited to see how it all comes about.
Okay, that's about it for now. Praying for a smooth flight and landing, and DRY trip.
Save Me Sausalito - Revisited
The idea of "SAVE ME SAUSALITO" original came to me in 2015 as an adaptation of my 5th book, "It's Simply Serendipity" which chronicled the transformational period of my life which took place in 2011 in Sausalito, California. The story had touched so many lives across the globe, that a film version seemed like the logical next step. I began working on the script and putting the pieces together.
Then something happened along the way, the project stalled. I would release a few more books, including the sequel to Serendipity entitled, "Pearl". This book continued my journey that had begun in Sausalito, but the ending was vastly different, and unexpected. Somehow the film project had lost the necessary energy to move forward, so I placed it aside.
Then a few days ago my Muse (inner guidance higher self) came to me early one morning and suggested I revive the project, but with a new direction. Sausalito has had such an influence on not just me, but generations of people who have been come and called it home. What was it about this place that somehow took grasp of the hearts and souls who made their way to Marin?
That is what I plan to find out and share in this film. I will be shooting in Sausalito from March 15th through the 22nd and blogging daily about the experience.
Until next time,
Cali Gilbert - Author
Cali Gilbert is a multiple bestselling author, award winning photographer and filmmaker who resides in Santa Monica, California.