Written by Mathias Ekornås
On my way to work on the post-production of Adventure of the spirit in Québec, I already had big expectations of the team that had invited me. While filming the first episode of “Adventure of The Spirit” I had experienced first hand how much this small production company could achieve with limited resources. Since then I have worked on a major TV production in Norway that made me realize just how many roles Mike McKay had played while filming in Costa Rica.
I was picked up at the Airport by a familiar face. The ride from the Airport was filled with laughter and stories from the wild. Even though I had known Mike for less than a year it felt like being reunited with an old friend. Mike is one of those guys who is honest to his core. It is very easy to work with these kinds of people because you never have to wonder about their intentions.
The Five2Nine office is surrounded by a beautiful green forest, and Mike’s house is conveniently on the same property. There are three full-time employees in the office, Mike, Michelle, and Alex. There is a friendly vibe in the office. The good-hearted insults that are thrown around is a testament of trust and not of bad intention. It does not take long before the joke is on me and I am officially part of the team.
Michelle works harder than anyone I have met. I am used to people working in 1-hour intervals and then taking a small break before diving back in, Michelle is different. After an initial talk about what we wanted her to do, she opened up the animations and didn’t stop working until the day was over. At first, I was a little worried that she would burn out, but after seeing the joy on her face and listening to her talk about how much she loves the creative process I realized she was just in her zone, maybe even in flow.
Alex is a jack of all trades. He does editing, filming and whatever else needs to be done around the office. He seems to be good at everything he does. Being good is not something you do every now and then, it’s a state that you live every day, and Alex is definitely good at what he does.
Mike is the ringleader. He makes sure everyone is pulling in the same direction, but he is not Afraid to step in and do the dirty work himself. He leads by example and it is easy to follow him.
I was welcomed into the team almost immediately. I don’t know anything about post-production work, but the team was happy to answer all of my questions and was definitely not afraid to put me to work!
I was a little nervous that, because of my inexperience, they would be reluctant to taking feedback on their work from me, but this was not the case. It felt good to talk to Michelle about my vision, and the next day see that she had made changes to her work to make it fit.
The days leading up to the big day of shooting started of with trail-running in the beautiful Gatineau Park followed by a Session in Mike’s Sauna and then straight to work where I tried to help wherever I could.
Al is an outside guy who was hired to edit the Adventure of the Spirit episode. I had heard great things about him and his work. Words like wizard had come up in conversation on several occasions. Before he showed up, Mike and I had worked out the storyline and written it all down on a big timeline all over the garage door. I must admit, it looked like a piece of art.
We sat down with Al and went through the Storyline and how we pictured it. As we went through it I could see Al nodding his head and smiling, we were on the right track. We Blacked out the studio and set up the camera gear and lights.
As we were shooting the team worked like a well-oiled machine. Michelle was hammering out the animations, Alex was editing the intro, Al was working the cameras, I was in front of the camera and Mike was working on the script for the shots we had not done yet. It was a thing of beauty. This machine worked non-stop, except for a well-deserved lunch break in Mike’s house. We didn’t rest until late that evening when everything was done. The work was effortless and playful. At the end of the day it felt like I had been playing around with two buddies and to be honest I was ready for more.
I would like to thank Five2Nine for the amazing experience. This small company delivers big company quality on their products.