When Life Gives You Lemons

"When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." So said our kids' pre-school teachers, and today life gave us lemons. We had our two crack crews ready to roll when an incredible storm moved in. My entire shot list for the next two days had to be re-tooled, causing a bit of a challenge. My charge from Lincoln Center was to return to the States with footage of Havana's color- hard to do when you mainly see gray, the wing is whipping, and most people stay inside. My footage was intended to be used as a mini-scenes in between musical pieces for the broadcast of the concert of US and Cuban musicians, as part of PBS "Live at Lincoln Center." We broke up our grim crew breakfast with war stories and laughs. We decided, of course, rain being part of the landscape here, we would shoot beautiful images of rain- dripping from cars, cascading from building, interrupted by yellow umbrellas, wet streets reflecting headlights, pairs of people laughing as they unsuccessfully huddle beneath an umbrella, stepping in puddles. 

 Old cars, new Havana.

Old cars, new Havana.

Over the course of the two-day shoot we had enough breaks in the weather to film: the Malecón, Havana's dramatic sea wall, enriched by the storm; images of colorful buildings and windows to intercut with the beautiful backdrop constructed for the Lincoln Center concert in New York; Cubans, young and old, crowding around one of the island's few public wi-fi hotspots, posting to social media and calling relatives abroad; the classy old cars in the emerging new Havana; the indoor art and craft market; and the gorgeous, if inconvenient, rain. All told we got what we came for. Another eye-opening experience in Havana.

 Havana's dramatic sea wall.

Havana's dramatic sea wall.