What to Expect If You Show Up

We have preliminary approval to use a room at The Aviation Station on the north service drive of the Oakland County International Airport (KPTK) as a pilot lounge and staging area. We’re very grateful to Oakland Air for the access to the room and to the Aviation Station generally.

We’re planning to launch and recover the Acro Camp flights from the Station and the Station will be the scene for most of the ground-based elements of the movie. Between the assigned room, the Sutton Aviation offices, and the common areas, we should have plenty of room for the four campers, two IPs, and four or five crew that will be present for most of the filming 12-16 May.

We’ve apparently generated quite a bit of buzz about the project, which is great. Many of you have expressed interest in coming by to see the production and even lend a hand. That’s spectacular. This is a new-media and social-media experiment and we want to keep it as open and inviting as possible.

I don’t want to seem like I’m flattering myself by thinking that we’ll be mobbed by waves of people making pilgrimages to the Station during filming. But I understand that quite a few people have suggested that they’re planning to stop by. Some of those folks are from a fair distance away and the trip would amount to a pilgrimage of sorts to our little ground zero.

If even half of the people who have told me or others that they’re coming actually show up, we might have a bit of a capacity problem, so I want to set expectations well ahead of time.

As a general matter, you’re welcome to show up and say hello. You’ll probably have the opportunity to talk to whomever you wish and to see what’s going on.

Feel free to blog, tweet, take pictures, and feed the buzz around the movie. We don’t plan to have an information embargoes. (That would be a little disingenuous in a project that essentially got its start in a sharing- and gift-based community, eh?)

The landlord is a little nervous about strangers saturating the building, bothering the other tenants, getting out into the movement areas of the airport, etc. This is an otherwise sleepy little building at the corner of the airport and even a dozen additional people in the building and its environs will really change the dynamic. We want to be good guests. We also, at some point, have a movie to shoot and crowds would likely be distracting. So here are some general comments about what to expect if you show up.

There’s parking in front of, and on the west side of, the building. Please don’t approach the gate at the end of the access road if you don’t have an airport pass for KPTK.

Please be respectful of the other tenants in the building. Keep conversations to a low roar. Don’t monopolize common areas. Greet everyone cheerfully and cordially. If you’re not Midwestern by disposition, pretend that you are.

You might get to come out onto the ramp, but don’t count on it. Access to the ramp is through a hangar at the back of the building. Various people’s aircraft are in there and the movement area of the airport is a little way down the taxiway. We reserve the right to be paranoid, not because we think that you’ll do anything untoward, but because we don’t want the landlord (who doesn’t know you as well as we do) to be the least bit uncomfortable about our using the facility.

We’ll make campers available to you to the extent that we can, but don’t depend on access to them. They are, after all, going through a potentially stressful experience and they might need a little time and space in which to relax and reflect.

There’s only one set of restrooms in the building and each is a one-holer. Please be courteous in your length and type of use of these essential facilities.

If we accept an offer of help from you, you’ll likely have to sign both a Participant Agreement and a release in now-legendary form. There will be no negotiation of the forms. Sorry. I’m not a jerk about much, but I’m a jerk about this. I have to be.

Will, David, I, and others on the primary crew will be ridiculously busy. Or stretched out on the floor grabbing some sleep. Or whatever. If we or anyone else don’t spend a lot of time greeting or talking to you while you’re there, we’re not blowing you off. Or at least not blowing you off out of malice. We’re very focused on making this movie and we’ll be shooting or planning or otherwise capturing the experience virtually the entire time we’re on site. Please have a thick skin and don’t come away with the thought that we’re being snooty or that we don’t love you. We’re not snooty and we do love you. But we’re making a movie.

For that matter, if we herd you outside or kick you out of the pilot lounge or other spaces or close the ramp to other than essential crew, it’s not personal. We’re just making a movie.

If you show up, assume that all you’ll get to do is come in, walk around, say hi, and leave. You’ll probably get to do more, but don’t assume that you’ll get to do more. Keep it loose and your expectations low and we’ll do our best to welcome you in and see what we’re doing.

We good? Good!