Tuesday, October 23, 2012

BIG SANDY - Home again

I managed to pull of the near-impossible and made it to the October Big Sandy MG shoot.  

We left Calfornia friday night around 11:30 pm and drove all night to Arizona.  It was a good 6.5 hour drive and we arrived shortly after sunrise on saturday morning.  

Billy,  a friend of mine from work  drove and I paid for the gas.    Price of gas was about $4.40 a gallon in California,   and about $3.79 in Arizona.   I think the high gas prices made a lot of potential spectators stay home for this shoot.    

Rob from MGshooter.com  (Big Sandy's website)  had been pm-ing me asking if I would be able to attend the shoot and I didn't know I was going to be able to even GO until thursday morning,  a day before the shoot.   Once we got to the range,   I hunted him down and let him know we were there.   

Rob did an EXTRAORDINARY job of setting us up with media passes,  special parking,  killer food,  and drove us around in his Jeep.   He also got us access TO the guns and we could literally pick any gun we wanted to film,  and Rob would sweet-talk the owner into doing mag dumps for the video shots.  Not ONE gun owner told us "no".  I think the owner of the mini-gun dumped 4 mags for us.   There were more guns than time to film them.   

I am NOT a day-person.   I work the graveyard shift,  so filming stuff in the daytime is like normal people doing stuff at 3am.   I woke up at 2pm on friday afternoon and did not get any sleep until 11pm SATURDAY night.  You kind of become a different person when you don't get any sleep for that long.    (nice way of saying a-hole)    I slept in the truck reclined in the front seat and got about 5 hours of sleep.   It was better than nothing.  Billy slept in the bed of the truck and could actually lay flat.   I figured since HE was driving he needed the sleep more than I did.    It was kind of like a camping trip from hell.    But that is just how I do things.  I'm there to film as much material as possible and missing a great shot is always something I regret.

Sundays are slower at Big Sandy.  Many people just pack up and leave in the morning but they DO have a final  shoot.   One reason they have the Sunday morning shoot is to "clean up"  any left-over explosives that were not blown up Saturday night.   We saw many sticks of dynamite still out there and snipers were picking it off.  There were even a few boxes of fireworks that were not hit the night before.   I don't know how ANY of it survived that.   

We got back home around 6:30pm Sunday.  I slept for 11 hours.        

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Big Sandy Machine Gun Shoot

I really did not plan on going to the October 2012 MG shoot in Arizona.   Ideally I would plan my vacation schedule around the shoot so I can rest up and relax a little bit before driving 6 plus hours to Arizona from California.  

I started getting some PM's on Youtube from Rob,   the official videographer and webmaster of MGshooters.com about if I was able to attend it this year.    I've let him use some of my slow motion footage for his videos before and he has quite a few videos of Big Sandy going back before 2005.   He is able to get special access and said he can get me up close to the guns.   Before I had to film about 10 feet behind the shooters,  behind the rope.  

I told a friend of mine,  Bill,   at work about Big Sandy and showed him some of the videos Rob and others posted on Youtube and apparently he caught the fever and wanted to attend it.  He volunteered to drive.   So we are leaving Friday night/Saturday morning and should arrive at the shoot by 7am.   We both have understanding wives,   fortunately.

   When I went last year,   I went by myself and it was like a miserable camping trip.   It should be a lot more enjoyable having someone else drive and share the experience with.   Bill will probably be very good on camera and will be a good announcer.    Since I have filmed the event before,    I always regretted not doing this,  or that.   So hopefully I will do a better job just filming this time.    Bill is naturally very energetic and outgoing.   He can talk your ear off. 
I think he will give the videos a lot of "personality".    

   Bill has been a minor contributor to my channel.   He is the one that filmed The Hayabusa vs Harley video.   This video has become more of a place where viewers can call each other names and try in vain,   to convince others that  Harleys are better than Japanese bikes  and that their dads can beat up all your dads.  (and visa versa)

  Filming Big Sandy on Saturday should be better than the Friday I filmed last year.   I imagine more spectators will be there,   but also there should be an ever bigger variety of guns.   I am hoping to see some Dillion Miniguns and other stuff I missed last year.   The night-shoot on Saturday is also better than Friday's.    They shoot at boxes of fireworks on Saturday.  

If you happen to see me there,   I'll be the guy with the weird looking camera rig.   Stop and say  "hi!".     I have been told the Hellcat tank will be there again this year.