Road trips are typically something you plan with your family or your friends. I’ve been on many of these in my past but I never thought I’d be on a road trip with six coworkers, clients, and a whole bunch of other people I’d never met before. If you ever watched “Road Rules” back in the day, then you’re almost in the right mindset.
Our first day on the road, we arrived in Nashville at what we imagined would be the best hotel we’d stay at all week – we were right. After a drink on a sun-soaked rooftop overlooking the Cumberland River, Erika and I walked over to Hatch Show Print, a working letterpress print shop since 1879. They had beautiful old prints of country music concerts, a circus, and rodeos exhibited in their gallery space. If you ever find yourself in Nashville, I’d recommend you stop by.
The second day was filled with excitement because we were traveling just outside of Nashville to pick up the RV. The kind Southern Gentlemen at the lot taught Sam and Frank how to use all the bells and whistles on that bad boy. I think we were all in awe when he pressed a button and the “living room” extended six feet. Frank was the designated RV driver and I think I can speak for everyone on the trip when I say, Frank, you can be my RV chauffeur any day of the week.
The first day of shooting started in Clarkrange, Tennessee, at the Cumberland General Store. Attached to a little Rock-a-billy diner, this place was made to be photographed. Every inch of the store was covered with knickknacks, and the grounds surrounding it were filled with vendors and treasure hunters. We set up shop in the backyard of the store where many curious onlookers stopped by with their phones to take a photo or two and ask, “What are y’all doin’ here?” The day was extremely hot but, thanks to Lisa, we all stayed well hydrated.
Our second day of shooting and fourth day on the road was the longest stretch of driving. It wasn’t a very nice day, so I was thankful to be spending it riding in the RV. Menno said it best, “This is how to travel.” So Lisa, Menno, Frank and I spent six hours swapping stories and playlists, stopping at only two places – a McDonald’s and a gas station/deer check-in. What’s a deer check-in? Well, for you city folk, it’s a place where hunters will bring their big buck kill to be weighed for season records. The checkout counter was lined with photos of deer held by their antlers. This didn’t seems to stop half of our crew from ordering hot dogs. I graciously passed.
Three days into shooting, the rain we all feared finally hit the ground. Thankfully, we were trapped on this beautiful farm in Kentucky, Steeple View Farms. There were chickens, horses, chicken feet for light pulls, and a big barn for shooting. I never thought I’d want to move to the country, but – after visiting this magical place – I was ready to fly the coop and set up shop in the sunflower fields.
We gladly enjoyed the first half of day four at the same farm, then drove to another farm, in the middle of Nowheresville, Tennessee. Not the real name for the place, but it’s a place you may of only imagine existed but have never seen. Here we would set up for the final shot of the yard sale with all 127 items stacked on the side of the road. By the time we finished setting up, we’d seen every person in this tiny town drive by at least three times. I only know that because the man whose farm it was told me who each member of his family was as they passed by and he laughed, chugging his beer as he sat on his four wheeler.
Later that night some of us were able to go to the County Fair where we ate fried oreos, hopped on janky rides, and ordered airbrushed shirts on the Krylon 127 eagle to commemorate the route.
We ended our trip in Erika’s hometown of Cincinnati. FINALLY, a city! We found our spot on the Northside, an up-and-coming neighborhood that had the grime of Bushwick with the charm of the Midwest.
This being my first shoot at Deutsch, and in advertising, I truly believe it was a labor of love. We all put our time and sweat into this work, and accomplished a huge feat. So many hours were spent preparing for this trip and campaign that the entire Krylon Team can call themselves Road Warriors.