I have a week left in the middle east before I fly back to New Zealand. I suddenly find myself rushed off my feet trying to get everything done before I head back. I only have two of work left here, but I have a ton of pre-production to do for projects back in New Zealand and all sorts of things I want to do here in the desert before I head back. For one I want to see the desert!
A big attraction for the locals here is taking their massive 4x4's out into the desert and plowing over the sand dunes. Many vehicles are lost this way, but they seem to enjoy it a great deal.
Another popular past time is the camel races. Now that they've banned child jockeys, the camels are fitted with robots and a run a grand distance while flanked by loud tooting 4 wheel drives. How can I miss that?!
I also want to get some pressies. Finding presents in Finland was not a problem, but here it's a bit more tricky. Yes there are plenty of authentic things on offer, but I can't realistically bring them back with me. New Zealand customs would burn just about everything I want to bring back, be it leather AK-47 holsters or your average jewelled designer dagger. They make some beautiful ornate hanging lamps here which I know either of my parents would love, but unless they liked them smashed there isn't much point in trying to pack them.
The chances of people getting a plastic camel pencil sharpener from the airport go up by the day.
As for what awaits me back in New Zealand, the first point of focus is the women's IIHF tournament in Auckland. I will literally spend 27 hours getting home via Dubai, Melbourne and Auckland, only to fly into Wellington, drive to Levin, pick up my gear, drive back to Wellington and fly back to Auckland to start filming. I suspect I will be a bit messy.
Most of the pre-production for that shoot is done, it's just a matter of logistics now, making sure all the gear and people get where they're supposed to be and I don't set up in a random kindergarten from sleep deprivation then wonder where all the ice is.
If you want to watch any of those games by the way, you can view the stream we're putting out here www.nzihl.tv.
The other big things on my list are the NZ Comedy Festival and the NZIHL season itself. I have been busy sourcing comedians for my show and scheming away on how I can mess with them as well as building a solid marketing plan for the NZIHL. The season is looking very promising indeed and a lot of the larger initiatives I've been pushing for over the last couple of years are coming to fruition. My focus has really been on the fans this year and I think they're going to quite enjoy what I've put together. Seeing it all in action will be what gives me warm fuzzies.