Gratitude Series #34 – Something (Un)expected
It was just another day in the *Tsem Ladrang when out of the blue, there was a text message that came off the Ladrang grouping for suggestions on interesting locations for a photo shoot. Tsem Rinpoche had suddenly come up with a creative idea to do a shot that would present Dharma in an unconventional, unexpected way. One of the themes for the shoot was a club scene. So we got busy and started making some calls to find a club that would agree for us to use their venue for the shoot. Finally we found one that was accommodating and kind enough and from then on everything started to roll.
There were seven themes, four different locations to shoot from, and we did it all in 2 days. Based on production experiences, something like this would usually take at least a week just to prepare before the actual shoot. Rinpoche was our creative head of course and if you know Rinpoche well enough, you know it’s never a dull moment. I must say that I think this was one of the best production experiences I’ve ever had because it was such a spontaneous idea. We did not have the luxury of time for things like pre-production and everything was like “go, go, go and just do it”, which made it all the more exciting! So it was really quite an adrenalin rush as everyone worked round the clock designing, preparing the props, calling the talents, and co-ordinating. It was amazing how much was involved but with harmony and great team work we managed to pull it off. Even though most of the crew were not production people with experiences, but they were passionate, sincere Dharma brothers and sisters. This made the shoot all the more fun because it was like working with a big family.
One thing I really liked about this shoot was that it was not another commercial shoot, but a shoot that could bring benefit to someone out there, or save someone’s life. Even though there were challenges faced, everyone did their best, and the “impossible” became the “possible”. You learn to improvise and problem solve instantly. Rinpoche’s motto and training is always to show us that we can do just about anything we set of mind towards; a constant challenge for us to break our comfort zones. Even in a photo shoot, there is Dharma.
I am so grateful for this experience and thank Rinpoche for giving me the opportunity to be able to be part of this awesome creative project. It’s a privilege to be able to work closely and creatively with Rinpoche, as I’ve always thought from day one, that Rinpoche was the best Creative Director I’ve ever met. This shoot did not have a million dollar budget nor did it have a lot of time for planning, but it sure had a lot of devoted people who believed in the timeless wisdom that Rinpoche had to share with the world. Again thank you Rinpoche and everyone involved in this project.
P.S. The pictures from this photo shoot was later creatively edited and presented to Rinpoche for selection, with timeless wisdom quotes by Rinpoche himself.
Note: *Ladrang is the private office and residence of a Lama. H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s Ladrang is called Tsem Larang.
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