When Life Gives You Lemons

Brett Coleman / 3.14.2019

Imagine this:

Production planning has been six months in the making. It’s now two days before the shoot. The crew has confirmed, the talent wardrobe is set, the client is anxious and excited to see their dream come to life, and then the phone rings. I’m in the middle of a meeting and I still, somehow, feel the need to step out and answer.


“May I speak to Brett Coleman?”

I start to think that this is a sales call and that I should NOT have stepped out of the meeting to take it, then the voice on the other end of the phone identifies themselves:

“I’m XX from XXX, and I’m sorry sir, but the location is no longer available.”

(Insert heart falling on the floor.)

I walk back into the meeting with a blank look on my face.

A location that was secured for months just cancelled. It was an honest mistake from an employee at the facility, but now I’m left with a challenge: how can you shoot a spot when you don’t have a location?

I needed to get to work cancelling the already confirmed crew, the excitement from the client is turned into understandable frustration, and I need to find a new location ASAP.

I couldn’t replace this with any old location, I had to take the opportunity to improve upon the situation. We needed to be sure that the new location wasn’t only better for production purposes, but it needed to feel like a tangible improvement over the previous location. And because the client was happy with the first location, that made all of this a bit more challenging.

Do you know the tagline Mr. Bob Parsons reads at the end of every SNEAKY BIG commercial? Here is where the phrase “Make Magic Here” comes to fruition.

I consulted my friend Google. I jumped through pages of locations and I started making phone calls.

After many messages and emails, I had a breakthrough. I was able to get in touch with one of the properties. This property was an even bigger location and a better opportunity.

Things were starting to look up.

I didn’t want to say ANYTHING to the client, as I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to secure the permit. I waited a couple extra days, and, ultimately, I was delivered the good news! We got the permit and a superior location!

What was going to be a determent had now become a golden opportunity. And, well, we seized it. 

So maybe it isn’t magic, but at SNEAKY BIG we certainly have a passion for what we do; and that in and of itself is pretty magical.

Admittingly, I don’t know who Steve Rizzo is, but I think his quote sums this experience up very well:

“Don’t wait for the storms of your life to pass. Learn to dance in the rain.”

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