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20th May 2014
One of our Tour Managers, Glenn Kelly, travelled through Italy with The Buried Life and their 5th Member. Check out his blog on the trip below!
The Buried Life are... really nice guys!
It’s a beautiful sunny day and we’ve escaped the log-jam that is the centre of Florence. Just a 20 minute drive and both side of the road are lined by the wooded, vibrant, vineyard filled Tuscan hills that skirt the capital of Tuscany.
A hand is waved, we pull the Lancia rental car over onto the dirt siding to discuss what will be shot and how.
For this day I’ve hired a classic white Fiat 500. The plan is to cram the boys in and generally get the crazy that is fitting four fully-grown men into what is essentially a car built for two small Italians and a child. This is just the start, which would also see the boys don full Renaissance costumes and perform a improvised skit at a 13th century castle.
To say I’m having fun would be an understatement.
This is the craziest tour I’ve ever run. ‘The Buried Life’ comprises of four guys, Ben, Jonnie, Dave, & Duncan, who cross off bucket list items, while in turn helping strangers do the same. Their project has seen them appear in their own TV show of the same name, play ball with the US president, appear on Oprah, write a best selling book, go on a date with Taylor Swift, BASE Jump, but for me the one that stands out is when they found and supplied a bionic arm to a girl so she could hug her dad.
The underlying question they ask ‘What do you want to do before you die’ is not some morbid curiosity, but a way to seek out, delve into, and ultimately help people achieve their dreams, a project the boys have been working on for over seven years.
For this 10 day period I’ve been tasked with being the ‘tour manager’ for the four boys, their production team, and the Contiki office staff. My role is to ensure that the filming has a minimal impact on the real tour and its tour manager Maite. I also get to help make things happen (As it was put to me) which for this trip has meant doing everything from hiring cars, to running interference and convincing police to allow us to film in locations normally requiring a permit.
Now lets get to the boys themselves. It would be easy for guys in this position to be arrogant, diva-esk, douchebags. The boys are so far from this it’s crazy. Courteous, driven, and ultimately here to do a job, their work ethic is astounding; we pulled 15h filming days for the majority of this trip, and I heard not one complaint.
They also care about the people they are helping. Briawnna (the 5th Member winner) had contacted the boys two years previous. Her story had resonated with the guys then and when she re-applied this time they saw and opportunity to help. There are little things they do for fans. From shout outs on facebook, to writing SPARNZA on Juliet’s love wall for a girl who went through a self harming depression during her teenage years. It was these things, these small things that just endeared them me.
I also have to mention their production team who went to, lets say extremes, to make some of the shoots happen. Penni & Lena you were champs! I personally draw the line at rubbing sunscreen on my mates backs, let alone painting their entire, and I mean ENTIRE, body white.
Finally there was cameraman Jay. For most days he was lucky to get 3h sleep but was always the first down ready to rock and roll for the day. If you get a chance check out his work do.(Check His Stuff Out Here).
After ten days, countless hours of setup and filming, photo-shoots in some of Italy’s most well known locations, and eating all the food (this was mostly Dave) I’m back in London getting ready to hit the road with fifty one excited people on a European Vista (21days).
I can’t wait to see what the boys come up with from everything we shot.
Jays Work: His Videos