The experience was quite phenomenal. On a technical aspect, it was the first time I’d shot a live event, verite style, with a HD camera. No re-dos, no tripod, no help from others. The camera was an older model and slightly heavier than the one I used to shoot “34th,” which of course meant it was more tiring. I did a lot of shoot and runs on Sunday and Tuesday (not the violent type!). On a person-to-person aspect, it was heartwarming to see so many residents who cared enough to line the way as well as celebrate with the riders in downtown Bloomington. The many motorcyclist escorts from the Patriot Guard Riders and other groups gave quite a show with their bike packs.
It was the riders themselves, of course, who were the most phenomenal. I got to interview three of them before they left on the next leg of their trip on Tuesday morning and hearing them talk about not only about their experiences but how the people they’ve met have inspired them and vice versa was life-changing. I have friends who are veterans, but talking to one you don’t know is just different. Not all of them have visible disabilities and it is exactly that which makes them all the more compelling. Obviously not everything they said is in this edited version- I wish I could upload all the raw footage for everyone.
But for now, I’ll let you hear them for yourselves:
Thank you for your service and inspiration.