Behind the scenes of Gina Maravilla's promo shoot

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When Gina told me that she was still in contact with her Deer Valley High School coach, I just knew we had to include him in her promo!  When I caught up with them on shoot day, they were quietly chatting in the lobby.  It quickly turned into old home week as various teachers and administrators came by to say hi.  I went to work immediately and started taking pictures!  A big shout out of thanks to Deer Valley for being so accommodating.  And to the ROTC for putting its drills on hold so we could get our shot!

>> View Gina Maravilla's Facebook Page and view her new promo 

When it came to finding a good scenic location that would represent Arizona, I was torn between two places:  Desert Botanical Gardens or Papago Park.  Fortunately a scouting expedition to the Gardens ended up showing us the perfect spot to shoot the iconic Papago Mountains.  I would have loved to have seen some of the Garden’s magnificent botanical displays behind Gina but the lighting just wasn’t right.  

Needless to say, our set-up became quite the attraction to the visitors, especially once Gina arrived.  To our complete surprise a small girl in a group of girls came up and said hi---to her Aunt Gina!  What a coincidence!

Thanks much to John Sandlot for granting us permission to shoot at the Desert Botanical Gardens, to Renee Immel for being such a gracious hostess and to the staff for helping us
haul our equipment! 

From the Gardens we went to the top of the parking garage on 2nd Avenue and Jefferson.
We all drove separately and I became concerned when my Director of Photography, Shane, failed to show up.  I was bemoaning the fact that I forgot to put my phone back in my purse when Shane walked up.  To his surprise, the garage’s clearance was too low for our production van.  He ended up driving around and around until he found some street parking but it was only for 30 minutes and he said the parking police were circling. 

It was a rare day for us to have two different vehicles but because we needed extra stuff to build up the shot at the Gardens, we had a truck and our van.  I told Gina to go sit in her car and keep cool while I drove Shane back down, secured permission to park in the loading zone, move his van then reload his equipment into the truck for the trip back up.  Fortunately, she had just gotten her iPhone, so she had a new toy to occupy her time!

It was a lot of work but the shot was so worth it!  Funny thing was that when it came time to cut her voice over, our battery was dead and the extras were, you guessed it, back down in the loading zone van!  I ended up picking a parking lot on McDowell and 7th Avenue where we re-grouped just to cut her audio.  Crazy!  You just never know what little thing can snowball into a train wreck when it comes to a shoot.

Our shoot with Gina’s adorable kids almost crashed and burned, too.  Being so small, we knew their attention span wouldn’t last long but they were perfect, even though that shoot went longer than I had hoped.  Between the kids’ car seats and the head rests, we had a heck of a time lighting that shot.  It’s one of the main reasons why you don’t get a good view of both kids.  Sorry about that.  A special thanks to Gina’s mom for helping us out that day by bringing the kids from school to the park.  And thanks to Gina for being such a joy to work with.  She even helped out with our equipment!

Gina Maravilla Promo Shoot Fun Facts

  • Gina has a 3 year old daughter, Kennedy and a five year old son, Taylor.
  • Coach Gary King, coached girls varsity basketball for 8 years. 
  • Under Coach King, Gina’s team was known as "The Lady Skyhawks.". Gina’s nickname was "Gee" or "G-Money."
  • Coach King’s daughter is now the high school basketball coach at Goldwater HS (Deer Valley's rival).  This year Goldwater played on the state tournament & Coach King assisted the team with coaching duties.  
  • The editor overseeing this project, Lori, also went to Deer Valley High School Coach King was her basketball coach, too. It’s a small world after all!
  • When Gina graduated from Deer Valley HS, she was the Senior Vice President.
  • Deer Valley High School was founded in 1980.  Its mascot is the Skyhawk and its colors are blue and silver.
  • Gina graduated from ASU with 2 degrees:  Broadcast Journalism and Political Science with a minor in Sociology.
  • The first day of instruction at ASU was February 8th, 1886, when 33 students met in a single room on land donated by George and Martha Wilson of Tempe. 
  • While an ASU student, Gina used to hike on the Papago Mountains you see right behind her. What is possibly an even more fun fact is that yours truly spent the night on said mountain as a 15 year old runaway!  Sorry, Mom!
  • Papago Park is Phoenix Point of Pride #18.  It is a municipal park of the cities Phoenix and Tempe.  It is located on 1,200 acres of rolling desert hills and rugged mountains, featuring a golf course, museums, picnic areas, fishing lagoons, hiking trails and the Hole-in-the Rock landmark.
  • Desert Botanical Gardens is Phoenix Point of Pride #10
    Desert Botanical Garden is probably most famous for its Las Noches De Las Luminarias, but the Garden has been teaching and inspiring visitors from the local community and around the world for more than 70 years!
  • The Points of Pride program was initiated by the Phoenix Pride Commission created in 1991.  The original list of 25 points has been updated 4 times, most recently in 2008.  There are currently 31 Points of Pride.

 >> View Gina Maravilla's new Facebook page and view her new promo