I never expected to end up in Charleston as many times as I have over the last few years for work. It was not on my list of "must have," places to visit but I am glad the opportunity presented itself. The air literally smells like barbecue. Every corner is dripping with historical significance. I fell in love with it's cocktails, horse drawn carriages and charm. It is easy to romanticize the big beautiful homes, huge bridges and local art scene.
SUNRISE, BARBEQUE, WHISKEY, WHISPERS AND HISTORY.
On this trip I was filming a wedding for a good friend and coworker. He filmed my wedding day and I was delighted to return the favor. It took some convincing to get the newlyweds up at sunrise. It meant an early morning after little sleep for all of us. But I am so glad I pushed for it. This was by far my favorite part of the weekend. Our relaxed couple enjoyed their first sunrise as husband and wife while we documented the glowing occasion. Can not wait to share the teaser!
No visit is complete without making a stop to the unspoken undercurrent of the city: The slave markets. If this were civil war era then I am a Yankee from the land of Lincoln. So I felt a little out of place reading placards for the mansions of Confederate generals who have been known to enslave many. On top of the old slave market, sits a confederate museum. On my first trip to SC, the confederate flag was everywhere. Thankfully on this trip, it was no where to be found. I was surprised to see how much of the history of slavery for this area, one of the largest slave ports, refused to honor the upsetting history of its former residence. The one slave museum I could find was small and contained no more than a few relics and oral histories. This museum was next to the historical museum row, whose houses were home to the daughters of the confederacy and plantation owners. That is when I realized I was standing in a city that was built on the backs of its slave population. Letting that reality sink in, hurt my soul. Any history of slavery, began in Charleston. This is where the ships unloaded their cargo. The romance and charm disappeared into the chasm of an expunged horror that had been reduced to no more than a whisper. It would be nice to see more dedication devoted to this history but the sad reality is that after the civil war ended, many documents and history was destroyed to release the owners from the stigma and persecution of owning slaves. Therein lies the unspoken undercurrent current of the city. A historical tension that once felt, can not be unfelt.
Noted: I have not had time to enjoy the beaches. The Citadel sounds cool but is just a military school. There is such a thing as He crab soup too. Cobblestone is hard to walk on. The south has more humidity than I can handle. My northern accent sticks out like a sore thumb. There are more churches then Starbucks. Uber will not pick you up at the airport. The bed and breakfasts downtown looked amazing. The light becomes harsh earlier and longer then in the north, so ideal filming conditions are sparse. Fort Sumpter looked small. Many sailors walk the streets in uniform, as a Navy Base is nearby.