Two times a week, when I go from Santa Monica (where I teach), to the CWB office in Burbank, I have to face the notorious LA traffic—sometimes taking hours to complete the 20 mile trip.
It was just a few weeks ago on a rare rainy day in L.A. when I experienced the worse traffic jam of my life. I had just entered the freeway, hoping that in an hour I would be in the office, finishing and posting a video report on an exhibition of Italian hats I was working on; I had promised a few people that this piece would go live before 8:00 PM that evening.
Suddenly a police car appeared out of nowhere and guided all the cars out of the freeway onto Sunset Boulevard West. Officers left no way out, behind me or up ahead, and it seemed as though the line of cars stretched eternally. There was no hope to get out of there for at least a few hours. I was left with the options of the traffic report and making business calls from the car.
I was so worried about my deadline that I needed to get creative. I remembered that I had my Verizon MiFi on me, along with my Acer Aspire S7 Ultrabook. I just turned into a driveway, pushed back the seat, opened the S7—I love this tiny, super lightweight and powerful Windows 8 touchscreen laptop—and turned on my Verizon MiFi and boom, I was connected to the Internet. I used “Log Me In” to connect to the main office computer and then I started searching for the video clips that I needed for my editing and downloaded them onto S7.
My download speed was 18.5 GB/second and therefore it took only 35 minutes to download all the files. I could hear police car sirens and car horns in the background, and it was as if I could feel the anger of the other drivers in the air (you have to be driving in L.A. to understand this kind of rage). But me; I was not angry anymore—in fact, I was enjoying my time. I opened Adobe Premiere CS 6 and started editing. It took me almost 2 hours to finish the whole project, including some time to add music. The Acer Aspire S7 Ultrabook’s performance was amazing. The video piece, called “Hats On Film”, was a two-minute piece from a hat exhibition at the Italian Cultural Institute, Los Angeles.
My next step was uploading the video to the Cinema Without Borders server. Again, it was the MiFi that came to my rescue. It took me about 30 minutes to post the video onto the CWB’s Facebook page, and by the time I had finished, the traffic had completely cleared up. I felt as though I had experienced a miracle: the MiFi and the Acer S7 came together to help me finish editing my project without turning my life into a tragedy in that heavy traffic.