My weekend was rather special. It all started with an email last Tuesday from Donna at WOMWorld inviting me to fly down to LA to stay in a house right on Sunset Beach and participate in making a video to promote the new Nokia E73 Mode for T-Mobile USA.
I had no idea what I was actually getting into but wasn't hard to accept an offer to get out of San Francisco's fog for weekend on the beach.
I arrived at the Sunset Beach house Friday night and met the WOMWorld crew, Donna (@missdd), Adam (@adwood1984) and James (@_ElSwann ) and the other bloggers Glen (@gletham), Mike (@thehotiron) and Lenny (@THE_TRUTH34). LA blogger @msjen joined us for the evening and we all hung out for drinks and mobile talk.
Things got more challenging the next morning. It seems that some Jet Skis were required for the video and three volunteers were needed to take a taxi up to Long Beach, 10 miles away, and drive the Jet Skis back down the coast to the beach house. I've never been on a Jet Ski in my life and a 10 mile trip on the ocean didn't seem like a gentle introduction, so chickened I out. Glen, Adam and Donna took the challenge. And challenge it was with a near wipe-out causing one of the E73s to fly through the air. Glen caught the phone and saved it from a salt water bath. The whole exercise proved futile as the Sunset Beach surf was to heavy to cross for a landing and the intrepid trio had to return the Skis to Long Beach.
Mean while James, Mike, the video crew the caterers and I worked to get set up for the shoot and party that was to follow. Banners, signs and flags where placed on the house and beach, the full bar was stocked, cameras, sound equipment and the barbecue prepared. The Jet Ski crew returned from their four hour odyssey in time for the video shoot. Meanwhile a bunch of local LA mobile geeks and bloggers including Jeb Brilliant, Ms Jen, Edmond Dantes, Al Pavangkanan and Mike Macias showed up to join the fun and help with the video.
That's when we all found out that the video was going to the celebrate the dual "Work and Life" modes of the E73. We were expected to don suits and ties (work) and like the E73 switch seamlessly between business and life on the beach.
First up was a board meeting where Donna, our CEO, chastised us for not returning calls, texts and emails from clients quickly enough. Donna gave us all E73s in the interest of productivity.
Switching quickly to our "Life" or play modes we sunned on the beach briefly then it was off to Huntington Marina, still in the suits, for a bit of kayaking. That was at lot of fun and we all managed to keep our kayaks more or less upright. All except the unfortunate cameraman who capsized and flew into the drink, camera and all. Fortunately he was able to hang on to the camera, which was in a waterproof case, so only dignity was lost.
Back on the beach we , the be-suited bloggers engaged in an impromptu suits vs. skins volleyball game with a group of much younger and fitter locals. Surprisingly the suits won, was it a setup?
The final act of the video called for a bit of surfing. With the sun setting, temperature dropping and a 30 mile an wind howling, Glen took up the challenge, paddled out and rode a few waves.
By then the party was in full swing. We invited our volleyball opponents to join in the festivities. The burgers were great, the booze never ran out and we swapped stories and watched videos of the fabulous day well into the night.
Sadly I had to get up at 7 AM Sunday for my early flight back to San Francisco. It was a weekend I won't soon forget. Thanks to the WOMWorld crew for making it so much fun. You guys and gals rock, I know it took a lot of hard work to pull this great event off. I can't wait to see the video we made. Look for it on YouTube in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, Glenn has posted a bunch of his videos on YouTube and photos on Flickr. My own photos are also on Flickr.
I'm impressed by the E73 phone too. It's a slick midrange device that looks and feels expensive with its quality materials and perfect fit and finish. The full QWERTY keyboard is one of the best of its size that I've ever used. And like all Symbian 3rd Edition phones it comes with free Ovi Maps navigation with voice guidance and runs tens of thousands of native and Java apps. Look for a full review of the E73 here soon.