Carlos Leiva had that look in his eye, that wild gleam of a dreamer with an idea he just couldn't shake. He came to me, his face animated and serious, with a pitch that rang true to his own soul. It was about something raw and fundamental: the tradesmen who shape the steel bones and glass skin of New York City's towering skyline. Carlos was a tradesman once, his hands marked by the wear of honest labor. His late brother, too, a creator of dreams, gone too soon in 2020. They were part of a brotherhood that stood amidst the chaos of rebar and cement, characters as real as the towering structures they built.

The idea was special, personal. It was his late brother's vision, and now, his legacy. The new Yankee stadium? His brother's hand was in that. Carlos felt the pull to tell this story, but he needed guidance, a pathfinder to lead him through the maze of television production. He needed someone who can create a magical sizzle reel. 

I liked the cut of his jib, and the idea resonated within me. I decided to shoulder the weight myself. But let me tell you, friends, it wasn't all smooth sailing.

First, the OSHA 30-hour training certificate to even set foot on the worksite, and then the realization that outside of knocking together some wooden projects, I knew jack squat about the alchemy of construction. Time to get educated.

And the camera work? Forget about strapping on a fancy rig or wielding a DSLR up there. That's suicide on stilts. Picture walking a tightrope, balancing on rebar thinner than a cigar, with the ever-present threat of a fall that could snap your legs or worse. I had to get scrappy, real scrappy.

An iPhone13 on a Monopod, and a DJI Mavik Drone were my tools. That, and a thirst to make it work. Utilizing the new Dolby Color codec, I managed to give the visuals a taste of the professional. A remote boom microphone did the trick, though in hindsight, I'd finesse that audio through Adobe Podcast to purify it. Oh, and then there was the whole debacle with Adobe Premiere messing up the iPhone's color profile, forcing me into the arms of Final Cut Pro. I earned my certification, not my love, but it served the purpose.

We hustled, we labored, and we created. We built our story and pitched it like pros, throwing our vision at Discovery Channel and a few others. This was no recipe; it was raw, unfiltered art, born from the streets, from the hands of tradesmen, and captured through the lens of an iPhone.

Just like a meal, cooked to perfection or a journey to an unexplored place, it was real, and it was ours.

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