Pre-Production Begins in Akumal

Lydia Linton Pontius (Jan. 2014)

I headed to Cancun on October 28 to do something I have not done in 10 years—work on a documentary.  Some of my first trips to the Riviera Maya were with film crews and on solo ventures working on different video projects. Times have changed and so has technology, but a great story is still just that! So, off I went, with Sac-Be's editor, Alex Bradley, to get this project started. In addition to filming we were going to fill any extra time with meetings and work for

Our flight from Charlotte was uneventful and we arrived and cleared Immigrations and Customs with a nod, a welcome, and a green light. We rented our car with no problems and headed down the highway. First stop—La Floresta. We both love this place; it is one of the few spots that hasn't changed much and still brings smiles to our faces, conjuring up good memories of earlier times when Playa was first growing. The only thing new here is that they are now open evenings but with an entirely different menu and run by other family members. What a great way to utilize a property. We had shrimp tacos and a new item, which is a twist on shrimp ceviche. Both were great, and we washed them down with a cold cerveza each.

The timing was perfect; there was a rain shower that hit just as we arrived and blue skies returned as we were ready to leave. Then it was back down the highway with one more stop: Soriana for groceries and goodies for the week. We were staying at Villas Flamingo on Half Moon Bay and one of the great things about staying in these villas is you have a fully stocked kitchen. With errands done and full stomachs, it was time to get settled in. Next stop was at the Akumal Arch to get our keys for Villas Flamingo #2.

Located on Half Moon Bay in Akumal, Villas Flamingo is one of our favorite spots. The staff is so warm and inviting, you feel like a house guest from the moment you arrive. And being across the street from Gynn'AK Restaurant is an added plus. It made it very convenient for Gynna and me to work on the new website and video plans for the promotional piece.

Most of this trip was spent planning and doing pre-production work for the documentary Gynna: Lionfish Huntress. We are in the early pre-production stage and it was extremely necessary, in order to raise the much-needed capital for this project, to capture Gynna and her personality, to show just how much the camera loves her, and what a natural she is. We were unable to bring the crew down at this point but we were lucky to have Michael Madden, son of Mike Madden who will be the Director of Photography.  Michael is a film student at Cancún and he and two of his classmates spent two days filming. He will work closely with me and Lara Popyak editing the promotional piece.

The promotional piece will be a short teaser that we will use along with the website to help generate interest and funding. With the help of the Yucatan Environmental Foundation, a U.S. nonprofit, we will be able to offer donors tax-deductible receipts.

Over the next several months we will be writing reviews and stories about the 10 days we had in the Riviera Maya and highlight some of the changes we noted. For now, I want to take a moment to just give the highlights and thank the people who made this trip a success:

Villas Flamingo for your warm hospitality and for an oasis to film, work and gather our thoughts

Lol-Ha Restaurant for great meals, amusing staff, and some wonderful times with great friends, old and new!  Great job on the remodeling of the restaurant and hotel!

Budha Gardens Spa – Lorinda and her staff did an amazing job of taking away all the aches and stress! You'll be hearing more about my massage and facial and their new location.

Other restaurants which we'll be reviewing in upcoming issues are Ziggy's, La Lunita, Kinich, Turtle Bay Café and Tequilaville.

Crew and Gynna in Akumal

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