The Making of the GO-Card Movie (or How My Backside Starred in a Short Film)
When we first had the idea to make a video about Girls’ Guide to Paris and its GO-Card, I had no idea where it would go. It was like one of those ideas you blurt out but don’t actually expect to happen. Especially not with the speed of a freight train. But once the idea got rolling, I suddenly found myself volunteered as the starring prop.
It started with my hands. I was just going to hold the GO-Card during filming, but as the day wore on, I had this nagging feeling that the filmmaker was getting parts of me on film that I hadn’t anticipated. In the second scene, my boots were descending from a private car service. I knew for sure that I was in the film when he asked me to spin around and around in front of a fountain until I was dizzy and nauseated. Surely he couldn’t focus only on my hands during that segment. Fortunately that scene ended up on the cutting-room floor; apparently I couldn’t spin on my “mark” and kept veering out of camera range like a drunken sailor.
I became a bit self-conscious. Did my hands look stiff as I was scrolling through all those tour options? Did he film my butt as I walked into that pâtisserie? (Don’t judge me!) As the day wore on, I found that I didn’t mind, and here’s a dirty little secret: while my backside was getting filmed, my front side was having all the fun.
I ate Pierre Hermé macarons while touring Saint-Germain, sampled freshly baked croissants at La Cuisine Paris cooking school, sipped champagne on a boat while drifting by all the monuments of Paris illuminated against the dark blue sky, drank wine while chatting with a handsome man at Ô Chateau (that is, the managing director, Nicolas—apologies to my boyfriend!), visited the Eiffel Tower and skipped the line, basked in the sun in the window of a luxe hotel room at the Hôtel Récamier while taking in views of the gorgeous Saint-Sulpice, drank tea in the private VIP shopping area at Galeries Lafayette while their resident expert, Isabelle, showed me the latest fashions to spruce up my wardrobe, relaxed at a candlelit spa and, at the end of this perfect day, toasted new friends with champagne (again!) at a party.
And I learned some secrets!
Did you know that there are secret VIP rooms behind mirrored walls at Galeries Lafayette where you can relax in a living-room setting and have a coffee WHILE you’re shopping? Or that there is an apartment on top of Galeries Lafayette where celebrities and other VIPs stay or are entertained while they are in town?
Did you know that the Eiffel Tower was built for £260,000 in 1889 as the entrance to the World’s Fair? It was the tallest building in the world at the time. Alexandre Eiffel’s company won a design contest sponsored by the government, but to have the tower built, Eiffel had to put up most of the funds himself. He regained all the money he spent within six months and went on to become rich because of that investment. While most of the vestiges of the World’s Fair have disappeared, this one remains because it continues to generate huge profits.
Did you know there is a wine tasting room at the front of certain boats cruising the Seine? It doesn’t cost much; you just have to know the secret to gain access. I sampled five different champagnes, which is about three more than I should have.
I never wanted that day to end. It was so much fun from beginning to end. And it really got me thinking: this was just ONE day! I started thinking that my backside could be featured in many more videos. A glorious day in Montmartre, or a getaway in the Marais featuring medieval history and designer shopping! I could be prowling the Roman ruins and antique shop–lined streets of the left bank. We could film my backside zooming away dangerously on a Segway tour as the champagne I’ve consumed kicks in. Or me heading out for the day to a designer-outlet shopping mecca. I just have to convince my boss that it would all be in the name of work.
But you don’t have to resort to that kind of subterfuge: you can get your own butt in gear and have all these perfect days in Paris. You just need to get GO(-Card)ing!