An Immersive Experience in “Wuh-stah”
It’s been a very busy summer for the Pyxis team as we’ve literally traveled coast to coast to film. What makes this year particularly special was adding several new filming destinations. With trips to work in California, Tennessee, and Massachusetts for the first time, it’s pretty incredible - considering our humble beginnings. Our most recent trip, the penultimate of our summer travels, was to film at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, just outside of Worcester, Massachusetts. Or as the locals call it, “Wuh-Stah”.
Every school we have the privilege to work with is a unique experience which is always exciting. With cases of COVID on the rise again, we were met with those now all too familiar challenges right off the bat. But our trepidation was alleviated upon arrival at Tufts, as we were impressed with the school’s COVID protocols. As uncomfortable and annoying as we all know this new normal can be, we were inspired to see all the students and faculty work within these parameters seemingly without skipping a beat. You could feel a strong team culture, and knew undoubtedly that this school valued the health and safety of their students and faculty. We were, and are, still grateful and inspired after working with them.
There were a lot of memorable days, animals and moments on this trip, so I thought it might be fun to ask the umpire to put on the headphones, call New York and check the replay.
Alpaca Poof Balls
No, that is not just an amazing band name. One day we found ourselves filming our first live alpaca videos. Let me tell you, what interesting creatures they are. From their long skinny necks, to the incredulous look stamped on their faces, alpacas are just an adorable oddity. It’s not everyday someone preps you for a film shoot by saying, “They WILL spit on you. It’s not a myth. So don’t make them angry.” To which you just stare at them as your brain short circuits, until you mutter “Sure, no problem.” The noises they make are a hilarious blended grunty growl that Marge Simpson would be proud of. That, coupled with them being shaved so that their heads were big poof balls on sticks… you just couldn't help but smile. Make sure to look out for Alpaca videos coming soon to Exero Vet.
A Pig Named Bacon
Not too much to go into here. There was simply an adorable, tiny little pig in a sweater and it’s name was Bacon.
Jared and I are big baseball fans and we got to mark some coveted baseball bingo squares on this trip. One big one was Fenway Park. I had been to Fenway previously, but it was Jared’s first time and it was an incredible night. There are ballparks and there are temples. Fenway is a temple, and the Pyxis team worshiped at its altar. I heard, what might be, the loudest live cheer I think I’ve ever heard at an open air sporting event when the Red Sox hit a three-run homerun to come back and take the lead in the 8th inning.
On a lovely Saturday when we weren’t filming, we traveled out to the Cape. However, traffic was pretty bad so we had fun killing time. At one point I was going through the passenger manifest of the Mayflower, and reading about all those people aloud to Jared while he drove. If you appreciate a good rabbit hole, I recommend it. Cape Cod is as pretty as advertised. Quaint and beautiful. It was gorgeous outside all day, which, considering we were not melting back home in New Orleans, we took advantage of the opportunity to soak all the good weather up. We stopped for lunch at what we thought was just a barbecue place, but turned out to be a barbecue place inside a candlepin bowling alley. Some good adult beverages were enjoyed at a nice brewery too, but our main mission was to catch a Cape Cod league baseball game. Which we did. This league has been around since 1885 and nowadays it’s a place where college players play in the off-season. They play on high school fields up and down the Cape for a couple months in the summer. It was such a fun atmosphere. The games are free to watch, and you are watching some great, young talent. 1 in 6 majors league players played in this league at some point, with many being some of the greats. So who knows what future stars we saw that afternoon and evening. As fans of the game, that was a rare bingo square to mark and we were quite proud, as the nostalgia coursed throughout our sports veins.
Why We Do This
We were in Massachusetts to film virtual reality videos for education - of which we filmed a whole lot of, so keep an eye out. One of the main reasons we do this is so the viewer can have an experience. For vet students, our goal is to give them as close to a hands-on experience as possible to what it would be like to be doing a procedure themselves in real life. VR immerses you in an environment to attempt to give you a more complete experience because it’s from your perspective. Which is also a good metaphor for our trip as a whole. I feel like more than other trips we were pleasantly immersed in a lovely environment there in Worcester. From my perspective, it was an experience I know I will carry with me into the future.