Bryce Canyon and Zion shoot

If you haven’t been to any of the National Parks in Utah- then you are missing out.  In September I had the chance to film an REI Adventure in Zion and Bryce.  And I’m finally writing about it…

The trip was about 5 days.  I got to film some B-roll a day before the trip but the weather was horrible.  

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One morning I awoke in my tent (love this wee tent)  at Bryce to go film a sunrise behind Thor’s hammer.  I had pre-scouted the night before and according to my iPhone the sun would come right up behind the hammer.  

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I carried my 6 foot Stage Zolly Zero and all the other 40 pounds of accessories through the dark, down the trail in the freezing temperatures.  I set-up hoping that the skies would clear.  And… they didn’t.  Several hours spent down the tubes.  But I did meet some nice photographers as I usually do when I set-up in a beautiful spot for a couple of hours.  I shot a time-lapse anyway.  Here’s a frame from the crappy experience:

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Later that morning I went around and tried to get some decent time-lapses around the rim.  Putting my stage zero dolly in some very sketchy places.  I had to set up my camera over a ledge and then walk away because my shadow would mess up the shot.  The winds were very strong.  But again- the weather just wasn’t on my side.  A lot of foreign travelers were very interested in my set-up.  Ironically I met more Europeans than Americans that day in Bryce Canyon and more Americans in San Gimignano, Italy than Italians a week later.   

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The trip went great, but exhausting.  Here’s what a typical day looked like:

5am: get-up to pack for the day

6-8am: film Sunrise

8-4pm: Film while hiking 11 miles (through rivers and trails, etc..) Carry lots of camera gear and constantly switching cameras, sliders, jib, lenses, etc..

4-7pm: Set-up and interview people.  I have a pretty extensive set-up for 1 guy. (light, sound, camera, interviewee). More on that another time. 

7:00-7:15pm: eat dinner

7:15pm- 11:30pm: Film others eating dinner and around campfire and shoot time lapses of stars.

11:30pm- 1:00am: Charge batteries, offload, pack and plan for next day

5am: Do it all over again.

So when people tell me how cool it is that I get to film in these amazing places- I agree.  I love it!

Here’s a couple of my stills from my star time-lapses:

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Finally- I did have a really nice pad to stay in at REI’s Signature camp.  Here’s a before I destroyed it with my gear and an after:

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It’s been a while since I’ve written about my filming adventures.  I’ll write soon about my trip to Tuscany the following week.  I really want to figure out a way that I can film behind the scenes videos of myself… but as you can hopefully guess by this post- that might prove to be challenging.  But, where there’s a will there’s a way!

Cheers!

I’m back at home editing after filming with Ultra runner- Catra Corbett in California.  This was my crazy interview set-up in the woods.  I forgot my boompole back at the hotel- so I was able to use a monopod as a boompole.  I’ve got the modified EyeDirect in front of my camera (which I love!) and a cheap knock-off of the Litepanel 1x1 connected to a Energizer portable battery.  1 man crew- but it works great!

I’m back at home editing after filming with Ultra runner- Catra Corbett in California.  This was my crazy interview set-up in the woods.  I forgot my boompole back at the hotel- so I was able to use a monopod as a boompole.  I’ve got the modified EyeDirect in front of my camera (which I love!) and a cheap knock-off of the Litepanel 1x1 connected to a Energizer portable battery.  1 man crew- but it works great!

For years I’ve been interviewing people on camera in the classic- look to the side of the lens fashion.  It was silly- who are they talking to?   Sometimes they would be staring at a inanimate object because I was filming as a one man band.  I have now realized the silliness of my ways.  When some is telling a personal story- they should tell it directly to the audience- straight into the lens.  The only problem- is that it is really hard to talk naturally down a barrel of a lens.  Especially for people who are not used to being on camera.  Enter the EyeDirect.  (more info at: www.eyedirect.tv). After drooling over Eyedirect for over a year- I was finally able to obtain one.  But because I film in remote locations- I needed one that can pack up in a backpack.  The inventor Steve McWilliams worked with me to create a prototype for the first foldable EyeDirect and I had the honor of using it a couple of weeks ago.  I’m hooked!  And I really believe the production value that I can bring to a project has gone way up! Thanks to Steve McWilliams!  

My suitcase that has been everywhere with me.  Camping on the Atlantic baby.

My suitcase that has been everywhere with me. Camping on the Atlantic baby.

Ill be filming a 4 day sea kayak trip next week.  Figuring out how to best film from a kayak.  Digging my new waterproof deck bag.

Ill be filming a 4 day sea kayak trip next week. Figuring out how to best film from a kayak. Digging my new waterproof deck bag.

My latest video filmed in Oregon!

I’ve been editing the video I shot last weekend in Oregon for REI.  I want so bad to share with you what I have so far- but I have to wait until official release.  Here’s a wee clip.

 

Cuddly Bear in Oregon.  I started taking my sons Cuddly Bear (with his permission) on my trips.  Here is a video I shot with Cuddly Bear as he traveled with me.  I look forward to doing many more of these.  The song is my 2 year old daughters favorite.

Yeah! Wrap