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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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:
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!
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!
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.