Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Commercial shoot in Cape Town

Opportunities come every now and then and its up to us if we want to take it or not. This commercial shoot was one of those. A case of throwing yourself in at the deep end, take on the challenge and fill the production with high-risk manoeuvers.

The biggest problem is that you set goals for yourself and when you reach them naturally you want to go bigger and better when the next project comes your way. Well, maybe not everybody is like that, but I know the Walsers are certainly built in this manner. With this job it was no different, but to achieve it I had to convince the client that if he wants to raise the bar further he has to increase the budget. I am not a particular great sales person, but this time round I knew that it was the only way to go forward, especially after the Parlotones blending film. In some ways you shoot yourself in the foot since this particular client might take longer to commission me again. The thing is the additional cost will go purely towards the hiring of better equipment to add production value and not more money in my pocket. The flip side of spending the money on the gear and stay humble is a mind-blowing end product that is not going to stand back for anything. If we want to take on the big guns and play in the 30 sec commercial space we better start pulling out a few more stops. This will however mean that I cannot blame the equipment anymore. If the commercial is not good now, then its just me who is not good enough.

I planed the ad pretty well, but with all the country hopping misunderstandings kept on crawling in. So much that 3 days before the shoot the only thing that we had left was the Cape Grace’s Bascule bar and their yacht. We hung on to our false hopes and my brother Pieter, the client and I held an urgent Skype call meeting. The question was should we terminate the project and delay it for a later stay. Walking away from it now was a crazy sinking thought. We came so far and now stopping? This kind of talk just inspired me more that we can make this thing work. Getting so close and then ending up not doing it was not what I wanted to hear and in my eyes no option.

Miracle after miracle started rolling in and we solved the problems one by one. I had to alter the script slightly, but mostly for the better. Just as we had thought we dealt with all the issues and found solutions for the problems the Cape Grace told us that there has been a misunderstanding and we cannot have the bar and the boat for the shoot anymore. It was the only two things that we actually had and the reason why we were committed not to abandoning the commercial. Loosing this would mean in theory we have nothing.

With a great deal of praying and Gods Grace over the Cape Grace we went in full blown on Thursday morning for the 2 day shoot. Things just fell in place like it was always going to be and so much better than we originally planned. I never had any doubt that it was going to work out, but when we lost the yacht and bar I was pretty disappointed about the entire affair. To cut a very long wonderful story short it was a big success and I am looking forward to dig into the editing. There are a lot of people worth mentioning that without them this ad would have been nothing at all. Thanks so much guys for sticking with us through the experience and help making it happen.

Steve Straker – (Hands on Wine). Siskha Brand – (Hands on Wine). Pieter Walser – (BLANKbottle) Planning, Actor, Assistant. Wilhelm Walser – Sound, Runner, Gaffer. Aneen Walser – Fill in actor, Make-up. Juan Slabbert – Fill in Actor, Runner. Allan Mullins (Woolworths) –, Actor. Ivan Oertle (Woolworths) – Actor. Okkie Slabbert – Actor. Johan Slabbert – Actor. Rob Kellerman – Band. Fred May – (Shofar) Band, Matthew May – Band, Ira van der Merwe – Shofar. Johan – Bodyguard. Calab Heymann– (Red One Africa) Camera Technician. Mario – Kaapseklopse. Andrew Rosettenstein – (Cape Grace). Eldine – Make-up artist. Christian and Alana Walser – Transport, Catering, Manfred Thieroff – Navy mission. Beba Hauptfleisch – Support, and finally the big master in the heavens, God for making the impossible happen. Ooh boy we would have been lost without Him.

Editing will probably start in the next few weeks. Just need a little bit of sleep first.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

In the Wine lands

Another day in the Winelands of South Africa behind the camera meeting interesting people. The last few days I spent with my brothers filming amazing winemakers in great locations. This is all part of a set of wine films that Woolworths will be showing all over South Africa to boost the Hands on Wine concept of finding the rock-stars of the wine-industry. We manage to find some epic locations and pulled of some crazy stunts in a very short timeframe.

The Parlotones - Giant Mistake premier

On Wednesday was the launch of Giant Mistake, the Parlotones’ new wine and the film in South Africa. After travelling for 33 hours from Australia with the master copy of the film, I arrived at Cape Town International at the same time the event started. Attending were 200 people consisting of mostly media, wine people, Woolworths executives and the friends and family of the people involved, some of South Africa’s most important wine makers and the prominent media people of the country were attending.

The film started and the attention was fixed to the screen. I concentrated on the quality of the sound and wasn’t really nervous. Everything went perfect and the people loved the 7 min short film. There after the Parlotones played live and unplugged for the guests. The guys gave it all and it was an incredible experience. Together with the band rocking, we drank the Parlotones’ wine – Giant Mistake. It couldn’t have been a better evening. There I stood in one of the most luxurious hotels in Cape Town, signing Giant Mistake Bottles, with media from all over and rocking with the Parlotones after watching our film. For sure a highlight of my career. Go and visit www.theparlotoneswine.com and enjoy the film yourself.

Last days in Australia

After a very busy 2 weeks of supplying news to all the local stations and our web casts, I had very little energy left. For 10 days straight I filmed during daylight and edited during the night. Falling behind was out of the question since it would only backlog and once that happen you will never be able to catch up again. It’s probably also better to keep it up, treat it as news rather than films and pump it out daily. News is only news for today, there after it’s not interesting anymore. It was a challenge giving attention to all the matters at hand. If this was not enough I had this bright idea to release a new Waveski DVD smack bang in the middle of the week. The premier for B-SIDES turned out to be a success with well over 150 people attending. If you want to get your hands onto this movie you can purchase it from subgraviti.com/movies

My last day in Australia ended on a pretty relaxed high note. After packing all the gear back in its boxes I went for a final quick surf. It was perfect. 3 ft left peeling sand bottom point break with only a hand full of surfers out. I had the opportunity to shake off all the hard work of the past weeks and just forget about all the responsibilities and enjoyed the surfing.

Monday, 7 September 2009

News Feed in Australia

For some it's luck, for others it's coinsedance, for me it's meant to be......even the insignificant!

For my trip to Australia, to cover the World Waveski Titles, I needed a new hard drive to back up my files. I read that LaCie drives are 'no good mate...' I do have 4 of them, but I am still of the old school, shooting onto tape. When I got to Zurich, I found that the price of the G-Drive I intended to buy was increased by CHF 200.- and this was not within my budget. I decided to scrap the original plan and went across the road to the first Apple dealer and bought another LaCie 500G for half the price of the G-Drive.

Emirates is really the nicest airline I have ever flown with. Firstly, 30kg of luggage is allowed on board - a gorilla filmmaker's dream! How cool!! Then probably the best of all was that we flew with the new A-380 monster Airbus. Whoooo... what an amazing plane. Wide Screen TVs, epic food, even power at your seat to charge your MacBook Pro for that last minute edits at 10 000 ft.

Many more meant-to-be's took me safely to Australia and all the way to my job. By now I have completed several news feeds that are available from www.subgraviti.com/worlds09. Check it out!