Thursday, 2 December 2010

Alberto Venzago

I had the great honour to have an espresso with renowned filmmaker and photo journalist, Alberto Venzago. He is one of Switzerland's best photographers, still or moving pictures. Talking to him, you quickly realize that this is a man with a great deal of knowledge in the film industry. He has got a very strong distinctive style of working with heavy contrasted black and white pictures. Alberto is known throughout the world and artists like Tina Turner and Penelope Cruz - just to name a few - are his clients. His work gets presented by Wim Wenders, one of Germanys most influential directors. Alberto knows everybody and most likely worked at some stage with them all. Even worked with Oscar winner Anthony Dod Mantle, cinematographer from Slumdog Millionnaire. The hour and a half flew by and before I knew it my parking money was finished and it was time to go. My head was full of thoughts and that night was dedicated to dreaming and in the process I forgot to sleep.

Monday, 29 November 2010

VIT.B shoot - Zurich City

I just came back from a 2 day intense shoot in Zurich City. I filmed a Viral internet short film for an excellent wine maker named Wade Metzer. Zurich is a stunning city and it was brilliant to spend so much time in the heart of the city going from location to location.

The highlight by far was the filming we did inside a theater house. The place is just too good to be true. It has it all. It reminded me of the Star Gazer Cinema in Worcester South Africa, owned by Trevor Daly. It was the place where I had my first ever surf film premier. The good old days....

Anyway, back to this theater. Whichever scene we had to shoot, we found it within the theater house. Whatever props we needed we found them with very little effort. It was like a giant movie studio just for us to do what ever we wanted. And we did. It would have been inspirational for any filmmaker. The sad thing about the place is they have until 2014 before the bank sector demolishes it and build some sky scraper office block in its place.

Here are a few behind the scenes photos. It was a small production, but surely stood out as an epic experience working with wonderful dedicated people.

New RTM Slide film

Just finish a demostrational film for Rotomod with surfing from Mathieu Babarit and Caroline Angibaud. Taylor Lausten did the narration. Everything was filmed on location in Portugal a few weeks ago. Hope you enjoy the short film.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Friday, 5 November 2010

Lourens van der Westhuizen

One more Wine Rockstar film done! Since this guy is a real rock climber and wine maker, it makes him a true rock star in the wine industry. As if that's not enough, he planted his vineyards in dry rock! The other interesting thing about Lourens van der Westhuizen is that all his wines are single cultivars. He does no blending. What you get in a specific block of grapes is what you will find in the bottle Enjoy the film.


Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Eben Sadie - Underground Rockstar


Eben Sadie is one of South Africa's most spoken about, undercover wine makers - if there is such a thing. My brother Pieter H. Walser, another hardcore, spoken about winemaker and myself had the privilege to spend 12-hours with Eben in the amazing Swartland area where he sources his wine.
He shared many great moments with us and I captured it all for Woolworths on camera. From Friday Sadie's wine will be available in selected Woolworths stores across the country. Here is my latest work about this inspirational character. He has got an interesting theory and I think it comes across strongly.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

The Parlotones - Push me to the Floor Blending Film

My newest work that I directed for the Parlotones "Push me to the Floor" wine blending film.


Otherwise check out their Facebook account.
The Behind the Scenes of the making of from the same shoot.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Commercial shoot in Portugal


Seventeen days in Portugal. I took a group of young waveski surfers to Portugal to shoot a commercial for the 2011 World Championship. This was just one side of the mission. Together with the 2011 Worlds and the Santa Cruz Ocean Spirit Festival I will also have the world premier for my new waveski film. For me it’s going to be the biggest premier up to date and it was important that I filmed some spectacular action to go with it. And that’s precisely what happened.


Out of the 17 days of filming we had just 2 days that we could not film because of rain and strong wind. The rest of the time we were blessed with excellent surfing conditions all day long. I gathered a total of just over 300 GB of rushes. The material came from 5 different cameras: the surfing telescopic camera, lifestyle camera and 3 water cameras. All performed excellent, without any problem in a very hostile environment. The best filming experience I had on the trip was sitting on the back of a jetski while speeding next to the white water as the riders surf the wave in full glory, at times less than a meter away from me. It was my first time that I have experienced this angle seeing the riders so close and being right next to the action. I captured some incredible images in absolute perfect wave conditions. It is guaranteed to put the movie in a league of its own.


To see some ‘behind the scenes’ footage of our mission, check out www.subgraviti.com


Monday, 13 September 2010

Project P10.

I am working on a new surfing film where I am taking a group of young waveski riders to a secret location for 2 weeks filming. Here is a small teaser about the up and coming film. All the filming was done last year in J-Bay South Africa. I will do daily video highlights during my time on the shoot so check back from the 20th September on Sub Graviti for updates.

© All photos by Lance Milnes 2010. YouTube video below.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Suvretta Snow Sports ski film short

The last winter I shot a last minute job for a ski school. No script and had only one day to film it. Here is the result on YouTube.


Click on the link to the official website.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Crossing the Swiss Alps

I had a 3 day biking trip crossing the Swiss Alps. Just one photo to prove I am not always working.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

24th July 2010

About a month ago I filmed something really interesting. Ridley Scott, director of the Gladiator and Blade Runner…. just to name a few, hosted a filming day where everybody could document their day on the 24th of July. The best rushes will then be put together in a feature film as a sort of time capsule so that this day will forever be documented in the history books. I am a big fan of Ridley's films. Actually his brother Tony Scott's films are what I like most. Films like True Romance, Man on Fire, Domino and more. But since they are brothers, I thought it a great opportunity that those guys might see a snippet of my work. I was not so keen on filming myself and managed to find somebody very interesting to film, so that I could concentrate on the actual filming.

Her name is Regula Curti. A very versatile woman, who last year produced a CD called "Beyond" together with Tina Turner and Dechen Shak-Dagsay. She was completely open for the challenge and was really looking forward to our day of filming.


On the 24th, at 4 o’ clock in the morning, I started filming Regula's day. She did nothing different to any other day and I was basically just like the fly on the wall capturing the moments. Doing everything myself was a mission and the long day of filming completely exhausted me. I was filming with a new type of camera, different lenses than what I was used to and recorded the sound and picture separately. This drove me nuts since there was no time [or a spare hand] to use a clapper board to line up the sound! But I did it and it turned out to be a great day of filming.


I uploaded the rushes to Mr Scott and his team and then Regula asked me if I could cut something together for the Beyond CD with Universal records. She needs an English version for the USA launch next month. It was a privilege to use the music from the "Beyond" CD which is super high quality and a pleasure to work with. I think the result is good, considering shooting it in one day without the intention to use it in this manner. I am very happy with the outcome.


Here is the link to the official website from Universal Music where the film is on.

www.beyondsinging.com

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Theater show in Chur

Was filming at a theater performance in Chur Switzerland last night for the www.origen.ch festival. Really funny show, with wonderful actors and overall a great little job for me.

Monday, 2 August 2010

KrewKlub

A while ago I had to produce 4 different 30 sec commercials for a restaurant crew club. I had total freedom with the production, but had to do it simple and fast. It was a small project and I absolutely loved it.




Monday, 5 July 2010

Berlin

Holiday was our main objective. Inspiration was another. The good thing was that I got a lot of both. Yes, holiday is not something that I do often and you sort of forget its importance while you are stuck in projects. The funny thing is that it can really count in your favor to take some holiday every now and then. If you are rested and experience interesting things, your head fills with inspiration and ideas flow much better when you are working.

Berlin is a big modern city with a great deal of interesting history. What interested me most were the elements of things happening around the fall of the wall 20 years ago. Also the great graffiti art visible everywhere. One thing that I found very interesting is that there was a lot of poster graffiti on the walls. A graffiti artist told us that if the police catch you sticking a graffiti-poster on the wall, the penalty is a lot easier on the artist than when you get caught spraying the walls. Posters are like advertisement in the eyes of the police but spray damages the buildings. Well, for me as inspiration hungry tourist it did not matter. Both worked well to get a message across and draw ideas from the artist's work. One guy's work that stood out was ALIAS. He is one of Berlin's most famous graffiti artists. You can see more of his work on www.myspace.com/aliaslovesyou Its got some elements of the UK artist BANKSY but it's still unique in its own way.


Music is a fascinating thing and can really make or break a film. So another highlight of my trip to Berlin was meeting Olivier Girardot. For the last 2 years I have been working together with Olivier on the production of several films. The highlights are the work we have been doing for the Parlotones on Giant Mistake and now the newest Push me to the Floor film. Although we work together, we have never actualy met in person. Just on the internet. I found Olivier on Myspace and was amazed with his unique style and fantastic music composing. So to finally meet Olivier was such a sureal experience. I took a bottle of autographed Giant Mistake with me and we sat together with our wives in a park in Berlin and enjoyed lots of classic moments together. We also briefly discussed the soundtrack of Push me to the Floor and found some solutions on making the film gel better. Read more on Olivier on www.myspace.com/ogcomposer

I can recommend Berlin as the perfect weekend vacation. If you want to visit a layback city full of interesting history and modern art it's surely the perfect place to go.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Europa Cup 2010 in France


I have just returned from an inspiring filming week on the West coast of France. (Plouhinec) It was a waveski event with all the hottest riders from all over Europe attending. By now I know most of the riders since I have been working closely with them for the last 10 years.

This is not the first time that I do this type of news media, a current affairs news cover that should look like a classy short film - filming during the day, editing at night and uploading before the break of dawn. Although searching for music can be very time consuming, sourcing music for this project, was an inspiring experience. Music is very important for the success of a production. To my mind more than 50% of the success is dedicated to the sound and therefore it is so rewarding to find the right songs after searching the internet sites in the hope to discover the next big unsigned group.

I traveled with the TGV train and at times it was flying at 320 km per hour. A first for me and what an experience to commute at that speed! Arriving in France it was completely overcast, grim and gray. Adding to the atmosphere the town had a Scottish, almost Gothic feeling with classic little cottage houses everywhere. This set the stage for the start of the show.

The next day the weather was the opposite with perfect blue skies and beautiful 4-5 ft clean/green surf and a dolphin joining the surfers in the line-up. It was easy to make that look good. I did a total of four 5-8 minute films and we had about 10,000 views on www.subgraviti.com over 5 days. I am happy with the outcomes and it opened new doors for Sub Graviti.




There were many special moments during the course of the event, like when one of the British competitors told me that his 2 year old son watches my film "Gateway to Sorga" at least once daily. This was a good feeling, stressing the responsibility to produce decent films. Children all over the world watch the films and you as filmmaker plant dreams in their hearts and fill their heads with images. You better make the dream pure or a generation of riders grow up with a fake evil gray reality of the world.

You can watch the highlights of the event at http://www.subgraviti.com/euro10.php or on the Worldriders Channel on YouTube.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Friday, 23 April 2010

El-Paradiso One Year Close to Heaven Film


Recently I completed a huge year long project with the El-Paradiso mountain hut. The film is called: "One Year close to Heaven"

The project was overwhelming in many ways. I filmed at El-Paradiso for about sixteen times over the period of one year and accumulated a confusing amount of footage. The script changed so many times and it caused a huge headache. But it was not only the script that changed, also the objectives of the film changed in the course of the production.

Although it is a very interesting topic for the employees and owners of the hut the rest of the world is not really interested. The challenge was to do the magic in the editing. It took five weeks to cut this monster together. A complete overkill, but I believe the edge was found. Watch the film for now from my homepage at http://xaverwalser.subgraviti.com/ or a big quicktime download at this link.

My sincere thanks to Hans-Jörg Zingg and El-Paradiso for the opportunity to make it happen and trusting me to go all the way with the film.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Making a difference


I felt strong in my heart to make something useful for the sake of humanity. I have all the tools to my exposure and it was just a matter of time to find the right cause where I was going to spend some of my valuable time on. The thing is, the older you get the more hectic your life becomes. First, there was just yourself and wondering how many sessions a day I can be in the water surfing. Then the girlfriend came around to worry about and you thought how simple your life was before. Then she became your wife. Then the business started. Then the little Noah monster turned up taking up the last little bit of time that we had. So to have a balanced life spending enough time with the family, running a successful business, try to keep fit and spending time with friends not to become a complete isolated freak takes a fair bit of planning. Ooo yes, not to mention... you need to find some time to sleep as well.

I once learned that one should get yourself in a position where you are not just earning money to pay the bills and eat. If you can get just above that breadline to give yourself a little bit of room to move you could find so much more creativity and it could be an opportunity to give to someone in need. How cool would that be, I thought.

So finally my opportunity came along to give and this short film is the result of it. I truly hope that I could even in the smallest margin make a difference. Even if it could just touch one persons heart on the planet it was worth it. Shofar_Film