Thursday, 19 September 2013

Pigment, Baking-Flour, Feathers & Bubbles

Every now and then you need to take yourself out of your comfort zone and try something else. It keeps things fresh and interesting. I always wanted to see what it would be like to film pigment, baking-flour, feathers and bubbles, but it is not something that works for everybody. Firstly, since it’s a mess. A huge mess.. Did I mention that it’s a mess? Secondly it’s kind of arty and it really does not work with your normal commercial shoot. However when a fashion shoot together with UVU, a super premium running clothing brand from the UK came up, Anne-Marie Flammersfeld was the perfect training ground for experimenting with different flying/falling texture to make for dynamic and interesting shooting.

Weeks of planning ended up in a long 14 hour day, mostly consisting of dragging around lots of equipment, making a mess everywhere and a little bit of shooting. We ended up with only about 6 minutes of rushes. Results however was what it was all about and that made the entire thing worthwhile.

The project was made possible by the support of: Figaro St. Moritz (Hair and make-up artists); Pomatti Electronics; Hotel Castell and UVU running clothing. (Craftsmanship shaped for extreme performance)

Special thanks to: Silvia and Corina for a great job with hair, make-up, styling, blowing bubbles, throwing pigment and dropping feathers.
Cleaning staff: Everybody at Hotel Castell
Directed & DOP: Xaver Walser

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Bringing Polo Home - Azerbaijan

The world is just so big. Normal people hardly get to see their own country, never mind the world. The great thing about my job is that it takes me to countries that I normally would never have the intention of visiting. Take Azerbaijan for example. I must confess that I did not know where it was located on this planet. So if you are also one of those - it's bordering countries like Iran, Turkey, Russia and the Caspian Sea. Twenty years ago it was part of Russia. And yes.. I did watch the news every day to see what Obama wants to do with Syria.

The film project was an effort of the organization who wants to bring Polo home to the country where it all started, Azerbaijan. This oil rich country put up a master full polo event. As my good friend Habib Ferogh said: Xaver, we know Polo, but this is something else. 

They flew in every kind of specialist from Europe to come and make this project extra ordinary. There was no shortage of money. We were identified as experience Polo filmmakers and that title sat just fine with me. The greatest thing about the job was that we were completely left to our own devices and nobody ever in the 3 days came to tell us  what we have to do. Therefore it was a pleasure to experiment with different creative angles and push the production to new heights. At night we helped editing the rushes and select the best of the games so that it could be distributed to a whopping 128 TV channels world wide.

I remember always thinking that horse people were weird... but I kind of undergone a metamorphosis on this matter. The majority of them I still think are weird but when you see the passion between the Polo player and his horse you think again about your theory. The players say they are only 20% of the game. The rest are the horses. Some also say they like their horses more than their girlfriends. I leave you with that thought.