2 Countries, 3 Projects, and a Broken Tripod: A Glimpse into a Filmmaker’s Life

After 4 weeks of travel through Ecuador and Mexico I am pretty beat. However, I found I was pretty productive on the whole. Revisiting my previous posts and looking at the gear I brought I am extremely happy.

In the end I was able to shoot two videos and edit a total of eight.

On a whole, the gear I brought was perfect except on major problem. The tripod I brought to support the Lite Pro Gear & slider was broken after day one. It was unable to hold up in the back of my kayak OR to any wear and tear at all. Therefore all the tripod necessary gear wound up sitting in my duffle for the remainder of the trip.

For the record the tripod is a Giottos MT9242 and I plan to follow up. As of this point the retailer I bought it from has failed to reply to both of my emails (Galaxy Camera on Bank St in Ottawa).

The first video I shot was Botella.  My inspiration for this was to try to do something different in support of the Alseseca Race in Tlapacoyan. Canoe & Kayak magazine were interested in the story of how this race is actually improving the state of plastic pollution on this river. This is something I have seen first hand.

This river is super hard to shoot well and the lighting never stays consistent. I shot it on the Sony A7S and cut in previously shot footage from my Sony FS700. I was using SLOG for the whole shoot which allowed me to work on my colour correction.

I am really happy with how this video turned out. It is a great story and I plan to submit it to some paddling festivals for the later part of this year.

In Ecuador I shot some video for The Magic of Jondachifest. The plan was to let the fun moments play out with my friend Dave Gardner much like we did for Magic of Moosefest.

As soon as I got to Ecuador Dave was extremely sick and therefore shooting ended up being harder than planned. I was lucky enough to run into a production company from Quito known as Afuera. They were shooting with a DJI Phantom 3 and were super happy to exchange footage with the stuff that I had shot.  The person who operated the drone was extremely patient with his shots and professional.  Therefore, he was able to capture some amazing shots of the beautiful Rio Jondachi.

Lastly, I was able to finish the NRS Traveling to Kayak series.  This was great to do as I wasn’t entirely happy with the first round of shooting that we had done in Mexico. Adding some depth with shots from the airport as well as Ecuador rounded out the series well.  I still feel it could be better but the series ended up harder than I thought.

The biggest hurdle of the whole trip was dealing with video delivery. In the end I have super patient and supportive people to deliver to and that made it less stressful. 

Working on the fly while traveling can be difficult but also extremely rewarding. I plan to write more about that in the upcoming posts.