Red Bull Elements wrap-up

Just as I stepped out of the plane bringing me back from the Swatch Skiers Cup in Chile, I had to load the car and head to Talloires, France, to manage TV production on the Red Bull Elements. This is an multidiscipline, outdoor relay race that attracts some of the best athletes from France and Europe in rowing, trail-running, mountain biking and paragliding.

The clip above is the “Action Clip”. This was delivered late evening, on event day. I must say that I am particularly happy with this clip. It got 5600 likes on the Red Bull website, and 160+ shares. So that’s quite awesome given the caliber of productions being published on the website!

The general idea here was to bring a lot of intensity into the shots. In itself, the race is incredibly demanding for the athletes. But visually speaking these are not fast-moving activities. No crazy jumps, no adrenaline rush, no lighting-fast stunts that we get so used to over youtube and others. Consequently the briefing for the cameramen was to get into the action. Run alongside the athletes. Put movement into the shots. Show their pain!

Another key idea was the use of slowmotion of the NEX-FS700. The slow-motions are visually stunning and bring a totally different angle on these disciplines. And finally, the cineflex brought the usual “wow factor” with spectacular beauty shots of the splendid region of Talloires.

Another challenge in terms of production was that the race took place over a very large area around Talloires. After the first two disciplines the teams would be totally spread out, with the best teams being approximately 2 hours aheard of some other teams. So mobility was key here, as well as some solid planning for the filming positions to maximize the 9 cameras I had on the ground. To spice things up, the newscut delivery at 18:00 also meant that we had to collect a maximum amount of footage during the day, to be ingested and edited on the fly by 2 editors. Easier said than done when some of the crew is perched at 2000m altitude, while others are filming deep in the woods on the 23 km bike course.

Thanks to everybody’s involvement, the production went really well. Good job everybody!


FS700 on the Swatch Skiers Cup

After some intense international investigation, I finally managed to put my hands on a Sony FS700 in the very last days of august, the day before I had to fly out to Santiago de Chile for the Swatch Skiers Cup. I preordered one last june from a big german dealer but by mid-august, only a handful of units had been received. I called shops and enquired all over Europe and it wasn’t available anywhere, with no visibility as to when Sony would finally deliver more cameras. It’s been very frustrating to see that at the same time it was in stock at B&H for example – but they wouldn’t ship outside the US!

Anyways. I had high expectations about this camera and it did not disappoint. Here’s one clip shot with the FS700 at the Skiers Cup. Graded a bit, shot at 200 fps on a 70-200mm f4 (at 200mm) + 1.4x extender. Pretty cool considering this is contest footage, not a setup shot where you agree with the skiers about his line prior to filming. Here this is a totally unpredictable line choice from the skier, and to that regard the buffering for the slowmotion is a key feature since you can only shoot 8 seconds of action.


Swatch Skiers Cup, final day of competition

Unusual ending for the Swatch Skiers Cup 2012 in Chile. The lack of proper conditions for the slopestyle contest in Valle Nevado forced the organisers to go at the very last minute for a tie-break format on a remote venue. With very limited time and the capacity to bring only a handful of people onsite, the filming crew came down to the cineflex, Adam Brown at the bottom of the venue and myself at the startgate. Riders skied amazingly well and I’m very happy with the resulting action clip below, considering the very limited setup on the mountain that day.

Swatch Skiers Cup – Big Mountain competition day

The first competition day of the Swatch Skiers Cup took place in good conditions near Valle Nevado, Chile. With the stargate above 4000m altitude, this was a challenging contest for the riders as well as for the staff!

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With a good venue, sunny weather, a crew of 6 cameras on the ground + a cineflex + my new sony FS700 in the hands of Adam Brown, conditions were set to gather stunning pictures. Here are some of the resulting clips: