Alpine Coast to Coast
Nothing epitomises the phrase “standing on the shoulders of giants” quite like traversing the Swiss Alps. We’re not religious in the slightest, but you begin to realise why so many Myths and Legends are born out of the mountainous setting. And in fairness who can blame them, if mountains are good enough for Moses, they’re good enough for us.
We had a limited budget and limited resources, but an unlimited imagination. We knew we wanted to create something special because the challenge Sophie had set herself was especially unique. This shoot required cinematic freshness and an arsenal of camera gear to contend with Weta, or so we would like to think. One drone, we’ll come on to the drone in more detail later. One Stage zero timelapse Slider, one Sony AS7, four 5D mk iii’s shooting in raw thanks to Magic Lantern, one 6 man Tent, one Ford Galaxy Titanium X and enough food to appease Adam Richman for a week!
It started with an 18 hour drive from the Midlands, navigating our way through France and negotiating with Swiss Police, who saw a 2:30am random spot check entirely necessary. See you next Tuesday mr policeman. We quickly adapted to the Swiss way of life as we were greeted with our hotel room key card selotaped to the front door, with a barely legible “Mr.Dean” scrawling, welcome to Switzerland.
The rolling vistas Tasch had on display were incredible and a passing train at the foot of the mountain soon put things into perspective. We met with the star of the show, her husband and our contact from Adidas in a cafe, discussed the brief and drove to our first filming location. Never ending gradients and hair raising switchbacks made for interesting near death experiences. Couple that with what would affectionally be named “equipment avalanches” ensured our journey would not be without war wounds. The most prevalent came in the form of our flying compadre “Wally”. Whilst gliding across the biggest dam in the northern hemisphere, things took a turn for the worst. An apparent power failure saw Wally plunge into his watery rusting place, all attempts at rescuing the downed unit were in vein, there was nothing we could do and the mood of the trip instantly followed Wally’s decent.
We had no option but to accept the circumstances and find a way of re-capturing the footage we had lost. This would mean driving through the French Alps to Switzerland and by chance finding Matafi, a local drone operator with an identical set up, a DJI Phantom 2 with a GoPro Hero 3 Black edition. We explained the situation to him and he was kind enough to drop what he was doing and step in. A true hero who comes with a personal recommendation from Timecode.
By now we had ticked most of the boxes from the shot list. All that remained was one final schlep upward to our final interview with Sophie. She talked about her challenge, the highlights and troublesome times, but clearly had absolute affirmation in herself that what she had done was both worthwhile and necessary. She answered a lingering question that had been hanging over us for the whole week, why do this? The answer is simple, you will not see what you don’t look for. She didn’t know the momentum this project would gather, garnering thousands of a Twitter followers and blogging aficionado. Becoming a beacon of light for budding adventurists and the unmotivated including team Timecode.