Bristol was the first location, the epicentre of Research and Development where new developments in the safety and operation of powered access are designed and prototyped. The night before the shoot we stayed up late, carefully examining the storyboard approved by the client weeks before. Along with our new wireless follow focus the new 422 10 Bit update for the GH5 was a little more than a week old and excitement for the shoot began to build. This was our chance to shoot something all in house, using brand new equipment pushing ourselves as film makers rather than drone op
The wireless follow focus/cine prime combo enabled us to get one of our personal favourite shots the film. Whilst Harry tracked around the designer, Matt remotely pulled focus from him proudly looking up at his machine to the machine itself where the operator was stood, thumbs up in approval. Stunning.
In Bristol we were also fortunate enough to get into the Concorde museum before the public had access. It just so happened that Nationwide Platforms were being used to give the speed bird a final polish after she was moved to the museum, an opportunity that we simply could not miss for this film. What a beast, just being in the presence of it was awe inspiring, knowing the journeys and the speeds that that machine had travelled was just incredible, in fact this very Concorde (G-BOAF) was the last to be built and sadly the last to fly. Bagged a few selfies both inside and outside obviously, couldn't possibly miss out on a potential new profile pic.
The very next week we were off to Toulouse.
Toulouse, incredibly picturesque and about as quintessentially French as it gets. We managed to grab an insane deal on a stunning Air BnB, a beautifully small, but perfectly adequate, pent house apartment with a cast beer from our host on arrival. This was to be our base for a couple of days filming in this stunning City, and quite the base it was. Here we were focusing on the French side of the company, managed to get the drone out for this one, filming along some superb French countryside lanes. Without a cloud in the sky and the September sun blazing down on us it meant for some incredible lighting for this scene.
Without the chance to recce the sites we were allowed to film on, and with no idea as to exactly what kind of machine usage we’d be able to capture we had to plan shots as soon as we arrived on each site and think about exactly how they would fit in with our overall vision for the project. Little did we know that we’d get the opportunity to shoot the world renowned German artist Hendrik Beikirch. Hendrik was very happy to let us shoot him in action using a Loxam machine to meticulously paint a portrait on the side of a building using paint brushes rather than spray cans. This gave us a wonderful tie in with a later section of the film where a painter uses a Nationwide machine to paint a house, playing into the notion that this company helps people achieve anything where working at height is required, whether it be a huge painting on the side of a tower block or an old house in the Scottish Highlands.
First experience of flying to Scotland, an experience to say the least. The air hosts having to sprint up and down the aisle to flog as much produce as possible in the insanely short time we’re actually up in the air. It reminds me almost of a paper round scene from on old 80s film, whereby the papers (coffees and beers in this case) are almost flung onto you on the way past. Personally my favourite country in the world I was very excited about heading up here to film. The aim of this section was to show the MEWPS in a rugged landscape, the peaks of mountains with the hint of snow still clinging on to the summit before the next winter downfall in the background. We managed to get lost, which in Scotland is never a bad thing. Driving round aimlessly for a few hours meandering our way through the mountains of the Cairngorms, snaking past various Lochs. It really is a beautiful country.
36 Hours in Dubai, that was it, to visualise, position and capture the shots required. Arriving in the hotel red eyed and exhausted at 2am we had 5 hours rest before getting stuck in to the day at 7am. People always mention the heat out there, you never quite realise just what its like until you first step out of the cool and crisp air conditioned hotel lobby into what feels like a dense wall of humid hot air. Off to the building site it was, trousers and shirts were required due to various health and safety legislation, this, quite obviously, did not help the overwhelming temperature changes we’d experienced in the last 24 hours. Somewhat moist and drained from the ‘sleep’ we’d had we managed to crack on and nail the shots we were after. The MEWPS looking great against the backdrop of the desert, really encapsulating the globalisation of this company and the message we were aiming to create ‘any destination, no challenge beyond our reach’ etc. etc.
Managing our equipment during this incredibly short visit, in the blistering heat was a challenge in itself. Batteries nearing their maximum operating temperature meant we had to nail shots first time and get back under the shade as quickly as possible to wipe the sweat off our foreheads before planning and executing the next shot or scene. We had storyboarded rough sections for the film however given that there was no time to recce plans had to be thought up and shot on site with little to no time in the schedule to retake. Thankfully everything went according to plan, no equipment was taken at customs and as you can see, the results slot straight in-between ‘properly’ storyboarded sections very well, matching the more traditional shoot style we were aiming for quite well.
Cutting from beautiful countryside to massive construction projects such as the MerseyLink in one single project to show the scope of work this company is involved in took a little fiddling. Using traditional straight cuts with no fancy transitions we linked sections of the film using common movement direction and subject.
One thing that we feel this film represents well is the togetherness of the company and how everyone from the Bristol ‘Aladdins Cave’ R&D Department to the Rental Desk of Dubai work together like a well oiled machine to deliver to clients both big and small across the globe.