As documentarians, many of our jobs are with small 2 - 4 man teams. Often times getting the best footage requires creating a sense of intimacy with the subject — something that large crews just don’t allow for. But on occasion we get to soup-up our team to accomplish getting shots that are truly challenging to capture. The type of shots in which the margin of error is low and you are up against a clock. Often these shoots come with our client Red Bull, famous for pushing the limits of what can be done both by their world-class athletes and in the capture of those events.
This project was no exception. Working with Red Bull Air Force veterans Mike Swanson and Jeff Provenzano we headed out to Jay, Vermont to capture them parachuting and swooping during peak fall foliage. The lead up was as stressful as the shoot. As anyone who has lived in New England knows the seasons visible change can not be determined by a clock and every week we were waiting to pull the trigger on when exactly the production should happen. In the end, after booking and rebooking travel three times, we made the right call on when to arrive only to be defeated by high winds and rain.
A chance encounter with a local let us in on a secret - that our location was plagued with wind on a daily basis, not to mention the infamous ‘Jay Cloud’. So after losing a day and a bit of shooting on our 2 day shoot, we hustled, found a farm down the street and reworked the concept and some how still made hay.
We are super grateful to our talented team who were able to perform their craft despite constant changes and unexpected events. Our Phantom Tech - Nick Savander, First Camera Op - Adam Nawrot, drone team Johnny Beavers and Jacob Silverman, and our Vermont local knowledge guys New Atlas and the myriad of others who made the shoot possible. Oh, and the various leaf blower operators? Lets not forget about them.