11 Mar 2016

Falling to My Death… Filming “Desolate Places”

Why falling to my death?  Well there’s a story.  There’s always a story 🙂

First, listen to the “Lost Discovered” Spotify playlist while reading this.

Back to the story.  After our first trip for LOST // DISCOVERED: Arizona, we all knew we had to do another trip AND I had to make another film.  I mean how could we not!?  So we ventured out a little further.  We drove through Arizona, to Utah, to Colorado, to New Mexico, and back home.  HOLY CRAP it was rad!

Now to the “falling to my death” part because I can’t keep it in anymore.  The four of us were hiking in Zion National Park… in the middle of the night! We wanted to hike up to a specific view point and take long exposure shots.  Because why not right!?  Well I was leading everyone on the trail (without a flashlight).  Monopod with camera attached on one shoulder, and tripod with DSLR attached on the other shoulder.  To my right was solid rock/mountain.  To my left was railing and a cliff with quite the drop off.  As I was walking, I hadn’t noticed that the path dipped a little.  I slipped and landed on my right shoulder dropping my cameras.  I started to slip underneath the railing and barely grabbed hold of the railing before watching it pass over me.  Jason Williams rushed over and pulled me up since I was dangling there with one arm on the railing.

I was totally fine and my cameras were fine.  I said lets keep moving.  Then we cam around this bend and saw where I slipped.  If I hadn’t caught that railing, well… I wouldn’t be writing this right now.  I wouldn’t have made it home to my wife and kids.  It was a very haunting thought and it really didn’t hit me till I was trying to go to sleep that night.

Now that i’ve told you that story, let me go more into the film.

Photo by Mike Olbinski

Photo by Mike Olbinski

This was so much different than the first LOST // DISCOVERED.  I had more experience, more confidence, better gear, and more of an idea of the story I wanted to tell.  There were some challenges though.  First, lets go over the gear list:

  • Canon C100 mark 2 & mark 1
  • Sigma Art 35mm 1.4
  • Sigma Art 18-35mm 1.4
  • Canon 50mm 1.4
  • Canon 85mm 1.2
  • Rokinon 85mm 1.5 (cine lense)
  • Defy G5 Gimbal
  • DJI Phantom Professional
  • Manfrotto Monopod 561BHDV
  • Canon 5d Mark 3 (for random photos)

The challenges I faced were mainly the amount of gear.  Having a gimbal set up is so great.  But not so great when you have to hike a mile in the snow.  Lugging around that stuff became incredibly difficult when the RV seems so far away.  There was even a moment where we hiked up to a waterfall and I realized that I wanted my gimbal.  So I had to hike back down.  Run to the RV and hike back up.  I even tried getting the RV closer up the path but it just couldn’t handle the ice and snow on the road.  I was very grumpy by the time I got to the waterfall.

Other challenges were drone challenges.  Figuring out how to get a shot the way I wanted it too.  One shot I wanted was the RV between these massive mountains.  So I got in the passenger seat, flew the drone while we were driving.  Super risky and at the time I wasn’t sure if that was legal or not.  But challenges need to be conquered.

Photo by Andrew Fleming

Photo by me 🙂

This trip and this film really brought out the filmmaker in me.  Dealing with cold weather, long hikes, lots of gear, and being the only one filming made me become a better filmmaker and story teller.

Lastly, the voice over.  No… the WORDS!  Man they were incredible weren’t they?  I’d like to credit for those words but I can’t.  Mark Apel who is a good friend of Jason Williams was willing to write those words for us.  I merely did the voice over and tried to get the right tone for the film and enhance the message of the words.  But man… seriously his words are unreal!

Well here you go.  Enjoy the second film in the Lost Discovered series – “Desolate Places”.  Submitted it to some film festivals and hoping for the best.  This has such a great message that I would love for others to hear and become inspired.

LOST // DISCOVERED: Desolate Places from Jay Worsley on Vimeo.

Also, Mike Olbinski made this little BTS video with an DJI Osmo.  Definitely check it out!

Lost//Discovered: The Other Side from Mike Olbinski on Vimeo.

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