Behind-The-Scenes Film: REV'IT! Sports International Utah Catalog Shoot
Five Days, three locations, and some of the most epic locations on earth
When I was 16 my family, all five of us, went on a cross country trip in a station wagon. We started the trip in Massachusetts and reached Las Vegas, NV before turning
around to do the drive home. At the time I cannot honestly say that I loved every minute of the trip. The first geyser was exciting, the 8th, not so much - but the one
part of the trip that I fell in love with was the west - Colorado, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, and the long stretches of road between them. I must have been a cowboy in
a past life, because I loved it there.
Since then I have been back to Utah and Nevada on numerous occasions - sometimes to ski, sometimes to photograph in Moab, Page, or Sedona, and last year to
visit the Grand Canyon - a first since I was 16. To say that I love it there would be an understatement, so when I got an e-mail from Gregor Halenda, a NY
photographer that I had filmed back in April of 2011, asking if I'd like to create a BTS film for REV'IT! Sports International in UTAH - I didn't think twice.
Once again Gregor Halenda was the photographer. Gregor has become one of the go to photographers for commercial bike companies since he is both an expert
rider and very talented commercial photographer. This time, instead of the gritty streets of NYC, the backdrop was the beautiful state of Utah - and more specifically
the Salt Flats near Wendover, UT; Goblin Valley, Utah; and Hurrah Pass in Moab, Utah.
REV'IT chose to come to the U.S. for their catalog shoot because of the openness and epic beauty of these three locations. It's no
secret that bikers love adventure, curvy roads, and speed - and these locations allowed Gregor to capture these emotions and feelings
for REV'IT's catalog. My job was to capture these same emotions and feelings for their BTS film.
With almost any commercial shoot I try to use a local cinematographer as a second shooter. For this shoot I was fortunate to get Ben
Pieper, a California based filmmaker, who just so happened to be in the Utah area the week of the shoot. Ben had his new van filled
toys tools of the trade. Kessler Crane, Motorized time-lapse head, Slider, tripods, cameras, lights, and more.
You have no idea how nice it is to fly into a city with my own gear, only to find my second shooter with twice that amount.
The shoot started off at the Salt Flats, during Speed Week. Speed Week is a one-week period where anyone, with virtually any type of motorized
vehicle, can come to the salt flats to put the pedal to the metal. There are no speed limits here. Many speed records have been set and broken
on the flats.
The shoot consisted of two models; Gino, the motorcycle rider wearing REV'IT! clothing, and the long-legged blonde bombshell wearing - well not wearing
too much. The goal of the shoot was to capture the emotion of taking part in an all-out, let's break a speed record, race - without actually doing that.
After all, these bikes were on loan.
The second location of this 5-day trip was Goblin Valley State Park. If you have never heard of Goblin Valley think of it as sort of a cross
between Mars and Moab. No bikes at this location as they weren't allowed. Instead Gregor and Gerby, REV'IT's Creative Director, spent about an hour scouting
for locations to shoot background plates. They would use the captured images from Goblin Valley as a backdrop to the images they planned to capture in Moab.
This would give them the look they wanted without having to worry about the lack of permits at Goblin Valley.
The next day we headed out to Hurrah Pass in Moab, Utah. The location they found in Hurrah Pass was incredible, the true definition of epic. Our location sat high
above the valley floor with incredible vista's in every direction. We spent the day at this location getting everything set and then basically waiting for the light
to be perfect. As the day progressed we could hear thunder off in the distance as clouds were building around us. A quick look at the weather radar showed that we would
most likely be passed over by the storm - however the radar didn't warn us of the wind & dust storm that kicked up without warning - sending the crew back to their vans,
and the bike handler out to secure the bike. As quickly as the dust storm came in, it left - and in its aftermath was the most beautiful light you could ask for. Gregor
and the crew got the bike and model into position and started capturing until the light went down behind the mountains.
The last day of the shoot, our fourth location, was located at the base of Hurrah Pass, under a large red rock boulder. The setup consisted of a campfire, dirty riders & bikes,
and a camping tent. This lifestyle shot was to depict the riders winding down after a long day on the road. The images captured here would be used as the foreground to
the plates Gregor captured in Goblin Valley. Everything was all set to go, all we were waiting for was sunset. While we waited I took the opportunity to interview Gerby and Gregor
to compliment other live audio captured during the week and to help the edit along when needed.
This was my second opportunity to work with Gregor and once again he and his crew welcomed us and made us feel part of their family. I can't imagine too many shoot locations that will
ever match the week we spent in Utah, but I'm willing to shooting and traveling to find them. I hope you enjoy the final film we created for REV'IT!. The photographs at the end of the
film were some of the final images created by Gregor and his editing team for REV'IT!.