No Power? No Problem! These Filmmakers Travelled To Patagonia and Shot a Short Film Without Access to Electricity

by Bret HoyLeave a Comment

At this point, it almost goes without saying, but making a film of any length requires an army’s worth of pre-production. And it’s not all about the creative work. The really important stuff to nail down usually revolves around the supplies, locations and transportation, and in a lot of cases, what you need to actually shoot.

For Brent Foster, a documentary filmmaker shooting a film in collaboration with DJI, powering laptops, cameras and drones was the largest problem when travelling across Patagonia, away from any possible power sources.

One of the reasons I think this subject is so important is because not only does it illuminate a part of shooting that a lot of us never see, it opens up some possibilities for those same shooters who think this kind of thing is almost impossible. It’s empowering to see what’s possible with a bit of preparation.

While a large part of the solution was to bring a boatload of batteries, which the filmmakers did (15 SonyBP-U60’s, 20 Osmo batteries, 15 Inspire batteries, 4 Switronix V-Mounts, and a dozen or so DSLR batteries for each still camera), they also brought a solar generator, made specifically for these types of situations.

What’s even more interesting to see is the final product that these filmmakers were able to put together. It looks and feels like they had all of the resources they could ever want. Incredible work.

The Last Colonizer

Via Vimeo:

To be a gaucho means to be honest and kind to all living creatures. Now in his seventies, Heraldo Riel became a gaucho at the age of nine just like his father before him, and has stayed true to the spirit of his profession while in the midst of a rapidly changing world.

This is a story about being connected to nature and oneself, set in the stunning landscape of Patagonia, Chile, made even more intensely beautiful through the meditation that solitude brings.

Go behind the scenes with Foster Visuals as they adventure three days to get to Mr. Riel:

The Last Colonizer | DJI World | Behind The Scenes

Learn more about the experience through an interview with DJI here:

How to Shoot in the Middle of Nowhere—Without Power

Via No Film School:

Our team at Foster Visuals recently had the chance to travel to Patagonia to tell the story of Mr. Riel, a gaucho who lives in the middle of the mountains in Chile, very close to the border of Argentina. It took almost a year, and we pitched several ideas before we landed on this story, which is told in a manner similar to that of our passion project. It was a win-win for us and DJI both; we all agreed that telling the story of one of the most remotely isolated gauchos in Patagonia was the right project to pursue as the first in a new series DJI was releasing, called DJI WORLD.

My teammates Preston Kanak, Pawel Dwulit, Tammy Foster and I all began planning alongside our fixer Max Cruz for the adventure to come.

Credit: Brent Foster Source: No Film School

Credit: Brent Foster
Source: No Film School

Batteries and data

From the time we left our car and got onto the horses, we had no access to a solid power source. We carried a Goal Zero Yeti 400 with us for some solar charging, but with the cloudy conditions, we knew this wouldn’t be something we could rely on for an extended period of time to charge all our batteries and keep our laptops going.

We brought a ton of batteries with us on this trip to make sure we were well covered. It made flying a pain in the butt, but we wanted to be sure we were going to have enough power on site throughout the trip. In total, approximately 15 Sony BP-U60’s, 20 Osmo batteries, 15 Inspire batteries, 4 Switronix V-Mounts, and a dozen or so DSLR batteries for each still camera came along for the ride.

Every ounce of power needed to be dedicated to the back-up process.
In the end, with solar, we were able to charge about 20 Osmo batteries as well as a couple laptops through the Yeti, but we approached the trip with the idea we would have no access to power whatsoever.

Read full article at No Film School “How to Shoot in the Middle of Nowhere—Without Power”

Note: it is our policy to give credit as well as deserved traffic to our news sources – so we don't repost the entire article – sorry, I know you want the juicy bits, but I feel it is only fair that their site get the traffic and besides, you just might make a new friend and find an advertiser that has something you've never seen before

(cover photo credit: snap from No Film School)

Bret Hoy

Bret Hoy

Bret Hoy is a filmmaker, photographer and writer based out of St. Louis, Missouri. Mainly focused on documentary and experimental film, he has produced, directed, shot and edited many short films and a few long form works.

He shoots a lot and often.
Bret Hoy

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