In September I was asked by the Japanese advertising agencies Hakuhodo and Aoi Pro to take part in a year-long project shooting the new Subaru Forester as it began a drive around the world through some its toughest terrain. I shot stills alongside a motion/TVC production headed by the Australian cinematographer Daniel Ardilley with the Australian production handled by Dynamite Productions. I felt pretty lucky to be involved in this production as I knew I was going to be going to parts of Australia that I probably would never get the chance to go see otherwise and I’d be able to go up in a helicopter to get some great views of the incredible Aussie outback landscape.
We first shot in a rather desolate spot outside of Broken Hill, where all the old Mad Max films were shot. While we were shooting we had to endure temperatures of 38°C and higher and the only things that seemed to occupy this blazing landscape aside from the occasional dry shrub were flies. Lots and lots of flies. It was my first time out in the real desert of the outback and I wasn’t prepared for how that fine red dust gets into everything, so I spent most of my downtime when I wasn’t shooting cleaning my camera and lenses. On our shoot in the Flinders Ranges we were climbing hills in 4x4s so steep that we ran the risk of flipping backwards. I still remember our location scout telling us before we had to drive up the longest, steepest hill of the track to get to one of our locations, “You have to commit to it and go forward and not stop. If you hesitate or stop, you will roll backwards and probably die. You’ll also probably kill whoever is behind you.” Nice. I don’t tell my wife about those parts of the job.
Still, I had a blast shooting alongside a fantastic crew and production team and I enjoyed working with my clients so much that it inspired me to start learning Japanese. They were happy enough with my work on the Australian production that they brought me out to Norway in December to shoot another leg of the Forester’s journey around the world. (I’ll post images from that in a week or two.)