New Zealand, 2010. 5:02 min.
Team: Rupert Carr and Benjamin Main
“Softy Hills Adventures” is a television episode, based on the British television series “Man vs. Wild.” The program follows ‘Bear Grylls’ and his heroic adventures across the worlds wilderness, overcoming extreme challenges just to stay alive, living only from what nature has to offer. The theme of the series is to prove how man can survive when put in any situation from volcanos to waterfalls Bear knows exactly how to tackle the situation.
We went for the New Zealand approach, showcasing the beautiful landscape we have in our backyards. Softy Hills shows us how to survive a harsh winter day in McKenzie country of the South Island. We decided that ‘Sebastian Hill’ would be our main character. This wasn’t a hard decision as we thought if any one could pull off Bear Grylls it was him. Queenstown was decided as the first location to film, but after a lot of brainstorming we decided to use it as a scenery location only, and the outskirts of Twizel for the main section of the show. With Bens knowledge of the area we had our set locations in mind and were keen to get up there and start filming. Filming was delayed for a few weeks as Seb had a broken leg and we were waiting for his cast to be removed and he could walk freely on uneven surfaces.
After two trips to Twizel and back and numerous trips to Queenstown we believed we had what when needed to get into editing.
From 6am to 6pm we filmed back to back scenes only stopping for food and driving. Both days of filming the main section were blue skys and sun so everyone was in good vibes. Seb being himself keep the whole crew laughing for ninety percent of the time, as he nailed the part so well and could stay in character all day with only small slip ups. The crew were laughing so much we had to cut just to get everyone to calm down. Prepping Seb in the car on the way up was always easy as he is a big Man vs. Wild fan and knew exactly what we were after.
The McKenzie country Salmon Farm also helped us out with the fish, although it did take us awhile to convince them we weren’t going to do anything inhuman with the fish.
The Queenstown section was done mostly on individual trips as we were not free at the same time due to other commitments but when it came to editing none of the scenes were used any way.
The Dunedin section was minimal as well the only scene that made the cut was the sleeping scene was used as we wanted to do it at night time but couldn’t stay in Twizel till that late.
Overall we both enjoyed making this film, we had a few different ideas from the start but we are glad that we went through with this one. It has been a long time in the editing room and we did have our difficulties but once we finished we were both stoked on how far we had come, from our first cut that was nine minutes long to the final copy.
We now realize how much effort goes into editing and making films.
This project has changed us both on how we now perceive movies and television for the better.