The ad only lasts 25 seconds, but takes in shimmering ice caves, huskie rides through the icy tundra and kayaking along frozen coasts. For viewers, the footage is a dazzling display of the beauty of Iceland and Greenland, as well as a demonstration of how reliable Jack Wolfskin clothing is for outdoor adventurers.
For the team at Beech Studios, those 25 seconds are the culmination of three weeks of gruelling work in one of the most demanding filming environments. Travelling exclusively by dogsled in the freezing cold, the 14-person team needed to be able to set-up and move quickly. It was a good thing then, that they had brought Sachtler’s Video 18 S2 tripod with them.
A demanding brief
The ad forms the centrepiece of Jack Wolfskin’s epic #MakeYourLifeUnforgettable campaign. For Beech Studios and shoot director Peter Döring, this meant not only having to think about how to get the best shots, but also how to get around the many locations in the most effective way possible.
“The biggest challenge was dealing with the cold weather,” said Döring. “Because of the ice, we couldn’t use a car and always had to move by dogsled or motor scooter. We were pretty limited, so we needed to be particular about our equipment. Ultimately, we shot with a RED Dragon and Sony A7 S2 and chose to support it with Sachtler’s Video 18 S2 tripod.”
Aside from the cold, the other logistical problem the crew faced was a complete lack of even shooting surfaces. In an uneven world of ice, snow and mud, Sachtler’s ENG 2 CF with mid-level spreader is a welcome source of stability. Being able to set up instantly on any surface without the need to fiddle with various knobs meant the crew could react quickly and get the best shots. Everything was already rigged, so when it was time to move it was simply a case of picking the tripod up and getting on.
“We always had to hike through wet snow and mud, go uphill, and even do some crawling at times. So in those conditions, Sachtler’s Video 18 S2 fluid head and tripod ENG 2 CF was great.”
The ease of set-up wouldn’t mean a whole lot if the tripod itself weren’t able to withstand the rigours of such a demanding shoot. Sacthler’s Video 18 S2 is light enough to carry for miles, but also sturdy enough to take both lighter and heavier cameras while maintaining consistently smooth movement. When you are battling glacial wind and sub-zero temperatures on a diet of dehydrated food and in desperate need of a shower, being able to fully rely on your gear to do what you need it to is incredibly important.
“If you spend a lot of money on a new camera, lenses, battery packs, grips etc. and you don't equal that investment in a tripod, then that doesn't make much sense,” said Döring. “You need a sturdy tripod; you need to feel the quality when you lift it up, place it on the ground and it just stands there like a rock. It's a good feeling. You don't want to have a tripod that wobbles around because that’s something the customer can recognise in your work. For great work, you need a great tripod and I 100% rely on Sachtler because, in my eyes, they’re the best.”
All the hard work paid off. The result was an action-packed commercial that takes the viewer on a three-week adventure in 25 seconds. For a campaign that asks people to make their lives unforgettable, the Beech Studios team had to embark on their own unforgettable experience across three grueling weeks. In among the many challenges the group faced during that time, setting up and shooting were moments of beautiful simplicity.