And we’re back with part two of the Filmmakers Interview with Confluence Films principals Chris Patterson and Jim Klug. You can read the first part of the interview here.
- What was the film shot on? Cameras, etc.
CP: Well there’s our underwater drone, mini-sub, an 8K ultra-slow motion camera and … Actually what’s funny is that with every other project that I work on and shoot these days (car commercials, Warren Miller films, Hollywood productions) I am constantly using all kinds of big fancy camera’s, cranes, dollies, helicopters and all the trendy gear. When I shoot these films for Confluence, however, I always go with the simple approach of an old-school documentary filmmaker. I actually keep the gear small and simple and typically shoot with Canon DSLR cameras – both above and below the water. It’s such a great system for these types of films. In the places we shoot these movies, it’s paramount that you keep up with the story as it unfolds, so we can never be inhibited or slowed down by our gear. We need to be mobile and ready to roll all the time.
- It’s a long way from Montana. What pushes you boys to the ends of the earth?
CP: Honestly, today it’s getting harder and harder to really WOW people with movies and locations. I can get pretty negative sometimes about how there are so many people making so many movies about this and that. At times it feels like “everything has been already done.” Then, something new comes up and a great story or great location inspires me. The Providence project was a perfect challenge for us to make into a film.
JK: There is no doubt that the world is getting a lot smaller these days, and with the advent of Instagram, social media and all kinds of instant “video shorts,” it is definitely getting harder to show people something that they have yet to see. The great thing about fishing films is that often times, fish live in places that would never be visited or seen were it not for the promise of great fishing. These places are often hard to get to and expensive, but the sponsors that we have with Confluence have always been great about supporting these types of adventurous projects.
- Tell us about you living accommodations / mothership?
CP: I have been a Cousteau fan since childhood, so I’ve always loved our the concept of long-range “live-aboard” trips. Our boat was big and solid and definitely felt like an expedition ship. We would bust ass all day and work hard to the point of exhaustion, so a comfortable room with air conditioning and plenty of cold beer at the end of the day was a huge help. And really, an army marches on its stomach. I think Napoleon said that. The kitchen on the boat produced some incredible meals.
JK: It was a great platform for the weeks that we were out there. I definitely felt like we were living aboard the Belafonte from The Life Aquatic. I felt like Steve Zissou should be captaining the boat, and all of us should be wearing red beanies.
- I had requested that you film a segment on the flats around Somalia that looked promising on Google Earth. Doesn’t appear that it made the cut. What gives?
CP: I think that’s what we’re planning for the next movie. We also want to extend an invite to you and Danny. We’ll need some key logistics guys when it comes to negotiating ransoms.
- Is this a trip that people will be able to do in the future?
JK: For sure. We are already booking and offering this trip through Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures. Its not a trip that is suited for everyone, but for those that want the finest GT action in the world in a fishery that is huge, pristine and totally untouched, this is a great trip. I would have to say that there is no place like it on the planet.
- What do your wives think of your shenanigans?
CP: By now they hardly notice that we’re gone, but they’re also probably happy we have them on speed dial on the SAT phone. I think that both Jim and myself were traveling like this and doing these types of adventures since before either of us were married, so the wives are definitely used to our travel schedules and bizarre destinations.
- Any film festivals on the horizon?
CP: Not yet. We’re focused on editing, finalizing things and keeping our heads down to make sure we get this story ready for the big screen in October. There will for sure be dozens of screenings events throughout the country on October 15 (check the Confluence Films website for locations and details) and I’m sure some film festivals down the road a bit.
- Knowing Jim’s dietary restrictions (strictly meat and potatoes) what the hell did he eat the whole trip?
CP: Jim usually brings a lot of energy bars and beef jerky along. He’s also big on Pringles. I have seen him survive for weeks on these travel staples.
- You two are at the top of the heap with regards to fly fishing film-making. Any advice you’d care to share with the legions of aspiring video makers?
CP: Thanks John. To anyone aspiring to make these sorts of films, I’d tell them to do whatever they can to always approach the process with a new perspective. Don’t simply copy a style or technique that has already saturated the genre. Like I said earlier, at times you’ll feel like “everything has been done,” but if you look hard, you can find something that feels new and inspiring. With regards to “technique,” try not to use too many gizmo’s and try not to over-use the slow-motion button. I see so many short films that literally look and feel identical. Take a leap of faith and try something (a different technique) that seems a bit risky. In the end, you’ll feel better about it (especially if it works). For me, I didn’t shoot a frame of slow motion on this movie, as I wanted it to feel as “natural” as possible.
JK: I honestly believe that the huge surge in video projects and films has been great for fly fishing. The more people that are exposed to this sport – that see just how cool and how wild fly fishing really is – the better. Yes, it is frustrating at times when you see more and more people on the water, but we all need to remember that in time when conservation, public lands and access are all in the crosshairs of some seriously destructive people, that more people involved ultimately means more voices that can and will stand up for our resources and our sport. Fly fishing films can give a great voice to these issues, and I always believe that it is a great thing.
- What’s next?
CP: It’s funny that whenever I finish putting one of these films together, I sometimes assume that “I’ll never want to do it again.” The reality, however, is totally the opposite. When the movie is done, I am climbing the walls to make something else. The sense of accomplishment just pushes me further towards the next project. Hopefully by November we are off on another journey. Jim never rests. He seriously does not stop. He’s already got another great movie idea that he is presenting to our faithful partners, but in today’s world we’ll keep that idea quiet for now!