Monday, December 6, 2010

Aero's Jet!

Someone asked me the other day, “Does Aero really need a jet?” And to that I responded, “Well, do you really need pants?” I mean, technically, no, you could go without either… but they sure are helpful to have, and they enable you to get things done in a way that could never do without.  (And both aid in job security!)

I will elaborate....

During the production of an ambitious Chevy campaign spanning geographically from Aspen to Alaska, the Aero team encountered a potential disaster at Canadian customs. (WHEN MOOSE ATTACK!! I kid. Sorry, I love some good moose humor… Bygones.) We had a truck full of all our camera/grip equipment and planned to drive across Canada to Valdez, Alaska; however, customs officials were intent on holding the truck for 48 hours to check the validity of the paperwork relating to the serial numbers on ALL the gear. We didn’t have 48 hours to sit around, as the shoot was to take place in a remote part of Alaska within 48 hours and once through customs, it was a 25-hour drive. So, this border holdup was unacceptable.  

Moving the shoot wasn’t an option. The time schedule was already very compressed on the agency and client side (as to meet an upcoming airdate) so we were cutting the footage shot in Aspen before we even started shooting in Alaska to compress time in the post process. So basically, the only answer for our problem was to get from Montana to Alaska and circumvent our northern neighbor altogether.  

And this, is when you need a jet.

You rang?

The agency, director and production team had already arrived in Valdez, Alaska and upon hearing the news of the border delay, Aero Chief Pilot, John Vandervort (along with co-pilot/grip and Cinemoves owner, Scott Howell, and cameraman Mark “Sparkles” Reid) began taking out the interior seats of the Aero Jet, thus converting it into a cargo plane! 

Every seat is an aisle seat.

John and Scott

They were wheels up within an hour and were flying to Montana at 500 mph to meet our trucks that had driven back into the US.  They loaded up the plane and the jet departed from Montana, flying directly to Alaska, thus bypassing Canadian bureaucracy. 

Thankfully there is no carry-on limit with Aero...

The morale of the story:  
The gear was in Valdez eight hours after hearing of the predicament. 
Because of the jet.

And to be clear, the Canadians were happy about our problem solving abilities! They weren’t really jazzed to have to meticulously go through every serial number, especially since the gear wasn’t going to a location on their soil.  And could we have hired a private jet when this situation presented itself? Well, sure. But finding a private jet from East No Where, Montana to fly to Mid Bumblefluff, Alaska is no easy feat. Especially within an hour. (There’s sadly no Lens Crafters for jets.)

You can't get this view driving!

We're very happy to report that the shoot was executed in a perfect window of weather and time by Director Klaus Obermeyer and his terrific crew, empowered by our very own time machine. Who needs a Dolorian and a flux capacitor? THAT would be overkill. But pants and a jet? Yes, please.  

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

World Aids Day

December 1 marks World Aids Day and the launch of the Buy Life campaign from Alicia Keys’s organization Keep a Child Alive


Photographers, Markus Klinko and Indrani, donated 5 months to planning, shooting and retouching the photography for the ads that are covering the web, magazines and billboards all over the country. The Buy Life campaign was created by TBWA/Chiat Day in New York with Lisa Topol at the helm.

Aero director, Indrani, explains the campaign best…

"We believe art can save the world. We put the world's most interesting artists in coffins, to provoke everyone to reflect on why they care so much about these people, but ignore millions dying of AIDS who they can save. Our images have a performance art/ interactive aspect--these celebs are making the ultimate sacrifice visually and in their digital lives, and their fans must Buy Life, support Keep A Child Alive, to bring them back. We've donated 5 months' work to this campaign, because we believe in the importance of support Keep A Child Alive's fight against AIDS in Africa and India. The campaign is ongoing, stay tuned for more!"

And by “more” she’s referring to an amazing video that she directed that is currently in post production. Many thanks for the dedicated artists who are helping on that: Eric Carlson and Sue Wladar at China Graph, and Martin Lazaro and Graham Dunglinson at Method Studios NY. The amazing styling and costumes seen on the celebrities can be attributed to the impeccable taste of stylist/costume designer, GK Reid.

Read more about the campaign here, and we’ll post Indrani’s video as soon as it launches. Donate today!! I mean, if I don’t get my regular tweets from Ryan Seacrest, what ever will I do!!!?? I kid! Gotta give the guy kudos for being a part of a great cause. 



Make sure to stop by buylife.org and make a donation TODAY!









Monday, November 22, 2010

From the Aero News Desk...

Happy (almost) Thanksgiving!  I thought I’d take you in to the holiday with a quick News Desk edition of the Aero Blog.  (Feel free to applaud.)  

We have a lot to be thankful this year… including all the work we’ve done with the Richards Group! Watch the “making of” video for the “Truck of the ____” spot which Klaus directed. Get to know Klaus a little better and see the Klaus Cam in action yet again.



We’re also thankful for our new East Coast sales team members Ann Zagaroli and Jolie Miller from Simpatico!


Ann and Jolie recently visited the LA office and were quickly indoctrinated into the Aero family by taking a spin in the heli with director, Ken Arlidge! (What?  Your company doesn't have a hazing ritual?)

Ann, Ken & Jolie.

Lance O’Conner now refers to Ann, Jolie and I as Charlie’s Angels. (Which would be totally sexist if Charlie's Angles weren’t so cool.) Of course it’s uncanny at how well we all execute a good roundhouse kick while wearing high-heeled boots. (Not really… but I like to know you’re paying attention.)

Last but not least, we're thankful for the success and popularity of The Sandpit by Sam O’Hare. Here's Sam at the red carpet for the 2010 AFI Film Festival, where it was included in their shorts program. 

Sam O'Hare

We're even more thankful for the fact that Sam went immediately from the theatre to a night shoot for Lunesta! That spot ships this week, so more on that later…

And finally a big thanks TO YOU for reading and making the Aero Blog one of the top blogs on Blogspot! Over 5000 reads a week! Wooie!  Thank you, thank you!!

Okay, back to work - Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Klaus in Tahiti

Its been all work no play for awhile at the Aero Blog, so thought we’d take it easy a bit and show you Klaus’s vacation photos from Ninamu, a tiny island in Tahiti with one of the most amazing surf breaks in the world. 



Klaus is friends with the guys who run the Billabong Pro tournament at Teahupoo, and this is the island that they found and are creating the ultimate surfers paradise here. There’s only one small corner of the island that gets cell reception that’s been named “Bad News Corner.” You get the vibe of the place, I think! 


A post card from Klaus would read something like, “Hello from Tahiti! Today we rigged a gopro hd camera to the spear to capture a very unusual fishing practice on film that is performed by friend BenniB and a handful of Tahitian waterman in which they chase down Mahi Mahi until they are tired and spear them as they near the boat.” 



Hope you’re not a member of PETA, dear readers, but if ever there was “sport” in fishing, it would be if you did it with a spear! 






And in their freetime they went kite surfing and swam with some whales. Yeeaaah. Last vacation I went on was to Sandals in Jamaica. There were no sharks, and that was a selling point. I didn’t need a spear at any time… Nor do I know where I’d find one other than when I discover metallurgy in Civilization. Alas, this is why I produce and blog and Klaus is the filmmaker!





On a work note, Klaus has actually shot quite a few commercials in this area of Tahiti and has perfected his free-diving and underwater shooting techniques here. (Click here to read the blog that explains this in detail.)  He’s got an amazing local crew that are extremely loyal to him. Check out the Oceana PSA (Tahiti was on of the many locals) and the BMW Surfer spot—which was his first time to the area. 

I will continue to hope that in my next life I come back as Klaus Obermeyer... and not as a tired fish.  But until then, back to work.  Happy weekend!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"The Sandpit" Hits AFI FEST 2010!

Sam O'Hare's short tilt-shift film, The Sandpit, has done it again!

The Sandpit was recently honored in Austria with the Prix Ars Electronica Award of Distinction. This is a prestigious award that took us all by surprise. And now The Sandpit has been selected as one of 31 entrees (out of over 3,000!) in the AFI Fest 2010 Presented by Audi being held in Los Angeles, California November 4th-11th. Not too shabby!


AFI's history is pretty impressive. It was founded in 1967 through the National Endowment for the Arts as a nonprofit aimed to “enrich and nurture the art of Film in America.” Lyndon Johnson signed the legislation that created AFI siting that it was a major step in recognizing film making as a legitimate business and career path. Basically, he tried to calm the fears of all the parents who heard their children say, “I want to be a film director when I grow up!”

But most exciting is that The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences recognizes short film winners from AFI as qualifiers for an Academy Award! But let's not get ahead of ourselves. It's an honor just to be selected. (But getting another Oscar winner/nominee at Aero would be cool... Gary McKendry and James Mangold can’t have all the fun.)

But if all this wasn’t good enough, all tickets to the AFI Festival are FREE! Free movies?! I think popcorn may cost $47, but alas, the TICKET is free! So if you're in LA, get your tickets here. The Sandpit, is part of the Shorts Program 3 on Sunday, November 7th at 3:30 in Mann Chinese Theatre 3 (click here for entire festival schedule).

Again, thanks for all the support! 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sam O'Hare's new tilt shift film, "Coachelletta"

You may remember Aero director, Sam O'Hare's name from the short film, The Sandpit. Well, he has a new film out using the tilt-shift style once again! The short film Coachelletta has just been released. It was commissioned by the Coachella Music Festival and is live on their site now www.coachella.com or see the director cut with vocals in full HD HERE. So give it a look and then read my interview with Sam below for more details on how this film came to fruition.

***

AERO: So The Sandpit did pretty well. Did you ever think 1.8 million people were going to see it?

SAM: Uh, no. No, that took me a little by surprise. I'm still a bit taken aback by it to be honest. It won an award and is being screened at the AFI Film Festival in LA this November. It's been much more popular than my wildest expectations.

AERO: You made a “viral.”

SAM:  HA! I hate that phrase.

AERO: Yes me too! It’s so rarely appropriate… Bygones… After The Sandpit was posted, you were contacted by Goldenvoice who produces the Coachella Music Festival.

SAM: Yeah, they got in touch after they'd seen The Sandpit on Vimeo. They really liked it and said they were looking for somebody to do a film about Coachella and they thought that the style of film (tilt shift) would work really well. I had a week to prep and off I went.

AERO: So what is different about how you created The Sandpit versus Coachelletta? Obviously you didn't need to find rooftops this time.

SAM: Yeah, Coachella is different - it's a big polo field that they commandeer every year for a week or two and put up all the stages, tents and art installations. It's mostly flat, and I wasn't able to get onto any of the structures that they put up. So, to get the high vantage point that I need to shoot from, we ended up using cherry pickers. You know the big booms that extend out to 60 foot and have a cradle you can stand in?

AERO: Yeah, I don't like those. I'm afraid of heights.

SAM: I wasn’t a big fan, but I’ve become pretty used to heights as of late. With the help of the boom operators, I got to put them where I wanted around the edges of the site: behind the stages, in the production area, around the camping sections and the vendors' areas.



AERO: What's your favorite scene in the Coachella film?

SAM: It difficult to pick out an absolute favorite, but similarly to The Sandpit I like the serendipity of occasionally finding people doing interesting things, like the girl doing the hula hoop and the guy dancing in the glowing stick figure outfit. You just see these little unplanned events and shoot them, and that's the fun of the thing, it makes it quite like a documentary like in that respect. I also like the night shots in this - I did a lot of long exposures for these shots, up to two seconds, and so for some of those night shots you kind of get a blur and a shiver to the footage because the boom was actually moving in the wind. I rather like it as it adds to the energy of the night shots as the music track is starting to peak and the whole experience kind of leads up to that point.



AERO: So just to answer some people's questions that they had on The Sandpit, why do you shoot this on a Nikon D3s still camera instead of using a video option like the Canon 5D Mark II?

SAM: Well there are a couple of reasons. Firstly, there was quite a lot of stabilization that needed to be done on this stuff, similar to The Sandpit. Since I was up on booms, and because it was fairly windy most of the time, it wasn't possible to even stabilize the camera on a tripod, so I had to stabilize in post. To do so, you pick points in the footage that you know aren't moving, like the corner of a window and the computer tracks as it moves around in the scene and basically moves the image around each frame to keep that point in the same place. What you need with that is a little more scene around the edge of the frame, because you have to blow it up a little bit to absorb the movement. This means if you're shooting 1080p video and you want to deliver at 1080p, when you blow it up by 10% you're losing quality. Since the stills I was shooting were 2800 pixels wide, you have lots of space to play in. The other thing is that when you shoot on the 5D, it automatically compresses as H.264 and that means when it comes to color grading and tweaking it you have much less latitude. If you're shooting raw files you have an enormous amount you can do in the grade in terms of how you affect the white balance and the colors and all the rest because you've just got the raw light information that's been captured onto the sensor. If you've already run it through a compression, you are much more limited in what you can do. Also, because you can't shoot video at 4 frames a second with the Canon, you can only shoot at 24 so I would have been shooting five frames I didn't need for every one that I did and churning through data very very quickly.

AERO: There’s a moving camera in Coachella, which there wasn’t in The Sandpit.

SAM: Yeah, there are a few shots, actually. I was able to take advantage of the fact that I was on a boom and booms are able to move...

AERO: ...Not so much with The Sandpit as it was shot...

SAM: ...from buildings, yeah. Building aren’t known for moving easily.

AERO: Not so much.

SAM: Yeah, so I was able to do extensions on the boom and shoot while I was doing it. I did try to do a few pans around on the boom too, but they didn't really work as well. The best results were when the jib was either moving straight outwards or booming straight up and down, so I did quite a few of those. The problem with them is that they come out pretty bumpy, as the booms aren't designed to do these things smoothly, so once again all of those shots are stabilized. I'd pick 2 points the same distance away in perspective in the shot and stabilize from those.

AERO: So do you want a giant techno crane for Christmas?

SAM:  Sure! I don't know where I'd put it but....

AERO:   Mmm. True. Any new post effects used in Coachelletta?

SAM: It's really more of an extension of the techniques I started on while I was doing The Sandpit. For that one I spent a little time on some of the shots to add extra 3D information, but for a lot of them I got away with using the standard tilt shift defocus straight across the image. For Coachella I spent time on almost every shot to add in more accurate 3-D depth data for static objects. So you'll notice that vertical bits of the art work seem to stand up off the grass, and the tents and things seem to sit there in 3 dimensions. It means that the defocusing effect happens based more on the actual depth in the shot, so the result is more like what would happen if the scene really was a model. Most of these were rotoscoped in by hand which is pretty time-consuming, but for some I also pulled keys and mattes. The result isn't completely perfect, but I was happy with the overall effect.



AERO: How many frames did you shoot?

SAM: A little over 50,000.

AERO: Are you the most patient person on the planet?

SAM: Not really! Adobe Lightroom helps quite a bit!

AERO: The music on the film is super catchy.

SAM: I approached Human, who did the music for The Sandpit and because we had such a good experience working with them last time and they did such a great job. It's very different feel to the last one, I wanted to have something that felt summery and energetic would fit the experience the festival. They did an awesome job, I was very very happy with it. They’re just fantastic musicians and composers.

AERO: Awesome, thank so much Sam! What are you going to miniaturize next?

SAM: Not sure, maybe I’ll blow something up instead.

AERO: Good plan. You can never go wrong with blowing stuff up.

Check out more of Sam’s work HERE

Friday, October 1, 2010

Keep A Child Alive

Aero Film photographers Markus Klinko and Indrani were honored to shoot the latest work for the charity, Keep a Child Alive which aims to support HIV/AIDS victims in Africa and India. The photographs of Alicia Keys, Kim Kardashian, Katie Holmes, Swizz Beats, Usher, Jay Sean and Ryan Seacrest were unveiled last night at the Black Ball fundraiser for Keep a Child Alive. Markus and Indrani’s signature look is apparent in this latest work—simple but a touch celestial. 

Swizz Beats

Ryan Seacrest

Katie Holmes

Usher

Alicia Keys


Jay Sean

Kim Kardashian

As you may be able to tell from the code on their shirts, this new campaign utilizes the Stickybits and Wimo Apps which allow you to scan the code on the celeb’s shirt with your camera phone. After you scan the celeb chest of choice (ahem!), the App facilitates placing the donation through your wireless account. (You can also text the celebrity’s first name to 90999.)


Stay tuned for more work on this campaign with more celebrity talent portraiture coming out through the end of the year… and whip out that phone and make a donation if you can! 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

From the Aero News Desk...

Busy busy busy! Take that recession! (I am knocking on wood and throwing salt over my shoulder. Just in case.)

Here are a few tidbits from our news desk:

Aero is proudly displaying artwork from East London artist, Declan McMullan. We’re big art buffs and our Santa Monica office is a great gallery space. So when Declan asked us if we would hang his work, it didn’t take much arm twisting. His last series, a collection of sculptures called “The Ladder Series,” were shown throughout St. John on Bethnal Green Church in London. Apparently, he’s into grand venues! Sure, we’re a tad smaller… but I bet we have nicer light and that we are more convenient to the best sushi restaurant ever (The Hump). I digress… Declan is an amazing artist and we’re honored to show his work. He’s worked with fellow Brit, Tracey Emin, at the Gagosian in LA.

So drop by Aero reception and enjoy!

Declan McMullan's artwork @ Aero.
We are still super excited about our newest family member, Tim Matheson!

Tim Matheson
Please take a look at his reel as he's truly a treasure with an amazing sense for comedic timing, and in true Aero form, can shoot a great action sequence as well!

And last but NOWHERE near least, Aero director, Sam O'Hare, has another short film coming out! After releasing his tilt-shift short, The Sandpit, he was approached by the Coachella Music Festival to create a film this year’s festival in Palm Springs, CA. He spent several days in the desert on the top of many a cherry picker. The film launches on October 1st at Coachella.com! We'll (obviously) keep you posted on this and post the link when it’s available. Again, big big thanks to Human Music in NY for creating a brilliant score for the film.

"Bird at night" still from Coachella
Okay, time to get back to work and clean up all this salt on my floor. Have a great rest of the week!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Aero Aerials!

We’ve told you a lot about the Klaus Cam and how it enhances Aero's Aerials, but its high time (see what I did there!?) to talk about the man that truly makes the Klaus Cam so impressive. (Not to toot our own horn but TOOT TOOT!  He does a good job.)  Please meet our helicopter pilot, Craig Hosking:



Craig Hosking


Craig is the guy who flies the helicopter and puts the Klaus Cam in dead accurate position for shooting. Imagine putting a camera a few feet away from your talent's face (most recently, Julia Roberts' face), whilst said camera is hanging off a 80 foot cable AND you’re flying the helicopter that the cable is attached to. Yeah, not a job you find on Craigslist!  But this is precisely the skill Craig (no relation to the list) exercises on a daily basis.  He balances the speed and the placement of the helicopter to make the camerawork smooth with perfect framing… and he makes sure not to bonk the talent on the noggin. (Which, as a producer, I am very thankful for... as is the talent, I'm sure.)

He was also at the helm (or whatever the phrase is for a helicopter) for a recent Chevy Truck spot directed by Klaus Obermeyer. (And while trucks don't have a noggin to whack into, it’s never good to have a camera and truck in a face off.  Which insurance companies all around are grateful for.)  Give this video a watch for some behind the scenes footage.  (Note: Craig is on the right and Klaus is flying shotgun.)

Eat Pray Love was Craig’s experience with Julia Roberts, where he and Scott Howell from CineMoves (Klaus Cam designer) went to Bali for 2 weeks of aerial photography to capture shots that were only possible with the Klaus Cam.   Many of Craig’s scenes were in the Eat Pray Love trailer, which I’m guessing you may have seen 3000 times as it apparently had the biggest media buy in history, so we cut it down to the good parts for your viewing pleasure (and sanity).  Additionally, Craig was the Aerial Coordinator on Inception, Dark Knight, Quantum of Solace, Aviator and countless others like Hot Tub Time Machine…? Oh IMDB, you air out everyone’s secrets!

"HOW did he get into this odd line of work," you ask?  Excellent query!  Craig got into the business following in his father’s footsteps. (Or "flysteps.")  He started flying when he was a teenager and moved into precision long line delivery for mining projects. That skill for precision flying translated into becoming a film pilot.  Craig has shot and flown in over 50 countries and loves nothing more than capturing a shot where people have no idea how it was done. The end shot in Eat Pray Love does that, as well as the snow plow shot in Klaus’s Ram spot where he had the camera suspended in front of the truck as it drives through virgin snow. Russian Arm can’t do it, regular heli mount can’t either… And THIS challenge is what keeps Craig flying.

See more of Craig’s work here!





Friday, August 20, 2010

Music!

We are  all big music buffs at Aero Film. Tracks can definitely make or break commercial, and the most beautiful film can be tarnished by a plinky-plunky dud of a musical score. So, we are very grateful to our musical friends who create amazing tracks for our spots!

Shoot Magazine just named their 10 Best Tracks of the year, and 2 of Klaus's spots are on the list!  #5 is Fruit of the Loom "Comfortably" by the Wojahn Brothers. It gets stuck in your head and we seem to hum it around the Aero office, so thank goodness its a great piece or that would get really annoying!  #10 is Klaus's Oceana PSA "Fast", created by Nylon. We've worked with them quite a bit--Ken Arlidge's Kaiser work, as well as other Oceana and Obermeyer Ski Wear spot. They always create something beautiful and are incredibly collaborative.

Want to thank Human music as well, as they just scored Sam O'Hare latest short film which will launch in September. They did an amazing job on The Sandpit, and this new piece is just as poignant for the film. Its a completely different vibe, but just perfect.


Next week we'll feature Aero Aerials. (Say that 5 times fast...)  Have a great weekend!  

UPDATE:  OH MY!  Since posting Klaus' spot for Fruit of the Loom, "Comfortably" has been named Top Spot of the Week by SHOOTonline!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Updates from the Aero Film News Desk...

It's been a great week here at Aero Film! Huzzah!

First, Aero director, Klaus Obermeyer, didn't get eaten sharks. I repeat, he was NOT eaten by sharks. (This is actually news in our office.)

You're gonna need a bigger boat, Klaus.”

Second, Klaus' Fruit of the Loom spot got a wonderful shout-out on AdFreak.com. We loved working on this campaign. It's fresh, it's fun and the Klaus Cam got to go for a ride in the desert. Win/win all around.

Third, Marcus & Indrani's augmented reality shorts for fashion designer Marc Ecko are up and running! 

Print out the glyph, turn on your webcam and watch Marc Ecko's muse, Lindsay Lohan, come to life in the palm of your hand. You can actually interact with her and even record your “conversation” and post it online! (For a bigger explanation of what augmented reality is and how its being used in the media world, check out this article on How Stuff Works.)

Fourth, Klaus sent some amazing photos from Valdez, Alaska where he was shooting a job for Chevy Trucks. Thank goodness it’s sea life that doesn’t have teeth for once…

 
Aero Director and DP Bill Ahrens gets the award for prettiest fish.

 Shamu’s cousin says, 'Hi.'


 Klaus and his future dinner.

Will all this fit in carry-on luggage?

Phew! That's all from our news desk for today. Check back next week for more updates and to see what nautical sea creature Klaus has decided to poke with a stick. I wish I was kidding....

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Swimming with Sharks

There are few things that surprise me anymore while working for Aero as lots of crazy things happen in our offices and on our shoots.  (I mean "good crazy" not "angry with a hatchet crazy."  Just to be clear.)  So, yesterday I’m reading through emails and I get one from Lance O’Conner, Owner and EP of Aero who’s in the Santa Monica office.  There are a LOT of exclamation points and words in the subject line that aren’t fit for a classy blog such as this.   Lance is a spirited man, so I took it with a grain of salt… Until I saw the photos and put it all together.

Let me explain:  Aero director, Klaus Obermeyer, decided to hang out with some great white sharks. No, this is not code.  And no, not in a Kevin Spacey/crazed assistant sort of way either.  I mean this LITERALLY. Klaus was in shark infested waters. On purpose. What’s more insane... I wasn’t at all surprised.

Let me explain further: When I first met Klaus, I knew he was a pretty ballsy kind of guy.  It was 2003 and I was still on the agency side of life, and was shooting a surfing spot with him. On Day 2 of knowing Klaus, we’re on a boat off the coast of Tahiti. (It’s a tough gig, but someone’s gotta do it.) Behind us, we were towing a small speedboat that we were going to use for the shoot. The speedboat was owned by a local who ran surf camps and was a good friend of Klaus, who is also an avid surfer (of course). 

Clockwipe to 45 minutes into the trip to our location when a HORRIBLE storm hits. It was basically the beginning credits to Gilligan’s Island. We were all getting tossed around like popcorn in a hot popper and unlike the passengers on the SS Minnow, I'd not packed a years worth of clothing for a 3 hour tour.  In short, panic set in, which was not at all quelled when Lance leaned over and told me, “Just don’t fall in the water, there are sharks out there.” AWESOME.  (However, on this trip I learned that even though I’m not a strong swimmer, I am GREAT at hiding in the corner of a boat and whimpering.) 

The situation only got worse. Two minutes later, the speedboat comes untethered from our boat. The owner looks near tears, as he’d been saving up for this boat, and it was the first time taking it out, and now it’s about to be lost at sea. So what happened next, you ask?  KLAUS JUMPS IN THE WATER.  When I heard a giant SPLOOSH, I poked out from my huddled position and yell to Lance, “Did the director just jump in the shark infested water during a giant storm?!?” Lance replies, “Oh sure! He needs to get his friend’s boat.” I quickly envisioned the mounting paperwork explaining to the production insurance as to why we couldn’t shoot since our director was eaten by a shark… But, like all ballsy heros, Klaus emerged from the water unscathed with the speedboat safe and sound and I swear I could hear a John Williams score in the background. Later on, like any good producer, I questioned Klaus about why he thought jumping into water with sharks was a good idea and he brushed it off, “Oh, they’re just Tiger Sharks…” Oh sure, like that makes it a Koi pond, mister.

Back to the present… lunch time at the Aero office. Skip Short (another Owner/EP in Santa Monica, and helicopter pilot) goes for an afternoon fly in his chopper. He calls Klaus saying that he’s spotted some sharks off the coast. Klaus runs out of his house, gets in his boat and Skip guides him from the sky to the point in the ocean where the Great Whites are swimming. Klaus then kayaks out to them (because you can’t just motorboat up on a shark, you know.) 

Here are the photos…. There aren’t words….. 


I'm just glad he didn't jump in... but I haven't opened up today's emails yet.  I'll keep you posted.


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