Don’t Even Think About Making a Fly Fishing Film Without These Shots
Most of the fly fishing film fests, tours and khaki-plaid-flat-brim-mesh-puffy-coat bashes are winding down for the year. We’re actually starting to fish for real, in nature. But, in my tireless quest to provide unsolicited advice to filmmakers, I watched this year’s films intently, took careful notes, and want to make the world a better place by sharing some insights.
This year I attended the International Fly Fishing Film Festival (IF4), Fly Fishing Film Tour (F3T) and the Orvis Down the Hatch Film Fest (DTH15). Tongue temporarily removed from cheek, I have to say I personally enjoyed these events more than I have in years, the IF4 and Orvis event especially. For me, the F3T dragged this year. Never one to hold back an opinion, I think you could/should edit half of the content out of the F3T films. That said, the majority of the 2015 films brought it.
My most epic triumvirate 2015:
- Ungava: No Man’s Land by Hooké (holy uber epic, watch trailer below)
- Streamers Inc. (sheds light on a serious issue)
- Salt 365 (accessible, unique, colorful)
- Sensei (Hank and April in one place, watch trailer below)
- Distracted (cutthroats are rad)
- Out of Touch (slowmo redfish takes galore)
In true Hank Patterson fashion, I’m going to take some credit for this year’s solid class by pointing out that last year I insightfully identified the phrases that basically poison your film. One would be tempted to say that I’m 90% responsible for this year’s goodness but I have Google Analytics and I know how many people read that post. I’m, statistically speaking, 85% responsible. The rest was totally due to the energy, talents, and efforts of dedicated filmmakers.
Watching all of these films, I came up with the “The definitive list of shots you must include for your fly fishing film to be monster Epic in 2016.” Yes, Fly Out, I said epic too and that’s even a capital E on that epic. Admittedly, Hank Patterson, did put together something like this once, but that was way back in like 2013 and times change. I watched an Adipose boat load of fish movies this year and I can spot trends. These are the bleeding edge.
The definitive list of shots you must include for your fly fishing film to be monster Epic in 2016.
This was the quintessential shot of the year. If you didn’t have it you just weren’t that epic. See Peter Christensen for how to pull it off like a boss and Hooké seems to have access to the best polar bear talent around.
Slowmo Walking in a Line
We all do it. It’s natural to walk in perfect lines with your crew in everyday life, but it’s especially natural while negotiating uneven freestone stream bottoms, the boggiest of bogs, and tangled evergreen forests in expensive waders. These places are made for walking in lines and practically begging to be shot at 120 FPS. Capture this or your film will just be blah.
Everyone knows casting is ugly in real time.
Slowmo Fly Takes
Noticing a trend? Well good. Don’t even think about making a film if you don’t get some epic fish eating flies like fat gluttons so you can slow it down for artistic effect.
Slowmo Hook Sets
It is absolutely imperative that you also capture the perfect amount of line spray. Too much or too fast and you just look sloppy.
Slowmo Fish Jumps
No, for reals. See Hooké and Sharptail Media for a master class.
Slowmo Fish Lifting
We all want to relish this special moment of triumph with you for about forever and slowmo let’s you drag this special time out ad infinitum. However much we want to see the one-hour fish lift, in real life this needs to be a quick one-take. Keep ’em wet, yo!
Slowmo High Fives
Round out your slowmo shots with this one. And now that the time taken up by slowmo has helped your little short become a full feature we can move on.
Epic Beard Shot
There was some seriously fresh beard work this year. Next year’s films may hinge on this. Script this shot with an anti-real-job quote and you’ll be so money (except nobody actually gets paid). Also, I can’t wait to see this year’s tastiest morsels of camp food next year.
Epic Fist Bump Transitioning to Bro Hug
You need this. Try it in slowmo for a fresh look.
Start with a sombre-faced release (why so sad?) and then follow the fish underwater. Stick your GoPro right on its tail and chase it into the deep. If you are planning a comedy, film the filmer trying to execute this shot.
Time Lapse Clouds or Fog
The entire outdoor film industry would basically implode without this one. It will take you forever. Do it.
Only if you are ready for the fame and fortune.
Only if you are ready for the social media.
Sponsor Product Shot
Only if you ever want to do another one.
Copter Fly Over
Save your coin for this one. Otherwise, here’s the link to the Phantom Quadcopter Company.
Copter Shot of Another Copter
Yes, 3 copters all shooting each other. Minds will melt like we’re viewing a live-action M.C. Escher scene. Try it in slowmo.
Direct Overhead Copter Spin
The dizziness produced by this one will mask any subsequent editing flaws for a good 5 minutes.
Middle Distance Stare
Nothing says, “I’m so freaking contemplative when I fly fish.” like a good slow zoom in on someone looking at some unknown object approximately 220 yards away and 5 degrees above the horizon line.
Oh, and do not forget to make sure all of these shots are backlit. You’re golden. See you at the Wilma.
Doin’ Fly Fishing Films Proud: