Filmed in Vietnam: Mimic the River

Over the past few years our video production team has done quite a bit of travel.  In 2018 we took two trips to Southeast Asia. In August we filmed in Singapore, Borneo, and Bali.  In October we returned to Southeast Asia, this time to Vietnam, to film a short film for the Global Aquaculture Alliance.

Our team filmed GAA Film’s Mimic the River along the banks of the Mekong Delta, documenting how innovative aquaculture created new environments for raising the native fish, after the pollution from beyond Vietnam’s borders tainted the river for downstream fish farmers.

International filming often involves substantial paperwork.  Our team worked with partners in Vietnam to fast-track the filming applications and ensure that all documents were filled out and filed correctly.  With the permits in place, our team headed off to Vietnam and filmed over the course of three days. Our tools were a RED camera package, a C200 camera package, a gimbal, a drone, wireless sound recording, and field lighting.  GoPros also came in handy, used when filming in environments where big camera packages would be disadvantageous.

Our team enjoyed this terrific opportunity to film once again with the Global Aquaculture Alliance, and looks forward to future video production projects across the globe!

Mimic the River, filmed in Vietnam in October 2019.

Filmed in Mexico, "THE FARMER: Citlali Gomez"

Last December our team traveled with the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) to the mountains and forests of Zitácuaro, Mexico.  Our mission was to film a case study of a family-run rainbow trout farm, and show how the farm integrated with its surrounding environment and impacted the local economy. 

The rainbow trout farm’s beauty exceeded all expectations.  Built on a hill just above a roaring waterfall, and tucked under a leafy canopy, the farm was practically a park.  It was also a model of sustainability and local productivity.  We were able to see first-hand how the farm provided a high-quality, healthy food source in “las truchas”, and gainful employment for local workers, all while leaving the smallest of ecological footprints.  Equally impressive was the warm, welcoming family who ran the farm.  We had the opportunity to follow them in their daily lives, and for a few days see the world through their eyes.

We travelled with a three-person video production team, and several colleagues from GAA who led our expedition.  We were fortunate to have a skilled guide who was fluent in Spanish and familiar with the landscape and local customs. 

Our team on the Shave Media side was Ken Marcou (DP), Alex Pickering (MoVI and Drone Operator), and David Jackel (Field Producer).  We travelled as lightly as possible, while still bringing along a substantial arsenal of filming equipment.  We shot with Canon and Sony cinema cameras, several DSLRs, and even a point-and-shoot camera packed in water-tight casing for underwater shots with the fish.  To bring dynamic movement to our shots, we used a triple-axis gimbal, a remote motorized panning device, and a drone.  We captured most of our audio with wireless lavaliere mics, but also used a field recorder at times to pick up environmental sounds. 

Packing lights is always a challenge when working with limited space, which is why we used battery powered LED light sticks.  They were durable, practically weightless, and packed up tightly.  These lights allowed us to discretely light backgrounds as well as our subjects, and were easy to move and adjust.

In additional to filming the farm and the family home, we also shot b roll footage around the city of Zitácuaro, and took an expedition into the remote mountain sanctuary of the monarch butterflies, an ecological wonder and source of local pride.  And of course we got to sample Mexican cuisine, including plenty of rainbow trout.  We left Zitácuaro with a new appreciation for aquaculture and Mexico’s natural beauty and vibrant culture.

GAA has just released the film, “THE FARMER: Citlali Gomez.”  This film will be the first installment in their upcoming series of short films highlighting the people and practices behind sustainable aquaculture production. 

We greatly enjoyed working with GAA on this project and look forward to future endeavors together!