The concept behind the Ultra Team video was to create a sci-fi, futuristic technology feel, that communicates the kite in an outer-worldly landscape. The idea of a kiter exploring alone on a dusty planet in search of a breath of wind. He treks for miles on end until he gets to the top of a dune and spots an oasis.
A place for him to find peace.
So off we went…
We needed to find a silver suit, a braid artist, an oasis, and desert sand dunes. The East Coast of South Africa seemed to be just the right place to shoot.
Heading out along the East Coast, we (Elias, Mitchell, and Ramiro) took our 12-hour journey, as the team battled for shotgun position on the road trip.
On arrival, it wasn’t what we were expecting…at all.
“There was no wind, the dunes were so high we were not sure of the hike and potential wind gusts. We thought of breaking into some pink salt pans, but those were a bit more guarded than we had prepared for.” Mitchell recollects.
If you’ve watched the video, you’d never say that this was a location with lush forest and thriving biodiversity in the background.
The forecast showed no more wind for the week until a massive unexpected storm started to roll in. We realized that we had a very tiny window of opportunity with the storm picking up to shoot THE shot. So, we spent all of our time planning and adjusting to optimize just this tiny window period.
When it came to shooting, the conditions were better than we had hoped. But we still managed to find trouble…
In South Africa it’s not typically legal to shoot in restricted reserves, so having cameras up and flying a drone created a bit more attention than we had wished for, which complicated our setup even more as we now had to think about not being seen, on top of finding the right wind, the right light, and it all amounted to a very small area for us to play in.
“It was a beautiful mess, to be honest.” – Ramiro
To our surprise, there were actually a lot of people around when shooting, and not getting them in the shot was a challenge, except for later in the day when we finally had the place to ourselves and could film in peace.
Little did we realize, that the reason for the emptiness was that we had been locked into the reserve.
Finding ourselves in this predicament, we had two options. We had to hike over the dunes for hours to find a way out, or, climb over the electric fence and hitchhike back to the car. Either way, none of the options were ideal.
Eventually, we found a number online and a small family came to our rescue.
“They were very hesitant at first but it seems that you can get away with a lot if you have a foreign accent that people like.” Elias explained.
With the wild storm quickly approaching, we had to leave a day earlier than expected and had to leave with what we got.
Here’s how it turned out if you have not seen it yet.