Sunday, September 23, 2012

Estrella Navarro Holm sets Mexican freediving record

During the AIDA team world champioships in Villefranche-sur-Mer, freediver and model Estrella Navarro Holm set a new Mexican record Constant Weight with a dive to 58 meters.

I was there to shoot footage for a documentary about extreme sports -Attention, a life in extremes- that'll come out next year, but they were not going to use this shot, so i figured i'd put it on youtube; it's a beautiful dive.

if youtube is being a bit of an asshole, here's the vimeo version:

Estrella Navarro Holm sets Mexican freediving record from Daan Verhoeven on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

underwater dance off

In between takes on the underwater realm we messed about a bit, as you might have noticed from a previous post. One of the cast, the ridiculously fit Patrick Bauristhene, is a professional dancer, so we did a bit of monkeying in front of our underwater cameramen. Turns out that the crew had done the same damn thing, so now we have a bit of a dance-off, a battle of sorts, on our hands.

THE GREAT UNDERWATER DANCE OFF. from Realm Pictures on Vimeo.

Good thing Pat was there, i look more like boiling spaghetti than like a dancer. Sam does a mean body pump, too

sam pumps it

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Chepstow man and the UK freedive team

Right after becoming an international movie star -or extra on an indie series of shorts, depending on whether you want to be realistic about it- i was happy to be back behind the camera, this time to photograph the British Freediving Team as they warmed up for the World Championship in Nice by freezing their butts off in the beautiful but arctic blue green of Chepstow

the blue green of chepstow

where the upside down man oversees his domain

the statue and the light

to have the lovely view of George going down

georgina down

and Liv Liv coming up

liv flies up

i figure he must have a good job, hanging under that platform, seeing all kinds of freedivers doing all kinds of things

becky at angles

underwater play IV

in all kinds of light

georgina and rays

rays and platform

plus he gets lots of love

getting cheeky with the statue

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Underwater Realm and my ass

A while back i was asked if i'd be interested to audition for a movie. Not because i'm an actor -that's a skill i admire but don't have- but because i'm a freediver. See, the movie, or series of shorts, actually, were to be set underwater, and they needed people who could look natural underwater, since the stories were about the Atlantean race. Now normally you point a camera at me and i run in the opposite direction or kick you in the crotch, but the premise of this movie was something i was interested in, and i saw some of the fantastic work that the DP, Eve Hazelton, had done, and i figured it could be a fun experience. So i auditioned for the first time in my life.

I was nervous, but then they asked me to basically play at the bottom of the pool, which is what i call thursday evening (and friday evening and wednesday evening when i'm lucky), so i did and had fun and then went home again. Forgot all about it until i got a mail saying i'd been selected to be one of the Atlanteans

in costume

There'd be one or two days of filming. First it was gonna be in june, but then they got kicked out of the studio by James Bond (shit for them but quite cool from my perspective) and then by Les Miserables (lot less cool), so then it became july, and then end of august. It went from one or two days to four or five. Filming of the piece i was in would start the day after i got home from working in Egypt, so all i did was get home late that night, re-pack, and leave for the west of England the next day. When i got to set things were already very much running, as they had been shooting the previous piece there as well

set drag

We quickly found out that spending 16 hours a day in a chlorinated environment is not fun for the eyes, and we must have gone through about 12 gallons of saline solution per actor. Here's Amanda showing how a solution can be a problem

the saline solution problem

The crew worked even harder than the cast, so the solution there was to shower them in chocolate

sara and the chocolate shower

but after five days of very hard work and very little sleep, even with this lovely bunch of people tensions began to rise

showdown with kat

angus and kate right hook

so i decided to bring out the magic tension breaker -my ass. First i faced-bummed some of the cast

ass and pat

ass and sam

then the crew

ass and jen

ass and kate

which the crew reciprocated

danny ass and angus and me

and then i decided we should top it off with putting stuff up our noses

with amanda and beads

booger and make up

which perked up everyone

sam upside down

except maybe Bryan, who prefers boobs instead of ass and boogers

bryan prefers girls

In the end, we got the job done beautifully and got lots of publicity in doing it:

Underwater Realm on BBC News from Realm Pictures on Vimeo.

Swimming pool to seabed from ITV Westcountry on Vimeo.

so that Eve could finally go for a nice relaxing swim as well

eve swims

All in all, it was a beautiful experience, and as soon as my eyes have recovered, i'll stop crying about it. It got my thinking, though

flexy me

about the relationship between work and play. If they hire (wait, no pay), ehm, recruit a doofus like me for a project like this, they might be onto something: you need some ass to break the tension, some play to keep it working. I can't act for shit, but i trusted the director, and he let me fart about a bit. It was excellent fun, and i found a use for my boney ass.

i cant believe were not getting paid for this