Behind the Scenes: Filming Kayaking’s “Most Epic Shot Ever”

When world champion kayaker Dane Jackson launched off Chile’s towering 134-foot Salto del Maule waterfall, it made greater than only a splash. The latest first identified kayak descent kicked up a large consideration wake throughout the Web, garnering publicity in main media shops, together with a prominently positioned sports activities characteristic earlier this week in The New York Times. Jackson’s profession is on a relentless trajectory, seeming to up the ante with each refresh of the social media feed. An try and descend the world’s second-tallest waterfall ever kayaked is an accomplishment worthy of the consideration by itself. The widespread protection, nonetheless, might also have one thing to do with the mesmerizing footage captured of the feat (after which, Jackson’s spraydeck imploded on affect, flooding his kayak and separating him from the boat, and a declare to a real ‘complete descent’). The view contrasts electrifying blue water cascading off an escarpment in the dry Chilean panorama. Then we’re dropped at the lip, above Jackson, and plummeting with him by whitewater and rainbows. If there was ever a spot and a time to make use of the label this deserving, it’s right here and now: The shot is epic.

Credit Raphael Boudreault-Simard, drone pilot and proprietor of Flow Motion Aerials, who captured the hovering, then dive-bombing perspective of the descent together with his crew.

“If I started the flight path where Dane hits a specific place above the waterfall,” Boudreault-Simard says, “then when I am freefalling, he should be freefalling, and that way we can freefall together.”

As kayaker (amongst different outside actions), Boudreault-Simard, famous that this was the kind of shot he had been dreaming of: One that may present what racing drones are able to capturing. He has been coaching for a yr with what are known as first-person-view (FPV) drones, the place the pilot is carrying goggles and seeing from the drone’s vantage level.

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The FPV drone setup used to get the shot. Courtesy Raphael Boudreault-Simard / Novus Select – Bligh Gillies

Boudreault-Simard acquired the name from Jackson a few month in the past to see if he want to be a part of the manufacturing unit for the try, which might additionally embody photographer/director Corey Rich (no stranger to eye-popping pictures you’ll have seen not too long ago in The Dawn Wall) plus crew from Novus Select, and native paddler-filmmaker liaison Lorenzo Andrade-Astorga. Once the crew arrived at Salto del Maule, Boudreault-Simard conversed with Jackson to realize an understanding of the supposed line he would take, then practiced numerous flight paths to search out their deliberate shot. Once that they had what they have been searching for Raphael visualized the line again and again, timing it with the water and with Jackson’s path.

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Maule3A rendering of the supposed flight path to seize the shot in parallel to Jackson’s freefall. Courtesy Flow Motion Aerials

“Everything happens in a matter of seconds. If I am one second too late the whole shot is not going to work. If I am one second too early there will be no one in the waterfall as I am freefalling.”

As it have been Jackson placed on the water, Boudreault-Simard unleashed his drone in the air, and we now have the outcome to look at.

Though the footage speaks for itself, the paddling world rapidly and vocally reacted, dubbing it all the things from “mind-blowing,” to the “sickest combination of filming and kayaking,” to the heavy-hitters of kayak expedition filmmaking in settlement, with Rush Sturges labeling it for the annals as “THE.MOST.EPIC.KAYAKING.SHOT.EVER.”

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Maule 5The full manufacturing crew included: Corey Rich / Novus Select—Director, Photographer; Lorenzo Astorga / Nomade Media—Local Fixer, Camera Operator; Thea Hardy / Novus Select—Lead Producer; Raphael Boudreault-Simard / Flow Motion Aerials—FPV Drone Pilot; Bligh Gillies / Novus Select—Camera Operator Courtesy Novus Select – Bligh Gillies

— Follow Flow Motion Aerials and Jackson on Instagram.

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