Hi Oliver, how did you first get into this line of work?
My father taught me the basics of photography when I was a child. In a way I was always interested in capturing a kind of story. A few years later I played around with analog video cameras and did my first edit on two vhs-recorders with scenes from my favorite movie „Dances With Wolves“.
After school and a filmproject with my later wife about her sister with Down syndrome, I started my media technology study. I worked in several post productions houses mainly as editor. There I had the chance to work with inspiring colleagues and learned how to shape emotional moments.
How did you get the ThorXtri project?
My wife and me are shooting a private financed documentary about two women, who are friends of us. Her relationship is special, Adriana had a very seldom form of cancer, Nadja is a gynecologist and helped her through that difficult time. Nadja’s dream was to take part in ThorXtri, an Extreme Full Distance Marathon in Norway and asked Adriana if she would become her supporter and run the Marathon together.
I was fascinated of their story, so we asked Thor Hesselberg, the founder of ThorXtri, if we get permission to shoot this documentary and offered him furthermore a documentation about his event as well as we would shoot a lot of material anyway. He’s a very nice guy and said „Yes!“.
What gear/cameras did you use?
We used our Sony A7sII with native E-mount-Lenses 24-70mm f4, 70-200mm f4, 55mm f1.8, 90mm f2.8 and a WalimexPro 14mm 2.8. I really liked the A7s-series since the beginning because of the form factor, the amazing quality and because of the fact that I can use it also for my daily life like photographing our kids. For the swim start, of course the low light capabilities were a big advantage. As second camera we shot on a Sony A6300. The Yi4k+ was our ActionCam.
Edelkrone-Slider and Beholder DS1-Gimbal for moving the camera, the new SmallHD-Focus for Monitoring, Sony XLR-K2M and Saramonic RX9 for wireless Audio.
We won the Peugeot Drone Film Festival last year with a film about our protestant pastor, so we were lucky to get a Peugeot Traveller for six weeks for free, which was the perfect car to realize the car-to-bike scenes.
Those drone shots from 0:0 to 0:27 are EPIC. What was the setup for the shot?
For the aerials we used our Inspire 2, my wife is the pilot, I control the camera. Luckily the new Laowa 7,5mm f2 Light Version arrived from China in time, so we had the chance to use it in combination with the DJI 15mm and Olympus 45mm. The first shots are nearby Preikestolen. We started at 3:45 am because you have to hike two hours to get there. The combination of the extreme wide angle of the laowa lens, the majesty of sunrise and the luck to find and fly through some light fog made us really, really happy. Of course there’s a bit of planning, but you have to get up in the air and then decide and try out what will look cinematic. Also the scenery in Lysebotn was a stunning place to fly.
We shot everything in Apple Prores HQ 3840×2160 in D-Log and Standard. If I knew before that it is possible to use CinemaDNG with the Laowa by Hotswapping with a not manual lens (bug with manual lenses), I probably would have recorded CDNG.
For Grading I used some lut’s and some primary and secondary color corrections in FCPX.
The sound design is great; how do you approach audio?
I want to have the film as exciting as possible and of course audio is playing the biggest part.
I try to choose the right music to get the feeling I want to achieve for a specific part of the film. With sound effects you awake your pictures to life, especially drone shots with no audio at all. The emotional impact gets so much deeper. I always try to set some emotional peaks in my edit, where I combine the best shot with the best moment in music to get hopefully some goose bumps at the viewers. It works best, when there is also a story element behind. For example at 6’09’’ you see the aerial-shot of the road, feel the threatening music and hear the challenge „21 Hairpins…“.
What do you do differently from other filmmakers?
I think working as an editor really helps you to understand what you have to capture on a shoot and what not. Sometimes you think twice if you push the record button knowing that you will be the one, who has to go through all the material. And sometimes you record something between the lines, because you know, that this could be useful in the editing process.
What is currently the hardest part of doing what you do?
The Organization. We have two young, wonderful boys so we are not so flexible as sometimes our clients want us to be. Luckily we have grandparents who support us.
What is currently the best part of doing what you do?
I enjoy it a lot to do everything from the beginning (like writing a concept) until the end (like color grading). I think it is a big advantage for clients even though it’s clear to me, that you can’t work this way in a high professional production. But what could be better to spent time on a shot with your wife and do what you love to do. When I’m back on my computer and start editing, I feel a kind of curious magic what the finished film will look like.
You can follow Olivers work at:
What are some of your favorite stories, web videos that you’ve gotten inspired by?
Running Into The Air