I was fortunate enough to be invited by Top Banana to direct a video for Aggregate Industries, to publicise their super quarry in Scotland, Glensanda.
The first thing to do was come up with an approach, an idea that would hold the program together, after some deliberation we chose the style you will see later.
So next, the how, the when and with whom! An early decision we made, was to shoot the whole program 4k to future proof the material and secondly to use a drone.
Glensanda Quarry is situated on the Morvern peninsular on the shores of Loch Linnhe. It is part of the Aggregate Industries group and is the largest granite quarry in Europe supplying the whole of Northern Europe by sea via the largest, self-discharging, aggregate carrying vessels in the world. It is a pure coastal quarry and all materials leave the site by ship. The largest ships are carry the equivalent in excess of 3,000 road articulated vehicles and therefore offer a sustainable option to point of delivery.
The site presented with a number of logistic problems to overcome, as well is its rather unpredictable weather. You can only reach the site by boat! Choosing the right people for the job lead us to Steve Lord camera and Bill Bartlet for sound. After some deliberation, Steff at AerialWorx was chosen for the drone footage,
Equipment wise we chose the Sony F5 and a Panasonic GH4 on the drone. All material was filmed s-log to enable grading and shot matching so we could achieve a cinematic look and balance all the footage. Having previously filmed at Glensanda some years earlier helped me pick locations and shots. I popped up the week prior to the shot to fine tune and get the very best locations for all that we needed. The location meant that the whole crew and all our equipment and luggage could only reach the site by boat. An interesting journey, and all went well. One of our first shots was a huge blast where some 150.000 tons of granite was blasted from the quarry face. To ensure we had all angles covered the drone flew at a safe distance, and an unmanned go pro 4 black was placed as near as possible. The rest us and the F5 found a great vantage point. The shot looked great all went well.
Throughout the shoot, the crew and the people at Glensanda, did an amazing job, with safety being the most important aspect of the shoot. We had the opportunity to film some amazing scenery, vehicles and the ship, but our luck was in when we decided to find some of the local red deer, who are very tame and were kind enough to pose for us and give us the shots we needed, my hat is off to wildlife filmmakers everywhere!
The next part of the shoot happened in Top bananas studio in Broome, not far from Kidderminster, we used a fiberglass rock, as well as real rock and a stone mason on hand to ensure everything we did looked right.
We moved onto the edit, with Chris Dunston at Top Banana, a great chap who did a terrific job. Its always great to see whats been shot coming together as you planned in the edit. After a few tweaks and changes we went up to Dock 10 in Manchester for the final grade. During the grade we boosted colors enhanced the sky and made the red deer, very nice and colorful.
The teamwork on this project led to what I hope you will agree is an excellent final result.