El Calafate, Argentina — Shooting the REVO campaign in Patagonia

November 30, 2010 12:17am

After what amounted to virtually twenty-four hours of travel time from Los Angeles, via Atlanta and Buenos Aires, the plane finally touched down on the El Calafate runway.

I am with the REVO team, and their photo and video crew who came down to shoot my portion of REVO’s 2011 advertisement and communications campaign. Upon discussing where would be a good place to shoot, we all agreed that finding the right ice environment would be appropriate. I have been newly appointed brand ambassador for REVO, and given that they are a sunglass company—we also needed sun! In early December, the options for the combination of sun and ice are narrowed down dramatically. The northern hemisphere is mostly dark or grey at this time of the year. It is hardly a safe bet for sporting polarized shades!

That leaves the southern hemisphere, which of course is entering its summer cycle. Antarctica is difficult to access for just a week of work—it is also unpredictable and very expensive. We were quick to narrow the search to Patagonia, and settled on the Perito Moreno glacier in the south west Santa Cruz province of Patagonia (S 50˚29’ W73˚03’).

We all met in the Buenos Aires airport and I was happily surprised to find out that Ross Richardson would direct and film the video portion my piece. Ross is a very talented director of photography with whom I worked many years ago on a Tommy Hilfiger commercial that I directed. The spot had turned out very well, and was notable in that it was to be the last commercial that I would direct after more than fifteen years in that business. I found it difficult to be pushing consumerism on television while speaking publicly on the urgent need for a path to sustainability, which clashed unequivocally with vapid consumerism. Mine was a personal choice of what I perceived to be a necessary break in favor of my environmental commitment. I am not dogmatic about it, but to pursue a career pushing product on TV while preaching responsible consumerism felt shy of authentic, if not outright opportunistic. That choice proved to be hugely rewarding.

Running into Ross was serendipitous and had us recollect on the old days. It also makes me feel more comfortable with the prospect of being in front of the camera. Ross is a good man, and if I can’t be natural with him, my case is hopeless! By coincidence, I also ran into one of his crew guys whom I had met in the Minnesota Boundary waters area in February 2009 as I trained for my North Pole trip. He was there shooting dogsled footage, and we had had a moment to discuss my upcoming trip. Small world indeed.

We’re up at 6AM for a reconnaissance of the glacier, and to outline what we will be doing while here. I have a feeling I will spend a night or two sleeping on the glacier…

One Response to “El Calafate, Argentina — Shooting the REVO campaign in Patagonia”

  1. BASILE says:

    Hello Sebastian,
    Happy to follow you again in your adventure; in another kind of venture! I hope you could share some pictures to show us who are the crewmen. This blog is confortable and well designed.
    Anyway, I wish you a good trip (for you) and a good writting (for us). I like to read how you describe your journey.

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