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LOCATION Filming from the edge… Extreme sport and extreme situations for both equipment and the operator. by Christoph Steuer M y role is providing the top shot for all these high dive events, which means that I must rig my Polecam and operate it from a small platform set up even above the divers at around 30m up from the water below. Some locations are more diffi cult than others, and when I think of the most diffi cult, Oman in 2012 or Thailand in 2013, I cannot imagine any other crane system that could cope with such extreme situations. Our fi nal location in Thailand was on an island near Krabi. In the early morning I took my gear to the beach, a speedboat collected all of us camera guys and kit, then a 20 minute high speed ride across the sea to the rocks, rising high up out of the water, famous for one of the James Bond movies being shot there. There is no easy way up, you have to climb. were two guys already up there. We used a very long rope and a pulley up the top and used the power of the boat to pull away from the island and pull the boxes up. When I climbed to the top my cases were waiting there for me. The rigging was diffi cult and took longer than usual because of the circumstances. Consider that I had to build a 6 metre Polecam on a 2m x 2m platform 30 metres up near the top of that rock. The diving platform is about 2 metres below my platform. The Polecam is too long for me to reach the end from the diving platform or from my platform, so I have to climb to the top of the rock to reach the end of my rig. I need ten minutes to get from the back of my rig to the camera end of my rig, which normally takes a few seconds. When you assemble a Polecam, you go from one end to the other as you build it, simple on level ground. When I did get to the end of the rig, I couldn’t sit because the rocks were very sharp there. In fact we all had blood on our legs from being cut by the rocks. I’m very close to the divers and with Polecam the viewer gets to sense The fi rst 3 or 4 metres there is a their emotions – I’m totally silent, bamboo ladder, the boat is moving the divers trust my work; sometimes up and down with the waves; it goes I take the camera in quite close to in close to the ladder, you grab the them – I can make some very nice slippery ladder and go up, then after Polecam moves around them so that you have to climb rocks, then you the viewers experience the extreme come to trees and you are climbing height the guys are diving from. You around them. You don’t look down. hear the breathing of the divers; you Before that we had to fi nd a way to get sense whether they are nervous or my Polecam boxes up to the top. There not, and down there so many people 62 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 88 APRIL 2014