We were extremely chuffed to be asked to film aerial shots in Italy for a documentary about Royal chef Mario Andrisani, on a journey back to his home town to rediscovered his culinary roots, and meet some of the individuals who inspired him.
Luckily for us, his home town is Matera – a stunningly beautiful old city in the southern region of Basilicata. It is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, and its historical centre the ‘Sassi’ is also a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The jagged relief of the town gave us a huge potential to play with foreground and background – the most enjoyable shot came from a tightly-queued jib-up as Mario stood on a rocky outcrop over the town, and introduced it to camera as we flew up past him, and on to an ever-ascending panoramic of the view below, with the Gravina Canyon further below that.
Click below to see a behind-the-scenes video of the Mario jib-shot over Matera, including the shot itself! Best viewed in HD directly from Vimeo.
The hospitality and cuisine were right up there with the views – we stayed in the luxury cave hotel La Dolce Vita and ate vast amounts of tasty local dishes at the Casino Del Diavolo (The Devil’s Casino).
Technical-wise: filming in a canyon is pretty difficult – there were some mean updrafts blowing up the cliff edge, which made for some rather nerve-racking moments as MovieHook was thrown around while we navigated into the centre.
Later that afternoon we walked down into the ravine itself, to get shots of Mario foraging for wild Thyme.
This enabled us to shoot the town from a low level, which also showed the curve of the river to great effect.
The next day we visited Roseto, where one of Mario’s culinary friends had renovated a castle overlooking the sea, and created a restaurant to be reckoned with.
For the first half of the day, the wind was gusting to 30mph so we had to see ourselves through a double-main course lunch until it calmed down a bit – it’s a tough life!
The afternoon brought low winds and great shots of the castle teetering on its rocky precipice.
The final shot of the day was at dusk, with Mario and his wife sat on the rooftop of the castle enjoying a meal with a wonderful view.
A pretty good shoot, all in all – we look forward to more international projects!
*In-flight still images: GoPro Hero 3+. BTS images: Panasonic GH2 and iPhone. Flight camera: Canon 5D Mk3.