LONG WAY DOWN

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Date: June 2007
Location: UK to South Africa
Distributor: BBC, National Geographic etc. – 8×45 min.
Credits: directed, filmed and partly edited by Claudio von Planta (on 3rd motorbike)
Producers Directors: David Alexanian + Russ Malkin
DOP with support crew 1: Jim Foster / DOP for the preparation + support crew 2: Jimmy Simak
Editors: Julia Frater, Paul Jackson
 
LONG WAY DOWN was my second epic motorbike expedition with Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman. I already filmed their first TV series Long Way Round from London to New York. This time we drove from Scotland across Europe and Africa to Cape Town.



Official website: www.longwaydown.com
 
Production Notes:

I always enjoy pushing the boundaries of my skills. It’s like extreme sport or like a marathon hunting trip: riding a motorbike for many hours, sometimes in rain, sand or heat. In addition I always try to capture the spirit of the moment but of course never manage to film as much as I would like.
 
Editing and uploading 2 to 3 video clips per week for the BBC website was a particularly interesting challenge. It’s rather crazy to do this all on your own but it is possible and that’s good to know.
 
I used BGAN satellite uplinks to send my webisodes to the BBC server. I could send a 2 minute clip within 15 minutes. It’s not particularly fast but still very impressive in the middle of the desert or the African bush.
 
I shot and directed about 70% to 80% of the series and edited over 30 video clips for the BBC website. My two cameramen colleagues Jimmy Simak and ex-special forces multi talent Jim Foster followed in the two support vehicles. They contributed the remaining 20% of the footage. The video diaries and the helmet camera recordings of Ewan and Charley were also crucial elements for the successful mix of the whole show. Teamwork is the key. It’s never perfect but considering my initial struggle to get a bike license we did pretty well.

 

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