I was almost at the hotel after a long drive to Death Valley from Los Angeles,when I spotted this scene. It was insanely hot, well over 40 degrees Celsius but Death Valley is such a fascinating place, I had to stop and grab a couple of shots before sunset.
The shot above was moments before the sun dropped behind a cloud. The one below was a little later, as the sky was lit up with the afterglow.
I heartily recommend a trip to Death Valley to anyone. Just a word of warning. Make sure you have a car with air conditioning and that you can handle temperatures of over 50 degrees Celsius as it hit 125 degrees Fahrenheit (51.7 degrees Celsius the following day).
A few years ago, I was in the US to shoot a TV commercial for VW. I took a couple of days out after 5 days of filming and wondered over to Death Valley. I was incredibly lucky to be there as the weather turn from bone dry to stormy. This is a short while before the heavens open and flooded many of the roads in the National Park.
Last summer, I executive produced a global campaign for VW around the launch of the new Golf 7. Part of the work created included a personalised film we shot out in the US. This film was known as the One Film and was based around choices that users entered on the www.onething.com website. Their input was then rendered in a personalised movie and served back to them as a dreamlike view of a journey through their one things.
We worked with JK and Todd Kellstein at Paydirt in LA, to capture a lovely 2 minute short film – our take if you will of the classic American road movie. The team also created two TVC commercials for global release. Below is one of those TV ads that aired in Hong Kong.
Below are some behind the scenes images from the 5 days we were shooting in California:
Crew on Day 1
Crew on Day 1
Crew on Day 1
Crew on Day 4
My other riding partner this year is Angelique.
She is Canadian, living in California and has also done big bike rides of a different sort. Washington DC to Costa Rica on a BMW 750 for starters (no pedals). No motorbikes on this one though!
Angelique has always been into road and mountain biking and flirting with the idea of touring but like Dave, has never done it, so she’s ‘way psyched’ as they say in the San Fran vernacular. She’s on an endless prep schedule, antagonising bike shops all over the Bay Area, to help her convert her mountain bike’s to a touring bike. Good luck!
Angelique has several other great outdoor passions. Earlier this year, she went climbing in Thailand and kitting in the Philippines. She’s a big fan of remote, exercised filled adventures like canoeing down the Zambezi. I feel like a lightweight in comparison as I did the Zambezi in an eight man dingy back in 1994.
We’ll both be hauling Canon 5DII’s as she’s also a very keen photographer. She’ll be bringing along her 17-40 for the ride. I’ll post some of her images as well, if she lets me.
Finally, Angelique just took ownership of her first dog, Ziggy, an 8 week old German Shepherd, who she will be abandoning to come on this trip. That’s how great it’s going to be 🙂