The finished product—with super slow mo footage of thousands of pounds of falling water, the tap of falling raindrops, and kayakers winding through tight slots—is polished. But the nine-day filmmaking trip to Mexico was anything but smooth.
Everything started when kayaker Erik Boomer and photographer Tim Kemple called filmmaker Anson Fogle and invited him on a simple jaunt to chase waterfalls. "Naively, we all talked about it as a vacation," said Fogle.
Fogle called NRS and they said they would fund the expedition, so he gathered more kayakers and filmmakers and they went south of the border.
It turned into a lot of work. The toughest shot happened on the third or fourth day, when Fogle was sick, the line he was hanging from was slippery with mud and rain, and he dropped the umbrella he was holding while shooting. He got the shot, but that camera—and every other one on the trip—reached a point where it stopped working. "It rained almost every hour of every day we were there," said Fogle. "In the past, I would have someone hold an umbrella over the camera as I worked, or manage water casings and protection for the gear as I shot. But here, we had no crew, and we were on ropes much of the time."
Even with so many difficulties, there were two perfect moments. One you can watch—the crew hanging on a rope just a few feet from the edge of Tomata I waterfall to capture the slow mo drop that opens the film. The other you can't watch—the team yakking it up in a barbershop on the last day of the trip. They got mullets, mohawks, and, we imagine, recounted everything about the trip, including "the raging virus that swept through the group, and the bugs, but that's another story," said Fogle.
For more, check out the film Cascada on Vimeo.