Fd: How did the idea of producing fly-fishing videos come up?
MF: The idea started back in 2004 when the crew was rolling under the banner as AEG (Angling Exploration Group). Many people might not have put the dots together that MOTIVFishing is the new face of what we built under AEG. The first film produced under AEG was Trout Bum Diaries Vol. 1 Patagonia. That trip started out initially as a scientific fishing exploration that morphed into the Trout Bum Diaries and Fish Bum Diaries series.
Fd: What kind of camera system do you use when you go filming outdoors?
MF: Because of the nature of our expeditions we travel and film with fairly affordable (aka semi-disposable) equipment. We are in pretty extreme conditions most of the time and the odds of us losing a camera to the elements are pretty high up there, as we know all to well. Currently we’re shooting with 2 Canon 60D’s, a bunch of GoPro’s, a Canon XF100 and Canon XA20. Having a 60D go down due to water damage or theft is a lot easier to swallow and replace than a five thousand dollar rig and we are very happy with how the footage comes out of those cameras.
Fd: How is the pre-production process? Do you think ideas, stories and particular sceneries or do you let stories emerge in each fishing trip?
MF: We start out with a mission and a goal. A lot of pre production planning goes into each project, but more times than not; that doesn’t mean shit once you get there. We try and gather as much intel as we can for the region, especially anything particular of the area that we don’t want to miss, including the people, local wildlife and the culture, but we also prefer to go with the flow and let the story unfold on the road. Our mission is to get as far off the grid as we can and we never know what’s going to happen when we get to a location or country. We’ve been harassed by the local police more times that we can count, our truck blows a tire or has a breakdown, we’ve been robbed (twice), or we get to an area and then we’re totally shut down by the weather. It’s impossible to plan for everything that may or may not happen, but when those unexpected things do happen it can be golden on film. I mean, this is an adventure we are on and we want to embrace all that unfolds on the road; the good, the bad and the ugly. The story then starts to evolve and come to life on its own.
GEOFISH Trailer from GEOFISH on Vimeo.
Fd: Regarding filmmaking, do you have any influences or particular styles that you like?
MF: The first films or influences that come to mind would be Endless Summer followed by Tarpon (1973). For Owens I'm pretty sure it would be The Legend Of Bigfoot… We are all also big fans of the guys at Brain Farm and Sherpa Cinemas.
Fd: What kind of message do you want to give through your films?
MF: First, I would say we really want people to just enjoy themselves when they watch our films. I don't think people understand or know how much we really appreciate them for buying one of our movies. We wouldn’t still be here after all these years doing what we love if it weren’t for them. I guess you could say we like to share that there are still wild places out there left to explore, and try to bring these experiences we capture on film back to the viewer. There are so many cool fish out there and a lot of these places they live in need to be shared or protected. People aren’t going to know about many of these places unless we bring it to them on their TV. Exploration is not dead, and it’s not out of your reach. If we have inspired anyone to just get off the couch and do something different or exciting then I think our message has been fulfilled.
GEOFISH MEXICO Teaser from GEOFISH on Vimeo.
Fd: Do you recall any special or funny anecdote from a filming day?
MF: Oh man, too many to list. We are in the field typically 4 to 6 months out of the year. You gotta understand, here are 4 dudes crammed into a truck driving thousands of miles, sleeping in the same tent smelling each others BO day after day. There is a lot that happens that never makes it into the films. Most people who have been following us know about the 3 days we spent stuck in the mud in the truck on a drug smuggling route in Belize, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. Once we had to perform field surgery on Owens in a listing boat rolling on the waves off the coast of Panama to get a size 1ot tuna fly out of the back of his leg that was buried all the way to the shank, not debarbed by the way. The entire procedure was caught on film and was totally hilarious… that is to everybody but Owens. He was panting so hard I thought he was going to pass out or give birth.
Fd: Nowadays, most fishermen can film and edit a fishing video; what aspects do you think should be taken into account to make a good one?
MF: There is definitely a difference between making a video to post up to show your buddies, or making a film. If you’re planning on making a film, have a story. My best advice, angles; mix it up people.
Fd: What do you enjoy the most from the whole process of making outdoor productions?
MF: For me personally it is the whole experience of the local cultures and people we meet. Seriously we have met some outstanding local people that have touched all of our lives and have shown me the most incredible generosity. I have learned from these people that the most awesome thing you can take home with you from one of these adventures is a smile.
Fd: What’s next? Any upcoming material?
MF: Following on the heals of GEOFISH Vol. 1 Mexico, is a new side project going on currently with Costa Sunglasses called GEOBASS. It’s a six month project that has us traveling around the globe searching for any fish that has the word Bass in its name. Kind of a new concept in the fly-fishing world as well as for us. None of us are what you would consider to be expert Bass fishermen, so there is a big learning curve, but this project is killer and we are all stoked. So far we have filmed episodes in Colombia and Mexico. We take off this month for Nicaragua and then we will be heading to Africa and Papua New Guinea. The cool thing about GEOBASS is that it’s being produced as 15 to 20 minute webisodes and it will be free to watch online. Each episode will be posted up to the Costa Sunglasses YouTube channel every month starting in March.Now we know everyone is asking about GEOFISH Vol. 2 and when it will be coming. The Central America leg has all been filmed and we have made it to the top half of South America till our truck broke down in the middle of the Senchara Desert in Peru, but hang in there. We will be releasing new footage from GEOFISH in the near future and the plan to continue the expedition to the bottom of South America is still in full effect. In the meantime we hope everyone checks out GEOBASS and digs it. The teaser for GEOBASS is currently available to watch and you can stay in the loop to get email updates on the project, episode release dates and view it all on the Costa website: https://www.costadelmar.com/inside-costa/geobass
Fd: Finally, what does fly-fishing mean for you?
MF: For me personally, it’s my excuse to get out and see the world.
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