Fd: How did the idea of producing fly-fishing videos come up?
Nick: I began in South America in 2003 when I worked as a cameraman on the ground-breaking film Trout Bum Diaries – Patagonia. That film really exploded when it was released, it gave people a new perspective on fly fishing films. In 2005, I formed Gin-Clear Media and since that time on I have spent all my waking hours dedicated to making and screening fly fishing films. It has been a roller-coaster ride of success and failure but every minute has been a thrill.
Fd: What spots do you visit to make your films? What are the places that surprised you the most?
Nick: We try to make fly fishing films with a worldwide scope, there are just so many interesting places and fish, so we have filmed in many places over the last 10 years; New Zealand, Australia, Argentina, Guyana, Costa Rica, Slovenia, Poland, Russia, UK, Iceland to name a few. Tasmania is probably the place that continues to surprise me every time I film there, so much fishing packed into a small island.
Fd: What kind of camera system do you use when you go filming outdoors?
Nick: Our main camera is the Red Epic-X, which is capable of filming in very high resolution (5K). It can also do 300 frames per second super slow-motion. Its most underrated function is the ability to film in RAW format, a huge bonus when colour correcting the final footage. We also like playing around with other camera gear like cranes, sliders, flying fox, octocopters, steadycams.
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?
Nick: The pre-production process really is defined by the kind of film we are trying to make. If it is a natural history style film like PREDATOR or HATCH, then pre-production is very important. Research and planning are critical to success if you want to catch a certain natural occurrence. From the research we draw up detailed storyboards which each crew will attempt to execute on the ground. If we are making a travel doco like The Source – Iceland then we like to let things happen as they would on a normal trip and the camera acts like a ‘fly on the wall’.
Fd: Regarding filmmaking, do you have any influences or particular styles that you like?
Nick: I grew up watching surf films by Jack McCoy, an Australian filmmaker. His work was a major influence on my decision to get into filmmaking. I love all cinema. I watch a lot of films these days as they are so readily accessible. I really like the David Cronenberg film Eastern Promises and lately one that really hit the mark for me was Her by Spike Jonze.
Fd: What kind of message do you want to give through your films?
Nick: I try not to get too heavy on messages, I kind of like the characters in the films to push the narrative along. But I think all fly fishers, in some form, are guardians of the water and the creatures within it and, naturally, our films tend to convey this theme.
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?
Nick: I think that no matter what reason you have for making a film, you should always make that film for yourself. I think this is what gives movies that magic ingredient of soul. So in many ways I think films should come from the inside, be an expression of who you are, and not be weighed down with technical details. All that being said the one thing that people get wrong is the audio, it should be 50% of the equation. Spend a decent amount of effort on getting the music and sound mixed right and you will be amazed how much better your film will feel.
Fd: What’s next? Any upcoming material?
Nick: We just released our latest film LEVIATHAN which is the third in a series following on from PREDATOR and HATCH. At the moment we are working on a North Island, New Zealand film, it is exciting as we have mainly concentrated on the South Island in our previous ventures now its time to show people how amazing the North Island can be.
Fd: Finally, what does fly fishing mean to you, and what do you enjoy the most from the whole process of making outdoor productions?
Nick: Fly fishing means everything to me, I can’t imagine a life without it; it has brought me many great friendships and unforgettable moments. The sport has become woven into the fabric of my life. Making films that represent our lifestyle gives me a great outlet to pour my energy into and once the projects are finished I get to watch and enjoy them for many years after, it is very rewarding occupation.
For more of their great videos, please visit: gin-clear.com/