Monday, August 4, 2008



I think I heard this sentence 300 hundred times a day, during the 3 days we were stuck with a filming crew on a boat in the middle of nowhere for 15 hours a day.
But at least they gave us a lot of chocolate and chips, and sunscreen…

Here you can see the Sinai sunrise as the boat leaves the pier (which means it was veeery early in the morning!)

Here's the meeting before the shooting session

So, the filming crew came from South Africa to film a commercial for BMW. No car in the commercial (it wouldn’t have fit on the boat), just a freediver. More than that: a cool, metallic looking (and sunburnt) freediver, who, with the splashiest duck dive you’ll ever see, swims all the way to 113 meters, comes up, and with the coolest mach look in his eyes smiles at the camera and shows the tag.

The model was Guillaume Nery, who was flown in from France, thrown in the water as soon as he arrived, and left there until 3 hours before his flight to Greece.
It’s a shame we didn’t call the people from the Guinness book, because I’m sure he would have won the world record for the most freedives anybody can do in a day.

Here you see Guillaume in pain after his feet have been squeezed in his tight monofin for 15 hours. On top of that he got a small infection (he must like pain), so the doctor is trying to fix him for the next shooting session.

The director obviously was told that freedivers don’t need to breathe (ever), because as soon as he broke the surface there was somebody there screaming in his ear “ACTION ACTION ACTION!” and the poor guy would dive again.

Here you can see how they're playing with the lights (to make him not looking sunburnt?)

At least he wasn’t requested to do repetitive 113 meters dives (I’m sure it’s just because they didn’t have the right scuba gear to film so deep!). he was diving between 10 and 30 meters, in what can be considered the longest and hardest CO2 table in the freediving history!

Lotta and I were there to provide the knowhow, equipment and being the safety divers. And eat the chocolate.

I don’t think I’ve ever been in the water so much in my life before.
Once in a while we would be allowed to climb on the boat and put a new layer of sunscreen, while the director was already screaming after us “TIME TO WALK THE PLANK!!”.

Here a picture of the director :-)

But hey, on day 2 we had a whale shark visiting us 3 times! Lotta was even caught on film with him. The last time he showed up we all took off and swam after him, while the director, totally unimpressed, was screaming “IF YOU WANT TO SEE A FISH YOU GO TO A FUC***ING AQUARIUM!”
The whale shark must have heard that one, and obviously got very offended, because he never came back again.

Being in the TV changed my little simple life. I feel a much more sophisticated being now. I think I’ll leave the countryside and make my way to Hollywood, in the hope of hearing again the magic words “ACTION ACTION ACTION!”

Here you see the final commercial. 45 hours of water, for a minute of movie.
And hey, i do appear there for about 3 seconds!!! (obviously i'm the one with the funky yellow fins).
Sorry, i'm not advanced enough to post directly the video in here. Apparently i'm ineligible to register to youtube :-(


Greg Gray said...

hello ladies
i had a good chuckle reading your experience. tounge in cheek i hope. but similar to most first impressions of a film shoot. boring and repetitive.
very ironic the picture of me. my mother was cpt Blighs great great.....great granddaughter. the whale shark was amazing. i was joking about the aquarium. where else does a whale shark swim right through the middle of the frame? a truly memorable moment.
i loved dahab, loved the shoot, and loved the experience. not often that we condense such an honest achievement into a 70 sec story. this is bound to raise awareness and interest about freediving...i hope

noname said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
noname said...

fuck!!! i just erased my comment. i'm so clever, it's scary..
very funny read miss li. and very funny comment from the director man himself. wonder if he knows that you weren't being cheeky but totally serious hahaha...
the commercial is beautiful. guillaume is beautiful too. when he breaks up with his girlfriend (which he eventually will), then please pass on my name.
you are, of course, the funkiest one. i especially like the "swim up" shot. and i am especially jealous of you hugging guillaume.
puss puss