Vasaloppet is a great Swedish icon, and a challenge deeply ingrained in the nation's psyche. On the bucket-list for many, it is a measure within society, and feat to be conquered. Essentially, Vasaloppet is a 90km piste ski-race, held annually in Sweden's heartland of Dalarna county. Despite a field of 15,000 competitors, entry still needs to be decided via a lottery process, such is it's popularity.
Last year, mates Daniel & Andreas won a competition held by Santander Consumer Bank Sverige, for a shot at Vasaloppet. To back up the bank's Swedish tagline of "snäppet bättre uppbackning" (a bit better backing), the prize also included expert training by former world-champion Johan Olsson.
DP Matthew GORMLY was enlisted to film the final installment in Daniel & Johan's journey - race day. Travelling Matt's role was to fulfill two brief's - finalize an ongoing web series following the boy's journey, 120sec web video filmed at normal speed (25 frames-per-second), as well as a 30sec tvc filmed entirely at 100fps. The 100fps footage proved to be so evocative that it found it's way into web video too.
The production incurred the usual long days expected for such an event, with a 4am pick-up to beat the pre-race traffic jam, as 15,000 competitors descended upon the remote starting line. Adding to the effort, a fresh dump of pristine snow, and -7C temperature keeping it so.
Daniel & Andreas were not expected to cross the finish-line before 6pm, with the video & stills crew leap-frogging across the course, with further traffic jams deep within the Dalarna forest.
On the finish-line four cameras assembled as the Daniel & Andreas crossed a clear hour ahead of all expectations - and in the most difficult 15min window to film with the afternoon sun bearing down the barrel. Joining Matthew GORMLY on the line were cameramen Hans BERGGREN, Urban ERMLING, and Creative Director Kalle CARMBACK, with the project expertly produced by Colm O'CALLAGHAN of Brid Content.
TVC is still to come - stay tuned!