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TRAIL RUNNING

How We Shot the New Suunto 5 Peak Campaign

Updated: Oct 4, 2022


The Suunto 5 Peak is a lightweight, power-packed sports watch that's intended focus is on getting everybody up and active. Whether you are an elite athlete or weekend homebody, the Suunto 5 Peak gives your the confidence and capability to step out of your comfort zone.


'How does a watch do that?', you may ask, well, showcasing this was the challenge we took on.


Ideation

We began by mapping out some key focuses for the campaign. Of course this takes some time to research and discuss, but I'm sure you're more keen to jump straight in. It looked a little something like this:


After distilling all of the primary concepts, and researching our target market, we started looking at the visual world of the story: the location, the shooting style, the thematic, and the soundscape - simply, how will this campaign look and feel.


For this campaign to be effective, we knew that it needed to be welcoming and encouraging. Nothing clinical or intense, nothing of epic scale and nothing ostracising.


Soon enough everything fell into place. Warm tones, coaching narration, organic movements, varied locations and an exciting build.


All that was left was the talent. Enter Suunto athlete and ultra runner, Nicolette Griffioen.


Production.


Shooting in the peak (see what I did there?) of winter is no problem at all. Unless you need to summit a mountain before sunrise and run around in shorts.

Selecting the Magaliesberg as our location came with a massive added benefit, named Thomas "BeastMode" van Tonder. Red Bull and Suunto athlete Thomas literally lives in these mountains, so when we said we needed to get to the top, and fast, he made sure that happened.


Now as a humble adventure filmmaker, trekking to the top of the Magaliesberg with three mountain-savvy athletes truly puts one through their paces! Luckily I had the authority to call for strategic breaks when there was gorgeous lighting that needed to be captured.


Lively conversation and the constant on-and-off of jackets pervaded our 30-minute journey up, where we were met with the peaking (see, again) sun and gale-force winds.

While Terence and I did our utmost to operate our cameras with what felt like completely frozen and unmoving hands, Nicolette was always game to remove her layers and get the shot. She quickly learnt that "one more" meant a lot more shots, but she was always rearing and ready to go.

With the sun now comfortably above the horizon, we began heading down the mountain, stopping at various beautiful sections to shoot as we went.

There's often some doubt, as with this shoot, whether or not you've done enough if you're already back at your car before the afternoon, but it's important to remember that it's the pre-production that really makes or breaks your production; and for this shoot, our preparation game was strong!


Where Everything Went Horribly Wrong.


Picture this. You've been planning this shoot for weeks and the day finally arrives. You're up way before the sun, travel for over an hour and summit a mountain all before sunrise. The shoot goes well. You come down the mountain.


Now, on your way home, you decide to reward yourself the best way you know how - coffee. You miss every single coffee shop on the way home. You're now home, tired and coffee-less. It was a sad time indeed.


No matter, the situation was quickly rectified and we were on to post production.


Putting it Together.


Sometimes editing is quick and sometimes it's slow. Sometimes the creativity flows like a magical river and the pieces beg to be put together, other times they refuse flat out.


This process was the latter.


A day turned into two and two turned into a week. It can be painful, but there is always a moment where it becomes worthwhile, a moment where the jagged edges click together. When you're finally able to step back out of the filmmaker's seat and view the culmination of weeks of work - sort of seeing it for the first time - that's when you know your project is ready for the world to see.


From conception to delivery, few processes are quite as exciting as being able to see your thought and ideas manifest into a complete, tangible product. These were our final products.


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