Rocking up early on a very chilly Saturday morning in Manly on Sydney's Northern Beaches, unaware of what I was going to be up to on this Red Bull project, was really exciting. I knew it was going to be something a little different and something involving the Blueberry flavour of the new Special Editions cans.
I arrived at Manly beach for the first part of filming and got the full run down on what the storyboard of the clip would be. So I’ll be swimming underwater like a dolphin with my eyes closed and some how find a giant double layered red bull can that has been dropped to the bottom of the ocean and has bubbles streaming up the sides in between the Perspex…hmm okay I thought to myself sounds doable, sounds cool. Then, Justin continues, you will crack the lid of the can and launch yourself to the bottom of it and Boom, open your eyes. Justin explained how they would shoot it and the end result would be in 3D. Wow I thought to myself as I pieced it all together, this sounds like quite the challenge, but if I can pull it off the end product is going to look insane.CHECK IT OUT! RED BULL SPECIAL EDITION FINAL CUT
Having the opportunity to work with Justin McMillan was just unreal. After watching what he achieved with the Storm Surfers 3D, which has been screening at cinemas as we speak. I was humbled to have him on board for my 3D clip, so I wanted to bring it to life and achieve everything he was envisioning. It was an extra special moment when I discovered he grew up right by me on the South Coast and went to the same high school.
Manly beach and the surrounding headlands is where we shot a lot of the deep underwater swimming, with the boulders and reef acting as cool backdrops. We moved location after a few hours to Quarantine Bay where we launched our giant can off the end of the Jetty. Before submerging it we practiced getting in and out of the can while it was dry docked. I felt like I was doing the full Houdini act...Sal’s Red Bull Magic show!
I loved the challenge of perfecting the can dive without any weight belts, as they would show up in the shot. It was hard to propel myself gracefully to the bottom of the can and trying to find the can opening with your eyes shut was also tricky; I was just going off the feel with my feet. Overcoming all the little hurdles during the day made it all the more satisfying. There’s always adjustments and brainstorming involved when you are doing something for the first time, but then at some point it all seems to just fall into place.
With a full day of shooting and being in the Sydney wintery waters the cold was setting in big time, all the crew were helping out by wrapping me in towels and trying to pump warm water down my wetsuit with a hose between dives, every little bit helped to stop the goose bumps sprouting from my legs. We even resorted to buying a Quiksilver heat vest half way through the day so we could keep shooting.
It was an awesome feeling to finish the project and work with such a great crew on it. Red Bull continue to push the performance and imagination barriers and give me some of the most wonderful, weird and whacky experiences that I could only dare to dream of when I was a young grom. Red Bull definitely gave me my water wings on this day.
Sally Fitzgibbons, Pro SurferMore links on Sally Fitzgibbons