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The sea is a dangerous place sometimes. Many lives have been lost and a good day out by the beach can quickly turn into a sad day if people are not careful. Lad Bible (the media portal) approached Autobahn in order to create a campaign for the RNLI to bring awareness to young lads about the potential dangers of the sea. It sounded like a great project but we knew we would have to face some uncomfortable situations and dig into sad stories to achieve the level of honesty and relevancy we are always after on our projects.


The idea was to artistically tell the story of 3 different people that had an accident at sea through their own accounts or of their closest ones. 3 films, 3 powerful and compelling stories.


It is very rewarding to know you are part of a project that will bring a good message to people. Sure, it is also difficult, but perhaps a necessary discomfort, one that helps us grow as people and as filmmakers.


We wanted to create beautiful films with a cinematic aesthetic and language avoiding an overly sensationalist tone but still creating tension.The goal was to use the stories to make people think before they decide to go into the water.


To put the viewer into the the situations our characters once found themselves in and show how the sea can be threatening was key.


It was a very humbling experience to shoot people that have been deeply affected by recent events. You need tact, self awareness and a lot of respect, however you also need to get the material you need. The key is to make them feel comfortable and that they can share their story, that as a team you are there to work with them, at their pace. You need to develop a relationship of trust and almost friendship on set and that can’t be false, it has to be honest human connection. Also, you can’t hesitate, your doubt becomes their doubt and things can crumble if the trust dissipates.


We shot all stories at the subjects houses and towns. We visited the places where the accidents happened and created the stories around long and deep interviews. It is a delicate spot when someone trusts you with their grief. If we learned anything with this experience is that filmmaking can be a great way to explore our own psyche, talk about life changing events and even find closure.


One of our subjects even stopped us to mention how the filmmaking process was feeling quite liberating as he/she have not found the courage to talk about the story until we came into the picture.


We shot the whole series on RED cameras with Cooke anamorphic as our main lens set. We also used a DJI Inspire 1 RAW and Canon lens (on the RED) for the underwater housing used on the sea (The anamorphic just didn’t fit).


The project was graded at The Mill on Baselight and we managed to push the images to achieve our desired cinematic look even though this was a documentary project.


Cooke optics have reached out to us to praise us on the look of the films and will feature the series on their next reel and on their PR material going forward.


As a team we love working on different subjects but we can’t ever predict what the next project will be. You just have to remain curious and with a genuine interest in the human condition.


Film 1 (Anthony’s Story) will be showing on cinemas around the UK prior to the main movies.


You can watch the 3 films of the RNLI campaign here.