1st Video Blog

We’re going to be moving away from “text blogs” and moving forward with video blogs, we are a video marketing company after all! I’ll be posting a series of interviews which will coincide with some fantastic footage from my recent projects in Brazil, Peru, Argentina and Chile. Here is the first video which is some what a preview, but it will give you a taste of what is to come. I hope you enjoy it.

Sincerely 

Richard Szkiler

 

 

Part 1 “Amazon” – A month filming in Brazil

It has been quiet some time since my last blog post, that because over the last month I’ve been filming throughout Brazil from the depths of the Amazon jungle, vibrant streets of Rio de Janeiro, beautiful beaches in Trindaje right to the animal abundant Pantanal it has been quiet the journey and although I’m a long way from a professional writer, I do hope my videos and photos can convey the journey in a way words could never express.

Although all these places are incredibly beautiful, the people I have met along the way left a lasting impression too. Throughout Brazil I was always greeted with smiling faces and warm people who wanted me to enjoy and understand their beautiful country as much as they do.

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My project and journey started like many others in typical fashion “an international airport”, which I must give a huge thanks to TAM airlines, I took ten different flights with them and I even missed a stop and they put me on another plane free of charge. More on that later, thanks TAM for transporting me safely across Brazil numerous times.

My first port of call was Amazon Eco Park lodge which located fairly close to the city of Manaus. The Amazon Eco Park lodge started out as a monkey reserve, lodges were built for scientists and researches so they would have a comfortable stay while carrying out there work. Overtime the Eco Park decided to open its doors to tourists whilst still serving as a reserve. This fact alone makes it a unique place to visit. The reserve itself is just over the other side of the river. Whilst there I filmed many different species of monkeys most notably “the english monkey” given it’s nickname due its red whiskey drinking like face! However the highlight of the eco park was for filling my life long dream of filming and swimming with piranhas. There is something about this sharped tooth fish that intrigues me and I’ve also felt more comfortable in water than out. I really hope that in the future I’ll have more opportunities to get up close and personal with marine life. In particular sharks!

Piranha

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Following my five days at the Eco Park I took an hours boat ride then a two hour overland car ride then another three hour boat ride further into the depths of the Amazon jungle, to a place called Juma Lodge.

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Juma Lodge is actually built upon stilts to accommodate the wet season in the Amazon, each room is a separate building and the entire complex is connected via walkways as you can see from the picture below.

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As you can imagine there is abudence of wildlife that can be seen here from monkeys, caymans, thousands of different species of birds, giant lizards and of course the top predator in the jungle the jaguar, although you’d be extremely lucky to ever see one. While I was there I was told about a portuguese tourist who went hiking into  the jungle with a guide, as they were walking on the river side. They saw a reflection on the mirror like dark water of the rio negro, they noticed a long tail. As they turned to around to look there was a jaguar feasting on its recent kill, as they stood in awe for a minutes of this beautiful creature in its habitat, they turned around and took a another route to leave the jaguar in peace with it’s lunch! I hope one day I’m fortunate enough to film this beautiful creature in the wild.

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Animals aside you’ll find a whole array of different plants too. When the guide took me through the forest, I tried and ate so many new things such as unique types of fruits and nuts, all of which were delicious! I even tried a natural Amazonian bubble gum!

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I also had chance to visit some of the locals and get to grips with how they live their lives in the jungle. They live a life without money, which by no means makes them poor as the jungle provides them with everything they need to live a healthy lifestyle. They are also schools and doctors who pay house visits on boats. Its an incredible and different world.

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The highlight however had to be when my guide Joao took me out in the canoe in the middle of the night, it was a crystal clear evening with all the stars lighting up the night sky. We stopped chatting to embrace all the wonderful and intriguing noises of all the animals. We continued to paddle in silence through the small channels within the jungle. What an experience, I can honestly say the Amazon rainforest is my favourite place on this planet. It took my mind and soul to another place!

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Stronger together than we ever were apart. | The world’s best Travel Video Specialists have teamed up!

 

From the title you probably already know what I’m going to announce but there is a whole load more to come.

Firstly let me go into why The View South are teaming up with somebody else. For well over a year now, I have been fortunate enough to be in touch with a South African, living in the UK “Greg Brand”.  Greg has been running Travizeo, the travel video agency for several years now. Much like myself Greg has filmed across the globe from safaris in South Africa to producing ski films high up in the French Alps! Greg not only knows how to produce great travel videos but also has a lot of technical knowledge when it comes to online video marketing.

I was in the UK in December visiting my family for Christmas, but whilst in the UK, I made sure to take the time to go and visit Greg and his partner Carole at  Travizeo HQ in Brighton. Following our first meet up in person, which resulted in a serious amount of video talk over the course of two days, several things stuck with us, one been that we are in the exact same mind set about how video should move forward in the travel industry and that both The View South and Travizeo offer almost identical services. Business aside, on a personal level, it seemed like we’d been living parrell lives and I feel like I’ve know Greg for twenty years already.

(Greg Brand and Carole Charreteur from Travizeo)

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By combining and collaborating we aim to, and already are well on the way to, being the world’s only global travel video production company. The one choice for travel companies and DMO’s across the globe stretching beyond Latin America and Europe. Its a win win situation for all of us and particularly our clients, as they now have a more effective “global” service provider.

I am therefore very pleased to announce that both The View South and Travizeo will be working together and sharing our resources.

Secondly, we already have our first project together in April at the world’s largest travel conference. “ World Travel Market Latin America” which will be in Brazil’s Sao Paulo. Axel Byfors and myself will be flying in from Buenos Aires and Greg Brand and Carole Charreteur will be flying in from London. We are really looking forward working together on such a world class industry event.

WTM 

On a separate note, The View South team will be heading to Rio de Janeiro, on the green coast of Brazil and the amazon. Followed by Argentine Patagonia and that’s just for the month of March! We will then be in Peru with Greg and Carole for the month of May, followed by a ton of other destinations for late 2013. I can mention that they will be outside of South America.. unfortunately that is all I can tell you for now.

So make sure you keep following us via Facebook and other social platforms as we are going to have some great material for you to enjoy. It’s going to be a great year and we look forward to enjoying it with all of you!

2013 – Three months in Brazil, Peru and Argentina with Class Adventure Travel.

The world wide web was publicly introduced in 1990. I think if we were to be drawing a timeline a few years on from now on how the world wide web has effected business, 2013 we’ll be seen as a year that the internet took a major turn for the better, to be more precise how companies and brands are embracing the power of video. Some of you may be thinking this is old news, since the likes of Youtube and Vimeo have been around since 2005 and 2007 respectively. However what The View South are about to do with Class Adventure Travel is a whole lot more than simply producing and uploading videos. We’re about to embark on a year long task of transforming their site and user experience and we’re using video as the key tool to implement this. Websites are full of content, but no tour providing site has ever decided to base a site entirely around video. There are several factors in to why this is the case however more importantly it is happening now and will continue to happen. This is merely a drop of water at the top of the mountain and this flow will soon transform in into gushing rivers. Metaphors aside, what I’m saying here is the world wide web of tomorrow is going to look very different to that of todays.

(Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel one of the many locations we’ll be filming at during our month stay in Peru)

So what is it that we’re are doing with Class Adventure Travel that is so different to what we have done before?

Firstly we’re going to be spending a lot more time on location around two months filming throughout Brazil and another month in Peru. We’ll also be filming across Argentina for the duration of a month too. We’re doing this to transform the user experience on Class Adventure Travel‘s  website which  will rapidly increase interest in their site and ultimately  drive more tour sales.

(Below is an image of the Amazon Jungle, Brazil. Check back with us soon to see our own beautifully crafted videos from the Amazon)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So how will this look?

Class Adventure Travel offer an arrange of different tours throughout Latin America which consist of many different locations and experiences. In their site menus these are broken down in to sub sections. So now for the first time not only will Class Adventure Travel have their own video on their homepage  but each country and then tour will have their own video, in addition to this each location will have a short clip too. We’ve called this the “video jigsaw” because they all coincide and click together to form a complete set.

(Morro Sao Paulo, Brazil)

What is the content of the video?

Each video will not only contain beautiful crafted shots from The View South team but also client testimonials and unique insights from the guides who know the area well, these videos are not only demonstrating the beauty of South America, their purpose is to show what makes seeing South America with Class Adventure Travel such a unique experience and how their insight and local knowledge effects your experience. Class Adventure Travel are already based in South America with offices in Argentina, Peru and Brazil. They’re already on the ground  know South America very well as the team live here. This gives them a unique a quality characteristic and know how, thus for video is the best way to convey this message. Class Adventure Travel want their clientele to know them and trust them, they want to demonstrate who they are, what they do and whats makes the experiences they offer unique and special.

(Paraty, Brazil)

What happens once the videos are complete?

Once the final cut is done and dusted we’re only half way. Each video will be hosted on Class Adventure Travel‘s  website this is to ensure all web traffic and clicks go to their site. We then work closely with their marketing team and distribute the videos across the web from travel blogging sites, Youtube to email boxes of potential clients. What Class Adventure Travel are then left with is huge amount of quality video content throughout the web with the majority of web traffic reverting back to them.

(Minas Gerais, Brazil)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here at the The View South we’re extremely excited about this long term project with Class Adventure Travel. I really believe this first move by Class Adventure Travel will send shock waves throughout the travel industry and once this project is complete it’s going to change the way the travel industry portrays itself for the good.

(Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Machu Picchu, Peru)

How video connects people with adventure – Guest blog for Adventure Travel Co

My company The View South which is based in the vibrant city of Buenos Aires, Argentina has been producing adventure travel videos for well over a year now. I started the company to combine two of my passions, filmmaking and adventure travel. There was also a lack in engaging, high quality videos to promote adventure travel within Latin America. So now just over a year on, I’ve assembled a small talented and multilingual team. The View South has worked with over ten different clients, from adventure travel companies, hunting, fishing outfitters, bespoke travel companies to tour operators. We also work on continual basis with the majority of our clients, this alone highlights how important video has become in todays online world, particularly within the travel industry.

I’m a firm believer that a good video is by far the best way to promote adventure travel, simply because it’s far more engaging than text or photos. Crisp high definition images of horses galloping through Patagonia, with quality surround sound blasting through your speakers cannot be rivalled. This medium “video” takes viewers from their seat into the action, other than actually being on a horse in Patagonia it’s the next best thing! When deciding on an adventure you can read all the blurb you wish to, you can marvel at some incredible photos. But ultimately it will be the video which can tease or demonstrate depending on the intention, to what you’re going to experience on the adventure.

(Below) – Video still in Chilean Patagonia.


I’m a keen enthusiast of BBC’s Planet Earth, Blue Planet and Frozen Planet series. I’ve set their standard as The View South’s  bar, although they have much grander resources, our framing and post editing work here at The View South certainly can be on a par. BBC’s natural word series has proven to be a great success and they keep the audience’s attention for well over an hour. In my opinion when it comes to adventure travel video production, attention to detail should be equal if not more because a lot of the viewers will plan to go on these adventures and it’s a big investment for them, therefore it’s paramount we do the adventure companies diligence when producing videos.

(Below) – “Two stills taken while filming for San Fernando fishing lodge in Salta, Argentina”

We produced this video below, earlier this year for BlueGreen Adventures whom are  in Chile. BlueGreen offer horse riding, kayaking, glacier hikes and various other excursions in and around the Torres del Paine national park which is located in the southern cone of Chile. BlueGreen now use the video as a central part of their website and marketing campaigns. They know as we do and many other video viewers how captivating a good video can be and it’s by far the best medium to sell their product “Adventure”!

You can also see our filming blogs from our time in Patagonian Chile with BlueGreen. Here

I hope you enjoyed our video, we’d love to hear from you with any feedback that you may have. If you’re interested in seeing more of our videos or would like to know more about us, head over to www.theviewsouth.com . You can also find us on Facebook and twitter too.

Enjoy the adventures and videos!

Blog by Richard Szkiler – Founder and Videographer – The View South for Adventure Travel Co

“Salta la linda” – Chacu Lodge Video shoot

Earlier this month The View South once again left our accustomed surroundings of Buenos Aires and headed to the far North of Argentina or to be more precise Salta. Having personally travelled widely throughout Argentina including the beautiful and world renowned provinces of Patagonia in both Argentina and Chile. Salta by quiet a stretch is my favourite place in Argentina. My filming experience and vacation time there should give you a good insight into why. I hope you enjoying reading the latest View South blog!

After a short flight to the city of Salta, I was picked up by one of the Chacu team. One of the first things you notice about Salta is the sky, you’ll see very few other places with such a blue sky. The Chacu lodge is located east from the city of Salta near two small towns of Joaquín V. González and Las Lajitas.

The majority of people’s preconception of Salta’s landscape is cactuses, orange rock mountains and deserts. Salta of cause has this but the reality is quite different as Salta has also has tropical landscapes and other types of terrain. In addition to this the landscape where Chacu is located is very flat and quite similar to that of Entre Rios or Cordoba.

The Lodge

The lodge itself is absolutely beautiful. At Chacu they really have everything catered  right down to the finest details. The lounge as you can see from the photo has cosy log fire and every evening the hunters and fisherman gather round to enjoy some of Salta’s finest cuisine in a different part of the lodge each night. Firstly there is the wine cellar, the outside asado, the lounge and the main dinner table. I’ve had my fair share of wine and empanadas in my years in Argentina but here they have the best! The chief there also cooks some fantastic home made pastas and various other dishes. When you see the video you’ll notice I focus on some of the fine details of the lodge and not just on wide shots which also demonstrate the general look of the place. It’s the fine touches which make the difference between good place to stay a great place to stay.

The Shooting

My clients really wanted me to demonstrate how many birds that there are and I can tell you first hand there is millions of them. When I was out filming in the bush we came upon a  huge water hole with several wild horses there and plenty of birds flying overhead. I jumped out of the jeep and snuck into the bush. Left out there alone in the wild. I had all the time I needed to get some great shots of the birds flying around the water hole. I’m not sure whether or not some of the readers here have experienced a sense of being left out in the wild alone but I love it, it really completes something inside of me and makes me feel whole while I’m there. Perhaps its some form of a pre historic sense “man and his craft in the wild”. You have one single task to get those key shots and all of life’s other complications and events going on across the globe are eliminated.

below – testing out the go pro gun shots!

The Fishing

After two days filming the lodge and the shooting. We embarked on a journey to Chacu’s fishing lodge “San Fernando” which is about two hours and half drive from Chacu. I was quite astonished how Salta’s landscape changed from wild bush and flat lands to the mountain jungle. There is a huge abundance of wildlife in this part of Argentina. Most notably this is the territory of one of  Argentina’s big cats the Jaguar! My client has several small motion sensor cameras which picked up a few shots of the Jaguar. Unfortunately I didn’t get chance to film any. As you can imagine this is a mammoth task, however it’s an active dream of mine and hopefully one day I can for fill it. I did managed to get some fantastic underwater shots of the fish and Argentina’s famous Golden Dorado with the help of my friend Fernando. We placed the camera into the river bed and with Fernando’s good  judgment guessed the right place and direction in which they would swim.

I also took a super low and wide shot of the river whilst in the middle of it! A few people have mentioned that these shots have become my trademark shots.

I’m very happy people enjoy them. Although on this occasion the current was quite strong it took a fair bit of strength and persistence to keep the shot level and steady but I got there without my camera and tripod floating down stream!

Upon completion of the Chacu filming I decided to extend my flight and stay longer in Salta. For my little trip I hired a car in the city of Salta and drove to Cachi. The drive was an incredible one but I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking. One thing I will mention however is after drive through incredibly tight corners one after another on the narrow mountain roads, you eventually arrive in a desert at the summit. I’ve never experienced a place where there is  hardly any sound. You could hear a pin drop in this dessert. The only sound which I could hear was the scratching of donkeys’s hooves. Incredible!

I spent two leisurely nights in Cachi at wonderful little hotel owned by a lovely and very hospitable Argentine couple. I’ll include the hotel details at the end of the blog as it’s a fantastic and authentic place to stay. The rooms even have a skylight so you can watch Salta’s night sky before you sleep! My time in Cachi  consisted of exploring the village, tasting those fine wines and delicious empanadas. I also mountain biked a lot  through the world class terrains Cachi has on offer. It really is a unique and special to visit.

Following my stay in Cachi I drove to Cafayate down the world famous “Ruta 40″  and then back to Salta city   as you can see from the map it’s more or less a full circle route. To the east of the city are the routes taken with the Chacu team.

Although I prefer spending my time in the great outdoors, the city of Salta certainly deserves a mention too. I was only in the city briefly, but I will say that from what I saw it’s the prettiest city in Argentina. It has a very authentic feel about it and  very much an unspoilt place. They also have the world’s best preserved mummies there, at the museum of high altitude archaeology. The three mummies are from the Inca era and I highly recommend a visit to the museum  for a great insight into this  incredible part of human history.

I hope you enjoyed my photos and the video for Chacu can be seen below too. It’s been yet another trip of a lifetime and long may they continue on. Salta certainly has the mantel for my favourite place in Argentina so far. Salta la linda indeed!

Upcoming projects

The View South have several new projects coming up for several estancias and  we’ll also be filming Buenos Aires from helicopter in the near future. So keep liking our posts and checking back  in with us. I personally  highly appreciate all the support and feedback that The View South receives. Feel free to ask any questions about travel or any camera pointers. I’m always happy to help!

Our last couple of days in Torres del Paine

Firstly apologies for the delayed conclusion of our Torres del Paine filming blog, we’ve been quiet occupied with several new projects, one of which will be in Salta. Our dates are not confirmed but we’ll be filming in around August or September. So keep your eyes out for a new Salta blog!

Our last couple of days in Chile was a truly exciting and heartwarming experience. We traveled to Estancia Tercera Barranca which is located just outside the Torres del Paine park itself, the estancia also offers some fantastic views of the park’s most  famous mountain towers which are also known as Cordillera del Paine.

The estancia itself is a fully functioning one with plenty of sheep herding for wool. The inside of the estancia was very cosy with an open log fire, and extremely comfortable rooms. Lastly they also do a traditional Patagonian lamb asado. I’ve eaten some lamb over the years but this is truly something very special, the meat was so tender you could cut threw it with a fork. Delicious, they even cooked enough so we could have some lamb sandwiches for lunch the next day while out shooting.

We spent two days shooting in the area one of which was in inside the national park the other was spent with the Chilean gauchos or as some call them horse whispers. It was a great pleasure to be working with the gauchos and to film the horse riding. I should also mention I haven’t ridden a horse since I was about nine years old. Galloping full speed threw the Patagonian wordiness with gauchos was jumping straight into the deep end! I only had one near miss, we were galloping back to the estancia when a heard of sheep decided to run in front of the horses at the last minute, the last one cut right in front of my horse. I almost trampled the sheep, fortunately for all of us concerned it made it threw, just!

The Patagonian landscapes are truly breathing taking as I’m sure you’ll see from our video and photos. I recall wanting to take a video shot from the top of the mountain range with the all other riders coming up, we mentioned this to one of the gauchos, as I would need somebody to hold my horse while I filmed. We galloped ahead and I dismounted from the horse to film. It’s a great joy to be in this vast landscape and be so manoeuvrable with a horse. Its a real remedy of how once people used to live and of course how some special people still do live this way.

Axel and myself had a fantastic experience in Chile and would whole heartedly recommend BlueGreenadventures to anybody who is interested in visiting the area. They are extremely friendly and their knowledge of the area is fantastic. We thought we’d be on a tight schedule to shoot everything but thanks to BlueGreen’s fantastic organisation and knowhow we had plenty of time to relax and take the area in, we even an extra day to visit Perito Moreno over in Argentina, before making our journey home to Buenos Aires.  I’d also like to to thank Fernando for his superb boat piloting skills in extreme weather, Edmundo for his hospitality, Sabine for all the cooking and another big thanks to Lian and Claudia and the rest of the BlueGreen team for making this great project happen we really enjoyed working with you!

Torres del Paine really has somewhat of a mystical appeal due to it’s landscapes, great activities on offer and culture, it really is a must to visit. We hope you enjoyed our reading our blog and video work. If you have any thoughts to share or just some questions we’d love to hear from you. Until then, see you next time in Salta!