Shooting in the Wild with Devon Chivvis
February 23, 2017
Ambassador: Devon Chivvis
Filmmaker, Photographer & Explorer
TERRA THRIVE Solution:
From the cramped confines of a manned submersible to a remote village in Nepal, director and photographer Devon Chivvis has filmed in widely varying environments around the world. Her commitment to conservation and an unstoppable curiosity inform her beautiful work, infused with sensitivity to its subjects.
TERRA has partnered with Devon to craft a custom THRIVE solution: the Devon Chivvis Expeditionary Media Pack. In designing the pack with the TERRA team, Devon focused first on the top complaint for shooting in austere environments: charging your cameras. Included is a robust system for solar and battery capacity as well as a dry bag, key survival components and more.
Q & A with Devon
Your THRIVE solution emphasizes extra reserves for battery power. What’s the shot that got away due to lack of power, is there one that still haunts you?
Indeed! There are many of these occasions (that of course I vehemently will deny), but one that truly stands out was during a shoot for Nat Geo and Explico on Easter Island, not your everyday stopover location… I was transfixed by the Island’s beauty, its history, and the kindness of the people—who mostly ride horses as a method of transportation. I took a plethora of photos and shot a ton of footage. Needless to say, I blew through my carefully calculated supply of batteries very quickly.
Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, as it's known in Polynesian, is so far from any other populated landmass, that just once a week a supply vessel will dock and unload whatever it could scrape up and carry all the way to the most remote inhabited place on earth. Luckily, the day I needed batteries was re-supply day, and they were in the bounty! The packaging was a little moist presumably from the voyage, and the batteries themselves looked a little like they were from the 1980s. But what choice did I have?
Out we go for the day's shoot, all over the island, and just as magic hour gracefully rolled into sunset, the most beautiful scenic appeared before my eyes… a pack of wild horses kicked up in a roar down the dirt road where we were filming, backlit by this extraordinary sunset, and framed by the powerful silhouettes of the Moai… And that of course is the moment the battery died.
Of all of your filming locations, is there one that stands out as the most challenging?
Oh boy, hard to choose between the 7-foot diameter research submersible I shared with two over-6-foot men for eight hours at 3000 feet below sea level... OR, maybe it was the time we were filming in a remote village up the Rio Yarapa, in the Peruvian Amazon, where my "A" camera immediately failed thanks to the humidity, my "B" camera simply wouldn't charge, and my "C" camera… well let's just say this shoot was a nail biter. Oh, and there were face-sized tarantulas everywhere, basking in the sun and dropping from trees.
If you were to recommend the ultimate expedition to take your Media Pack on what would it be?
Honestly, I take my Media Pack everywhere I go to shoot! And I have a hard time saying no to an expedition. But I guess two places on my short list would be Antarctica and the Galapagos… two climates that couldn't be any more different, but with the possibility to swap out elements of my Media Pack, I know I'd be just fine shooting in either place. (Oh! And Bhutan… and Cuba… and…)
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