Rise + Drift
I have taken the liberty of reviewing these two epic DVD's in one review. They each have their merits and are very different regarding specific content, location and people, but they are much the same with respect to concept, production and quality.
Both are produced by Jim Klug and shot and edited by Chris Patterson. Drake Magazine's Tom Bie is the third member of the trio, scripting, appearing and narrating. Together they are Confluence films.
Drift is from 2008 and Rise from 2009, but in spite of them both being produced in a high-def video age, they are shot entirely on classic 16mm film. They are of course edited and finished digitally in HD, but shot on film! I can only say r-e-s-p-e-c-t!
Just the thought of leaving digital and returning to film in my own photography makes my life pass before me, and filming on celluloid, handling canisters, spools and and material very sensitive to light must be a chore not to mention the whole development, scanning and production process.
I regrettably have to admit that I can't see the difference in technical quality between these DVD's and other contemporary DVD's shot entirely digital. Of course the classical 16mm camera gives some options especially regarding lens choice, which is obvious in the result. A few years back the stunning wide angle shots, the shallow depth of field and the large screen movie theater look of some scenes would have amazed, but the development withing modern HD SLR cameras and their wealth of lenses utilized by many new film makers, makes this difference less significant.
I'm quite aware that film has qualities, which surpass digital in some situations, not least regarding contrast and handling of highlights as well as color quality, and I also know that some people regard film versus digital as Steinway versus a synthesizer. But I can only judge from what my eyes see, and this certainly looks as good as the best with both clear and grainy sections, B/W sequences and stunning pictures of waterscapes and landscapes. But other modern productions look just as good in my eyes.
Enough about film or digital, I hear you say, and rightfully so!
It's not technique that counts, but results.
And rest assured that the results are as good as they come! These DVD's will take you on each their fantastic journey through the world of fly fishing - both literally and virtually.
On Drift you will go from Belize and Bahamas to more homely waters in several US states and on to Kashmir in India. Rise will in the same manner treat you to Florida, Louisiana, Idaho, Alaska, Argentina and Venezuela. Both DVD's offer a very well balanced mix of visual sections, smalltalk, serious fly philosophy and of course tonnes of excellent fishing action. The music selection is varied and very suitable for each section. No softporn or elevator music here!
My personal favorite chapter is without comparison the Kashmir fishing, which is more than surprising, and very, very exotic. This section more than most fishing video I have seen tells a story about adventure, the joy of fishing and the fantastic experiences fly fishing can lead to. Kashmir might not be the best part of the world to visit right now, but it's a nice change from Mongolia, which seems to be the new black in flyfishing - after New Zealand...
Second on my list comes the part from Bahamas, where legendary bonefish guide Charlie Smith of Crazy Charlie fame leads us into his fishing thoughts and sing a song accompanied by his own banjo.
In spite of these highlights there are no boring or bad parts on any of these DVD's. You will be fully entertained for more than two hours on the two DVD's combined plus 30 minutes extra material on Rise.
I have reviewed these DVD's as one. Although both my personal favorite chapters are on Drift, I would have a hard time choosing one DVD over the other.
And why give yourself the dilemma?
I can only recommend you to buy them both.