The Source - New Zealand
The Source DVD's are growing into a series with chapters on Tasmania, New Zealand and Iceland. This is the middle chapter in the series on the goal of all trout angler's pilgrimages: New Zealand.
I have written before that New Zealand is the new black in fly fishing, and at one point in time the number of DVD's on this fabled trout fishing destination were so numerous, that you could be led to believe that there were no other places worth going to if you wanted to catch large trout in a pristine environment.
There is, and luckily the variation in destinations has become a little better the latest year or two. But Nick Reygeart goes to New Zealand anyway, and for a reason: he's on a mission! The mission is to cover the sources of good trout fishing, and after having taken us to the little known (at least seen through the angler's polaroids) island of Tasmania, he now treats us to trips to New Zealand and Iceland (a DVD I will review shortly).
And I write treats us on purpose, because Nick's films are in general a treat. His films are all characterized by a very high technical quality, and a very well developed production style and technique. Even his first gung-ho production - the Search - had something in spite of its diary- and road move-like style.
In the Tasmania-movie these skills were further sharpened and the film stands as a schoolbook example in fishing films. Of course Nick has upped the ante here, and composes even more beautiful images and cuts together even more fantastic sequences from the breathtaking and lush New Zealand. Just the introducing sequence where an angler hooks a trout in front of a waterfall in the NZ rain forest, Reygeart manages to capture the essence of New Zealand in less than two minutes showing both fishing, environment and beautiful details.
We are transferred from stunning areal views shot from helicopter or airplane to minute details like closeups of small fungi and water dripping, on to underwater shots of fish being fought and released. Indeed appetizing, and indeed very well produced.
The DVD introduces us to Nick himself as well as other local and visiting anglers and their personal take on fishing New Zealand. It's not a where-to or how-to on New Zealand, but more like an ode to the beauty of the place and its fishing.
Compositions and camera angles are nice and varying and the use of a crane and a rail and dolly gives the video something extra and very cinematic with its smooth camera movements. The shear work of hauling all that gear into the forest deserves credit, but the benefits really are obvious.
We see anglers, waterscapes and landscapes from a distance, from above and below, from under the surface and from the angler's point of view. The footage is a feast to the eyes, and surely some of the best that's currently produced in fishing DVD's. There's a ton of slow motion and stop motion, but in order not to be stamped as a grumpy old curmudgeon, I'll let that pass uncommented. I have said what I mean on the subject, and (almost) forgive Nick his extensive use of these effects.
The video is running on my second monitor as I'm writing this, and provides a perfect background for work: fantastic pictures, sensible talk on fly fishing and even some nice music. Lots of fish, fishing action, catches and releases. Fireplace fishing at its best. Perfect entertainment for a rainy day. An excellent substitute for fishing. I have seen it at least ten times already, and still I enjoy it.
In stead of hammering on with praise and positive adjectives, I will leave you with what I have written above and this simple statement: This is a fantastic video!