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The Faroe Islands – An Adventurer’s Dream

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GlobalShots DOP Jay Haysey and his assistant James Cripps recently ventured to the remote and unspoilt Faroe islands to shoot for Cotswolds Outdoor’s. I chatted to Jay about the adventure as have always been intrigued as to what these rugged, beautiful islands have to offer. (Words by Bethany Mercer // Behind the Scenes Photos by James Cripps).

What was the purpose of the film shoot?

I was asked to film a travel adventure story for Cotswolds Outdoors & Fjallraven. This involved a few of their staff exploring the Faroe islands to showcase their true passion for outdoors and adventure. 

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Had you heard of the Faroe islands before this shoot?

I think I had but only a few months before. I had seen something fairly recently about the islands on the internet but hadn’t looked into them properly so was initially unaware of their exact location, the type of landscape and what they had to offer.

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What were your first impressions on arrival?

Sat on that plane I was very excited. As you approach the Faroe islands to land the plane fly’s in between the huge, towering cliffs over the sea. It was sunset so the light was amazing (photo out of the plane window moment). My first impressions were how rugged, green and unspoilt the islands looked. The rock formations and cliffs looked amazing, I was just excited to start shooting!

Had you storyboarded what you wanted to film before you arrived?

I knew I wanted to make this film very real and documentary style. I wanted the viewer to feel like they too were on the journey with us exploring the Faroes. I wanted to find out what truly drove the Cotswold staff to want to keep exploring and why they had such a great passion for the outdoors. None of the filming we did was staged, we were all out on an adventure together, totally amongst it with my camera.

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How did you know the best places to explore?

We were lucky to have a great guide from a local Adventure company – Heimdal Tours. We told him we had 3 days to explore and he took on the task to take us to all the most amazing places. The great thing about this trip was that we didn’t just drive to a location, film shots and move on. Instead we drove to the bottom of the mountain, hiked for 4 hours to the top and then back down again!

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What did you do in the three days that you were there?

We hiked to a variety of locations; cliff edges, double waterfalls, a lot of hills! We had a few hikes lined up which unfortunately we couldn’t do due to the foggy and rainy weather conditions. The hike however that really stood out for me was when we started at 7pm. We walked along the cliff edges for a couple of hours until we got to the end cliff point with the most incredible views. There were sheer drops into the sea, huge jagged rocks which shot out of the sea and natural arches. Sunset at that time was really late, around 10.30pm so it felt so cool to be walking so late at night. Also pretty cool to be hiking at sunset.

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Did you face any challenges whilst filming?

We faced a few challenges with the weather as in the Faroes it can change really quickly. One minute it can be fairly warm, with scattered cloud and a light breeze and then an hour later you can have sideways rain, full cloud cover and strong winds. Not great for flying the drone however I’m a pretty good drone pilot!

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What kit did use?

The FS5 on a shoulder rig to achieve the documentary style and for ease when hiking. We used the A7S as our ‘B’ cam again to keep things light! Drone – wise we used the DJI Phantom 4 – fast to send up when we want to get a shot and also light to carry.

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More importantly, what was the food like!?

There was a lot of fish and meat involved in breakfast, lunch and dinner – including fermented lamb. (Not so great). My favourite food was the local cake we got given in our packed lunch. It was ‘spongey’ in texture with a caramelised coconut topping. The locals called it ‘Dream Cake’ and it literally was a dream!

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Sounds like a dream shoot, you must have been in your element!?..

Yea, this shoot was right up my street. At GlobalShots we pride ourselves in specialising in Outdoors and Adventure filmmaking and in the Faroes I really was completely amongst it! I would recommend the Faroe islands to anyone that loves a long hike, the wild outdoors, dramatic and rugged landscapes. The islands really are otherworldly and totally unspoilt, for the moment!

Thanks to the rest of the Crew for making this shoot epic!

Producer // Joel Blackie

Director & Camera // Jay Haysey

Edit // Jay Haysey & Bethany Mercer

Photographer // James Bowden

Featuring // Alex Garrow // Beatrice Fagan // James Youll

Video Assistant // James Cripps

Social Content // Angus Shepherd

Special Thanks to David Whale & Tummus Rubeksen – Heimdal Tours

Marita – Magenta Guest House

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