March 30, 2015
The Deepest Valley is the first fly fishing short film produced by Zangs Films. This short piece invites you to follow the journey of Jason Fitzgibbon and Tyler Graff through the Owens River in California. We worked on every aspect of the production and post-production, including the composition of an original score.
We have always had a passion for fly fishing and its inseparable relationship with the fragile environment we live in and think that filmmaking is a great way to raise awareness.
The Owens River flows for over 180 miles through the arid reaches of eastern California, gathering water from alpine peaks that reach above 14,000 feet in the Sierra Nevada and White mountains, as it meanders and cuts its way through one of the deepest valleys in the contiguous United States. Its cold, clear, spring-fed waters support innumerable plant and wildlife species as it courses through portions of the Great Basin desert, as well as incredibly robust populations of wild rainbow and brown trout.
In addition to its undeniable ecological importance, the river also doubles as a lifeline for the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area, and regularly provides up to half of the growing region’s water supply. Needless to say, the question of how to properly manage the beautiful, surreal landscape created by this river and the towering, snow-covered peaks that feed it, is a constant subject of controversy, particularly while in the midst of California’s ongoing exceptional drought.
In the face of oncoming water shortages, and in an effort to help address this dilemma for ourselves – both as parties dependent on the water the river provides, and stewards of the land it traverses — we set out to experience and document just a slice of what this charismatic watercourse has to offer.
We shot this piece over two days exclusively on RED Epic Dragon, and GoPro Hero 4 for aerial footages. We were then able to finalize our project at a 4k resolution for future screenings. Thanks to Fstop we could fit all our setup into our Satori EXP backpacks allowing us to access the Owens Gorge fairly easily. This project was a great opportunity to try our new Trost M-Series sliders on the field as well. These sliders are the sturdiest that we found which also means heaviest but they deliver extremely smooth movements even when using long focal lenses. We utilized the Syrp Genie, which is, by far, the most compact and easy-to-use motion control device that we have used.