Garda Outdoor Sports is a booking service for all outdoor activities around Lake Garda. I worked on the brand identity and website but that comes as no surprise.
The introduction video on the other hand was a first for me, like almost all the sports activities I found myself performing. Have a look for yourself:
Garda Outdoor Sports ~ Introduction Video
The project aims to make those kind of outdoor activities more accessible to a casual audience. You don’t have to be a professional athlete to try out those experiences. If I can do It with a GoPro in my hand, you can do it with two hands at your disposal. With Mattia we shot about 3 times a week for a month straight, planning the activities to get the most of our days together.
Starting early at 5 in the morning till dark we were able to film at least 2 experiences each day, depending on the weather. We managed to film horse riding, wakeboard, sup, kayaking, rafting, kitesurf, ziplines, trekking and biking. It wasn’t easy to live those adventures and direct the video at the same time.
I have to thank Mattia and all the professionals who have accompanied me in this journey: they provided all their expertise in order to make my job easier, minimize risk and keep me safe while filming.
All clips were captured with a GoPro Hero 7 in 1080p / 30fps. 4K resolution was too much, causing overheating and drastically reducing battery life. I brought with me 4 extra batteries and a power bank to charge them on the go. I was ok with 30 frames per second and kept a smaller file size per clip. Once obtained hundreds of gigabytes of footage, the real challenge was trying to fit them in a 90 seconds video.
The goal is to find the right balance between spectacle and safety, give sufficient screen time to each sport while being attractive to both children and families. Once I had all the material sorted by sport and filtered the best clips, it was time to choose the right music. I’ve done some research and sent a folder to Mattia with a few beats. It was painful to give up songs that I knew were too epic for the people we were trying to reach.
On the other hand we didn’t want to waste good quality footage using cheap music. We agreed together on this guitar tune: playful, family friendly and with a good rhythm for fast cuts.
The next step was color grading. Considering we had clips in different light and weather conditions, I obviously wasn’t able to apply the same grading to the whole video. Starting from the GoPro raw footage (with Protune disabled) I applied custom LUT presets and tweaked them on a case by case basis. With some exceptions I was able to apply the same color correction to each clip coming from the same set.
Each sport has its own mood without clashing with the look of the video as a whole.
On the branding side, my main inspirations were Patagonia and National Geographic. I wanted to recreate that adventurous feeling, a logo that could work not only digitally but on t-shirts, hats, hoodies and backpacks, that you can proudly wear during your outdoor experiences.
I tried different variations and geometric shapes, the most obvious one was a circle (like one of these retro badge designs) but I wanted it to stand out. In the end I decided it was going to be a square. It took a while to make it work with the inner shapes of the mountain and river, but I think it was worth it. The color palette is a combination of orange, green and blue: orange represents the go ape part Mattia owns, green for the nature element and blue for — as you can guess — water.
As a minimalist I prefer the black and white versions of the logo, they work really well on images or even as a transparent overlay on the video.
Here are a few takeaways from this experience:
- Listen to the professionals: if they’ve been climbing mountains for the past 30 years (and managed to stay alive) it means they know a thing or two about climbing, and mountains. Before doing each activity I made sure to understand what I could do on my own and what was better to delegate, or avoid altogether.
- When in doubt, press record: when you go descend a river or jump down a waterfall you often get one opportunity to get the shot right. This means I had to pay close attention to the environment and plan my movements beforehand.
- Focus on details but always keep the big picture in mind: it’s relatively easy to get a few clips together, or get a logo right, but do they fit together well? When working on a project I always try to envision how it could evolve on a broader scale. Mockups are extremely useful to test your design in different contexts.