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Hudson River Project Interview

June 18, 2015

In October the Rig Out’s James Bowthorpe will attempt to row the length of the Hudson River in a boat made solely from waste products found on the streets of New York City. The project, in association with Tudor Watches, is a modern day adventure that aims to change the perception of how we view the relationship of major cities and the surrounding natural environment.

James is no stranger to seemingly insurmountable tasks having broken the world record for circumnavigating the globe by bike. But when navigating the Hudson James will be faced with the unpredictability of grade four white-water, snow, and ice.

RSA director/photographer Antony Crook will be shooting James’ journey for a 2016 documentary. He spoke to us about the obstacles facing the shoot.

Antony, you previously shot James in action for the Rig Out’s 30 Century Man.  Are you looking forward to the challenge of filming James’ journey this time around? 

Yes very much so. There are physical challenges associated with this, but we’re all up for it. James inspires me a lot. What he does is simple and elegant and doesn’t need explaining. Which for me is great art.

What Equipment will you be taking with you?

There will be one main camera that I’ll be using and someone shooting a b-camera for some pick-ups and B roll. The whole approach to the filming will be quite old school and traditional. This suits the way both James and I work, and the equipment that we normally use. All the photography will be shot on film for example. I don’t think we are going to use drones, or GoPro type camera positions. It doesn’t suit the project, and I’m generally not very moved by those types of shots.

Are there any major difficulties with filming that the two of you have discussed/so far had to overcome?

There are lots of challenges, but we’re experienced and everything is doable. Plus I hope the struggle and challenge will translate into the film. My approach is to keep it as simple as possible. It’s a wonderful story set in some beautiful locations. It just requires beautiful and considered photography to capture the drama and romance of the journey. It will be honest and compelling, we don’t want to tell people how to feel. We need to feel very close to James.

Can you tell me a little more about Mogwai’s involvement with the project?

I’ve worked with Mogwai on music videos and record sleeve artwork for quite a while now. The first music video I did for them was ‘30 Century Man’ which James featured in. The sound and atmosphere that they create suits the project perfectly. It can be soft and hypnotising but then epic and intense.  Which is how our story will be – They were really into the project as soon as we told them about it.

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