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WE'RE SURROUNDED

Colm Meaney looks back from his seat, the aircraft shaking violently as it plummets towards the ocean. I sit riveted in a London studio, my eyes glued to the monitor, witnessing the seemingly real chaos unfold through the camera's lens. What a moment to be alive. Nearby, a team of visual effects wizards are launching paper through an apparatus that looks like an RPG. It's a supercharged, insanely powerful contraption with its own fuselage, loaded with kilograms of paper and foam. Debris is flying everywhere, oxygen masks are down, and then the 1st AD yells, 'Cut!'

Wow. That moment is etched in my memory forever. It’s one of many unforgettable experiences from shooting the feature film No Way Up alongside some of the industry’s finest talents. The noise, the thrill, and the sheer skill of everyone involved, both on and off-screen, created an electrifying atmosphere.

The story goes: "Trapped underwater after their plane crashes into the ocean, survivors must find a way to escape as sharks begin to circle the wreckage." This premise promises a gripping, powerful narrative. The film's Director of Photography had an incredible opportunity to make this story visually stunning—and he nailed it.

Imagine: a sharp focus fall-off at the airport, naturalistic lighting as the plane plummets 5,000 feet towards the water, flickering interior lights as the fuselage floods, and rich, vibrant emergency LEDs illuminating the floor as sharks enter the scene. Watching him bring these visuals to life was a dream come true for me.

No Way Up was brought to life by a fusion of determination, talent, and passion from everyone involved. Claudio Fäh excelled in making the stunt sequences feel authentic: passengers being sucked out of the aircraft due to sudden decompression as the plane's side tears apart; sharks feasting on the limbs of those who survived the crash. Every moment was crafted with meticulous attention to detail, making the experience both on set and on screen truly unforgettable.

Graham Hebron

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