Dive: Matthias Hoene, Adidas x Parley put focus on ocean pollution

In an effort to raise awareness about the issue of polluted oceans, Miniac Films, director Matthias Hoene and German cliff diver Anna Bader teamed on the three-minute film called Dive.

Hoene came up with the original idea and looked for a way to tell Bader’s story. He approached Adidas x Parley with the concept. Given Parley’s initiative to create high-performance products made from waste that has been intercepted from beaches and coastal communities, they were the perfect brand partners to assist in delivering the message of a sustainable and clean future.

Shot in Hawaii, Hoene’s film takes the viewer into Bader’s beautiful — and at times frightening — world as she sets out to perform the ultimate cliff dive at Kahekili’s Leap on the south shore of Hawaii. Bader is one of the world’s leading cliff divers, a pioneer in the sport. When she entered cliff diving in 2005, there were virtually no other women for her to compete against. That’s changed over the last decade-plus.

With Dive, Hoene highlights the connection between cliff divers and the natural environment. A fierce tension defines the build up and backstory, as the director chronicles the intense training that goes into Bader’s four-second leap. Her narration is intercut with close-ups of her training regime and sweeping shots of the cliff sides and surrounding nature, adding to the atmosphere and suspense.

Hoene employed several techniques to dramatize the act of diving off an impossibly high cliff by oneself, shooting over two days with a variety of hardware, including underwater and drone (an Inspire Pro2 with Zenmuse X5S)cameras. His main camera was a Red Epic with Cooke Anamorphic SF lenses and for underwater shots, a Red Epic with Nikon lenses in underwater housing. Using the Phantom Flex 4K high-speed camera, his crew was able to achieve what Hoene calls “a Roadrunner moment” — when time slows to a standstill mid-air and the body processes what is about to happen. His DP was Matthew Chavez.

Overall, Hoene captured 12 separate takes of Anna’s climactic cliff dive — she had to scale back up the cliffs by hand each time. “The kind of jumps Anna did, having to clear three meters of deadly rock with a triple somersault, or needing to hit really specific points in the water to avoid hitting the ground, definitely made my heart miss a beat a few times,” he explains. “It’s humbling to work with athletes of her caliber. It makes me want to work harder at everything I do.”

Hoene re-entered the world of short form after directing his debut feature Cockneys vs Zombies, followed by the action/adventure film Enter the Warriors Gate. Recently he helmed The Living Hostel, an #EUandME short film for the European Commission. Other soon-to-be released projects include a campaign for Lenovo and a music video for the long-awaited return of indie rock band Eels.

Other credits on the film include EP Stephen Roesler, producer Sarah Key and editor Niles Howard, who cut on Adobe’s Premiere Pro. LA- and London-based Electric Theatre Collective colored and finished the film. The colorist was Kaitlyn Battistelli was colorist and Sara Gbadamosi produced for ETC. Christopher Carmichael created the score, while LA and London’s Vaudeville provided the sound.

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