Rising From Ashes: A Feature Documentary Part I/III

Documentaries are capable of bringing masses of people an intimate connection to some one person or event or place. They are an integral tool for us as filmmakers—they give voice to culture outside ourselves, as audience members, sharing this world. And they can be compelling.

Gratis 7, as per their website, believe “out of our relatioships…great ideas are developed and produced” and rightly so, with the inception of their newest film, “Rising from Ashes,” a story of Rwandan Cyclists fighting all odds to speak the voice of their country–and country’s own struggle to rebuild their image after years of genocide. You can read more here: Gratis 7: Projects.


After speaking with them, I had the chance to set up a separate interview with the leader of the group, TC Johnstone, and ask some poignant questions regarding: his experiences shooting the film, and what breathed life into the project. I will be posting the first part of the interview here, on Monday, for your education enjoyment.

But for now, let me leave you with some photos from the shoot and the trailer for the film, and some notes on his equipment usage:

NOTE: Gratis 7 left for Rwanda equipped with VX7‘s, Multi K‘s, our ID500 Lighting Kit,  ID400, and ikan’s Traveler Bag.

“I can’t thank you enough…We literally used [our equipment] every day. The lights were used for every BTS interview and we used the small LED quite a bit as accent lights in the field. It proved to be the perfect set up for this production. We would have never had time to set up hot lights with the pace we were running. “

“Also the Monitors worked out for a interesting purpose. I was able to watch the footage from the Gopro cameras on the monitor as the camera has no way of showing the footage. It was clutch for this. Also, the one thing I was not expecting was how much we used the backpacks. They were used everyday.”


That’s awesome. I’m glad we could be of such aid to you guys!


For more information:

Gratis 7 Media Group and their latest film,

Rising From Ashes” (Website, Twitter, Facebook)

You can find TC at his website, twitter, or facebook.


~ by Ryan Aivalis on December 7, 2010.

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