Hurricane Fearless

This time of year, Americans are thinking and talking about hurricanes. With fear, sadness, and macabre anticipation, we learn the mononymous moniker of our wind-whipped tormentor and begin making plans to evacuate or remain as far away from the storm as possible.

Fearless Company takes a different path. We fly to the eye. Here’s why…

One of our favorite clients does really good things during really bad times. Anheuser-Busch has worked with the American Red Cross since 1906 after a massive earthquake leveled San Francisco. For well over 100 years, the venerable corporation has supported and assisted many of this country’s most impactful disaster relief programs and initiatives. More recently (since the 1980s), in addition to donating lots of money and extensive amounts of blood to the Red Cross, the brewing behemoth has been using a few of their plants to package cans of water for emergency distribution to victims of hurricanes and other natural disasters.

Until their Super Bowl commercial of 2017, most Americans didn’t know A-B extended themselves in such a consequential manner. These efforts require traveling into the heart of darkness — literally — venturing into neighborhoods that have recently been pummeled by hurricanes Harvey and Irma. I used to have a great uncle and aunt named Harvey and Irma Goldblatt, which made it nearly impossible to imagine such a duo attacking the Gulf Coast of Texas and the Eastern Seaboard with such ferocity. But I digress. Because they did. That year alone, Anheuser-Busch helped thousands of people, supplying them with their most basic need:

We wanted to document some of their important, charitable work on video.

In the summer of 2018, fueled by the fear of another devastating season, Fearless lensmen George Kachadorian and Jon Simmons traveled to one of A-B’s Water Run plants, a 1 million-square-foot brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Fearless director Jon Simmons at the Budweiser facility in Fort Collins.

Shooting with extremely portable 4k camera systems and drones, they interviewed employees, surveyed factory floors, and recorded the ominous process of turning alcohol into water (aka The Reverse Jesus). After Colorado, our crews visited breweries in Houston, TX, and Cartersville, GA, along with the Red Cross headquarters in D.C.

By late August, it was finally time to put on our high-water pants and catch some of the Red Cross’s relief efforts in real-time.

Hurricane Florence battered and flooded the Carolinas with deadly force. As soon as A-B gave us the green light, our fearless Fearless crew assembled and flew down to North Carolina on a moment’s notice.

After capturing some of the activity at a relief base in Raleigh, Commander Kachadorian & Co. drove a few hours east, toward the coast, into ground zero. Aside from the litany of obstacles Florence placed in their path (flooded highways, trees blocking nearly every road, downed power lines to name a few) the Red Cross restricts nearly all photography of their relief efforts. And the last thing our gang wanted to do was to impede the flow of life-saving water, or stand in the way of anyone’s efforts to aid, salvage, or otherwise assist wounded communities. So, Fearless did what Fearless does best: scramble to find shots on the fly and sly; wading through waist-high waters, crouching and climbing, and doing whatever it took to grab footage of relief work in-action.

With ongoing production coordination from Chris Polisi, known throughout New England as TBKOCC (The Bellyflop King of Coos County), our savagely nimble filmmakers captured enough renegade footage to cut-together two mini-documentaries for Anheuser-Busch. We look forward to posting production updates here, in the coming weeks. And we look forward to servicing your global and domestic video needs in 2020…

… no matter the weather.

Learn more at Purpose Beyond Brewing.

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