The crew included Wilson and his assistant Nadia Terblanche, producer Rob Neuhold and director Andrew Kyriakou (known as AK), as well as executive creative director John Davenport, executive producer Liesl Karpinski, art director Gina Anderson and account director Ursula van Zyl.
Once in Brazil they were assisted by local service company Neon Rio.
“AK had built a storyline in his mind which included quite a lot of footage to build tension and anticipation preceding the big wave and show the beauty of the area. For this we shot footage of local children running, a flock of Scarlet Ibises taking off from the river and pink river dolphins. We just filmed anything and everything we thought could possibly be used.’
The tidal bore arrives every day for three days and lasts about 50 minutes. Wilson explains: “There is a low frequency rumbling that can be heard up to an hour before the wave hits. On the first day the wave was big enough for a good “rehearsal’ shoot. The next day is the big day, as the wave is so small on the third day that it’s hardly worth shooting.’
They worked from three boats, one from which the little helicopter took off. “The Brazilian handlers had to let it go from their hands and catch it when it came down. We attached foam rubber to the bottom of the helicopter so that we could salvage the footage if it went down in the water,’ says Wilson.
“I was on a rubber duck with Laurindo Almeida, the Miro operator, as our boat had to be manoeuvrable enough to get onto the wave next to the surfers, who were dropped onto the wave by Jet Ski. AK was on another boat with focus puller Bruno Brada.’