The Volvo Ocean Race organisers, based in Alicante have announced that Rick Deppe has joined the team as Associate Producer and Media Crew Member (MCM) Manager for the 2011-12 race.
Rick’s career as both professional sailor and filmmaker will stand him in good stead for his new role. He’s also learnt lessons the hard way, as media crew for Puma on the last race.
“I look forward to bringing everything I’ve learned in the last time around on the Volvo Ocean Race, everything I’ve learned in my career doing “Deadliest Catch” and shooting “Morning Light”, bringing all of that to bear.”
“My job in this race basically will be taking the MCM project to a whole new level. In the last race I was part of the Media Crew Member experiment, and because it was so new – it had never been done, putting an embedded journalist / cameraman / sailor on one of these boats – there was enthusiasm, and some sailors and sponsors thought it was fantastic.”
“It’s a very difficult environment to be a cameraman, when you’re being tipped over, bouncing, trying to film with the wind noise and water flying everywhere. The rules to being a cameraman normally are ‘always get a steady shot’, ‘always keep your lenses clean’, ‘get great audio’, and all the other basic rules. But they all have to go out the window, when you get on a Volvo Open 70.”
“Being on a Volvo Open 70 is a unique environment, probably like no other on earth. It can be a very frightening environment; and then there’s all the interpersonal stuff – being crammed into a little carbon fibre drum with ten other guys, some who may like cameras getting stuck in their faces while their trying to do their jobs and others that may not.”
“I think the hardest aspect is the interpersonal part, being in tight with the team; when bad things happen, being willing to go there, stick the camera in their face, and be with him the next day. Normally, Volvo Ocean Race sailors are tough guys, they don’t cry or fight with one another. And sometimes being friends makes it harder, because you don’t want to make them look not even the slightest bit bad, embarrassed or show them in a vulnerable moment or having a bad day. You really have to figure out a way to coexist.”
Before getting onboard with Puma as their MCM in 2008-09, Deppe had worked on several filming projects for Discovery Channel like “Deadliest Catch” and “Morning Light”, and he already had years of experience as an offshore sailor including several round-the-world races, sailing as a bowman on Fortuna in the 1993-94 Whitbread and on Chessie Racing in the 1997-98 race.
For PUMA, it was really important to get their message out in a way that suited their brand.
“One goal is winning the race and the other goal is commercial, so it was important for them to have someone on those boats to tell their story. The beauty of the Volvo Ocean Race is that it lasts nine months and you have nine months of amazing coverage and profiling of your brand or your company.”
Rick has already been active in his new role interviewing his old skipper and friend Ken Read in the PUMA Ocean Racing headquarters in Newport, Rhode Island. In Deppe’s in-depth interview Kenny explains his thoughts behind the next race and the future for his project – all filmed on an iphone!
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