'Cascada' begins in the jungles of Tlapacoyan, Mexico, among wild rapids and waterfalls, and endless rain. A narrator says, "Day two, it's still raining. A few lessons so far: First, if we get the cameras wet enough, they will stop working. Second, no matter what we do, the cameras get really wet."
And like that, the stage is set for Anson Fogel and Skip Armstrong's film, which follows a team of kayakers over several days. There is some spectacular kayaking, through river water as clear as glass and over waterfalls as beautiful as they are violent. But 'Cascada' is as much about the filmmaking as it is about the kayaking.
The camera seems to be in the water with the kayakers, and cinematographer Tim Kemple spoke about the process to National Geographic Adventure. "The narrow, gorge-like nature of the two big rivers in Tlapacoyan meant there would, hopefully, be opportunities to set up a line across the canyons," Kemple said. "We just didn’t expect how great it would look and, with a little creativity, how frequently we could pull it off."
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