While American cowboys have been popularized by the media and entertainment industry, not many know about the gauchos: the South American cowboys. Chris Schmid has undertaken a short film project to document the lesser known stories of gauchos.
The film “O Homem do Campo” focuses on the story of one man, a gaucho who dedicates his life tending to the herds of farm animals all day while riding his horse. He lives a solitary life, leaving the house at the crack of dawn and traveling great distances across breathtaking landscapes in the vast and seemingly endless agricultural land. A gaucho’s main job is to manage the cattle and Criollo horses of the land.
The main challenge Chris faced in this project was getting in touch with a gaucho as they are solitary men. Chris met one during the “Brazilian Criollo” video he made last year. The gaucho loved Chris’ video so much that he contacted Chris to work together on a short film about the origin of the gaucho.
“I wanted to create something very cinematic, and once we got there to start recording the place was so peaceful and quiet that I needed to create something with a specific atmosphere,” says Schmid. “I wanted to recreate the solitude of this man and also how I felt when I was there.”
Chris told us that for this short film, the gear used was a Sony A7R II, RX10 III, DJI Ronin M, and Phantom 4 Pro. His priority was mobility as he needed to travel long distances with the gaucho across the land on horse. The video successfully shows off the awe-worthy scenery of the agricultural land the gaucho is working. His use of wide angle perceptive shooting the gaucho from a distance effectively highlights the vastness of the land, further emphasizing the solitary moments the gaucho is constantly in. Drones are used to add the dramatic bird’s eye view. Creative play of light and shadow during various times of the day and in various weather conditions add many layers of depth and drama to the overall storytelling. Chris also emphasizes the importance of music, which has a huge influence on the sense location and atmosphere.
You may follow Chris Schmid’s work at his website here.