Only 20 minutes from touch down to beach side, we arrived at El Mangroove at the break of dawn, as the sun was rising over the mountains and a beautiful golden light was beginning to throw it’s warmth over this luxury boutique hotel. Situated right on the ocean front of the Gulf of Papagayo, Guanacaste, this hotel has only 85 guest rooms. With a ratio of 3 members of staff to each guest this hotel feels exclusive, not as priority but as a given.
There’s a peacefulness that you experience, a laid back approach to luxury, from your arrival at the outside reception area to the Makoko restaurant, to the paddle boarding and poolside private cabanas.
If only we had had more than just 1 day filming here we would all have lost ourselves & our stress in the Bearth Spa, which features outdoor terraces and massage decks.
The entire film crew were bewitched by El Mangroove, as we were being whisked away to our next film making adventure we were all muttering promises to save up to go back with our loved ones to fully take advantage of this chic hotel.
Alan Lee - an australian jazz anthology
The final destination of our whistle stop tour takes us to the most Eastern point on the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica.
Tortuguero is the sort of place you would like to keep to yourself. In truth, however, it’s too amazing to be kept a secret and despite it’s remote location, only accessible by boat or plane, it is Costa Rica’s third most visited National Park, covering an area of 77,032 acres.
The park has a large variety of biological diversity due to the existence within the reserve of eleven different habitats, including rainforest, mangrove forests, swamps, beaches & lagoons.
The park is a protected area, recognized for it’s rich biological diversity and ecosystems that support threatened flora & fauna species.
Working closely with the neighboring village of Tortuguero, the park is helping it’s inhabitants to understand that preserving their natural resources is the key to encourage & sustain successful eco-tourism.
We were taken under the wing of local hero Eddie, who knows EVERYONE and EVERYTHING there is to know in Tortuguero. Our boat tour was the highlight of our visit to Costa Rica – floating silently whilst we captured the incredible sounds of the rainforest, watching out for the wildlife that Eddie instinctively knows how to find. We met and filmed some brilliant local people, including local children who were fascinated by our kit – happy for us to run around with our Ronin during a local football match & mesmerized by our aerial kit!
It’s places like Tortuguero that remind us how amazing Mother Nature is and the fundamental need to look after her – Tortuguero is the place where they are balancing eco-tourism with great finesse – learning and adapting constantly.
Absolutely worth a visit…….but make sure you don’t tell anyone else, it’s our secret!
Plaza Hotel Lucchesi
In April Mike from Brace spent four days at the Plaza Hotel Lucchesi and If you’re looking for a hotel with
a view of Florence and a rooftop swimming pool to boost, then look no further than this fantastic 4 star Hotel.
Situated on the banks of the Arno river, with views of the San Miniato landscape to the south and the rooftops
of the Santa Croce and the Duomo to the north, the Lucchesi Hotel is just a short walk away from all that
Florence has to offer.
The rooftop bar is open from 9.30-midnight and the pool is open from 9 am to 7 pm in the summer.
With live music and a chilled laid-back vibe this is the perfect spot to spend a summer’s evening.
The summer holidays give us all an opportunity to spend some quality time with our families but they also give us
an excuse to check out some great places to eat, drink and be merry.
We really lucked out this Summer, taking in the beautiful French, seaside town of Le Touquet, the picturesque old town of Pollensa in Mallorca and the vibrant, coastal city of the moment - San Sebastián.
Closer to home we spent some time in the Isle of Wight and some great summer evenings in everyone's favourite
seaside town of Whitstable, Kent.
We are always on the look out for inspiration at Brace, music being one of the things we are most passionate about.
On his way to a post production meeting recently, Mike found himself in Soho’s ‘Sounds of the Universe’ and was immediately struck by the piece of music being played as he walked in.
The track was 'Bailero’ a beautiful, haunting ensemble piece featuring the vocals of Jeannie Lewis. The composer was the relatively unknown Jazz vibraphone player Alan Lee.
We’ve been playing it on a loop ever since. It reminds us of a journey along the Amalfi coast in the 1950’s and has inspired us to write a film treatment that we will be saving for a rainy day.
Have a listen and download it for yourself or even better buy the album on vinyl.
Get Download here - - Get Vinyl here
For the audio mix on the Thomson Cruise Dream brand film, we were fortunate, on the recommendation of Max Perryment, to work with David Holmes at Soup Studios.
Soup Studios is a purpose built analogue and digital recording studio in Cable Street, East London.
It has two studios and the most incredible analogue inventory and musical props we have certainly ever seen.
It is a fabulously quirky, informal & creative environment in which to work. The studios wouldn't have been out of place as a Twin Peaks filming location. We can’t wait to go back, not just for the recording facilities, we're looking for a project to shoot there.....maybe our next music promo.
Copyright BRACE Productions Ltd. All rights reserved. - - Website design and development Levene Design
One of the hidden gems we discovered during our filming in Ibiza was the incredibly talented Àngela Martí.
Invited to come and film at her studio just outside Ibiza Old Town, we got to lay our hands on her beautifully crafted, handmade leather bags & accessories. Each Mediterranean inspired piece is made using hand dyed leather, sewn together with waxed thread to ensure resistance. One of the best things about our job is that, from time to time, we get to meet truly inspiring & passionate individuals like Àngela.
JELSA - CROATIA
Whilst Hvar Town on the island of Hvar, with it’s Renaissance architecture, upmarket restaurants and bars make it the popular choice for travellers to the island, the small port town of Jelsa 27km east of Hvar provides a quieter and pleasant alternative.
Jelsa is a very clean and friendly port town that was originally built as a port for the nearby village of Pitve.
It’s real selling point is some of the most crystal clear bays and beautiful spots in which to swim.
Rarely crowded, even in the middle of July, you can find a beautiful spot for an early morning swim and often find yourself swimming in isolation in any of the secluded bays and coves that surround the port.
There are also a growing number of small day bars that operate on the rugged coastline, offering a great place to while away the hours with a good book or chill out in the company of friends and family.
One of the most charming restaurants on the whole island is Konoba Dvor Dubokovic - www.dvordubokovic.hr/en/
Set in the very picturesque, hillside village of Pitve just 2.8km from Jelsa, this welcoming, family run restaurant offers beautiful views of the coast from it’s hillside terrace.
It’s ingredients are all locally sourced and it’s simple menu of grilled meats and fish does not disappoint. Book early in the Summer months to avoid missing out as people drive long distances to eat at this little hillside gem.
NEVS Models - Stills
Thanks to models, Andrea Tivadar, Larissa Goldner, Lise, Hellyda and all at Nevs who have been happy to allow us to test new cameras and lighting set ups.