Christopher Schlierf got the chance to direct a commercial for Zurich Insurance during the Winter Olympics which was titled “Zurich – Strong Performance”. This was truly one of the most dramatic commercial shoots he had worked on in recent memory, as it revolved around filming a snowboarder descend from the literal peak of a mountain (he had to be dropped off by helicopter) while performing extreme stunts in incredibly high mountain altitudes, with less than forgiving conditions for filming the entire time. In order to capture the very best visuals, so that it would stand out from the saturated snow sport commercial field at the time, Christopher Schlierf employed state-of-the-art cameras and equipment (Arri Alexa Mini with Hawk V-Lite Vintage Anamorphics) – all of which were extremely heavy. Despite the deep layers of fresh powder snow that impeded their movement, they personally carried and filmed with exceptionally heavy cameras to achieve his creative vision on his own terms. Zurich Insurance wanted a wealth of different shots, so he had to design a number from seemingly impossible angles that no one else would have even dared to consider. Christopher Schlierf needed to operate the camera from an open helicopter window at 3,500 meter altitudes. The intricacy and precision of preparation that went into this shoot was unparalleled, as it involved the very real possibility of physical injury – which is exactly why Christopher Schlierf planned everything down to the smallest minutiae with care, detail, and efficiency. Furthermore, Christopher Schlierf crafted a series of complex gimbal systems to achieve tricky angles, which was by no means easy considering he was working in deep snow with weighty cameras. Zurich Insurance was so thrilled with the commercial that the company ran it during every commercial block on television during the games. Airing it with such frequency was a clear indicator that it had grabbed the attention and excited countless viewers, a fact compounded by its more than 2.7 million YouTube views.
Christopher Schlierf, Benjamin Kratzin
Sound Design + Mixing