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C.D.A 2023 FILM

It’s been a minute since we last spoke about our behind-the-scenes antics. These stories are intended to give you a peak behind the curtains to what goes into a Givelo film and a little more detail about the collection itself. This time around it’s all about C.D.A, which launched at the end of 2023, and what a collection to talk about.

A Litte Context

C.D.A (Conceptualise, Disrupt, Apply), previously known as ACID, was given a new life in 2023, keeping some of the underlying
basic principles. We didn’t just want to give a name to this collection, it had to be based on something a much larger, running from start to finish, intertwined in everything we do. It works like a pulse check to make sure we are applying the acronym across each area; it may be as simple as a colour selection, sourcing materials or filming, but each step in its creation should be held to the C.D.A standard. This working culture helped push the development of C.D.A, and ultimately Givelo, to a new level.
So, what was the first notable change made in 2023? None other than material selection. From the start of the year, we went in search of a few core materials to shake up the conventional wisdom behind soft nylon fabrics and lightweight shell textiles. We asked simple questions like “How can we make the lightest, yet versatile shell items on the market?” or “Where can we find new, pre-dyed nylon fabrics that have unique textures?”. Quite quickly we found what we were looking for in Japan, no surprise there. We stumbled upon a factory with Cordura® certification that provided us with a fantastic 60gsm shell fabric that uses a draw-textured yarn technique to give it a unique matte finish. This ultra-light fabric weighs even less than our featherlight base layers and provides the rider with an extremely pocketable jacket or gilet to take with them on any ride. This new material fits almost perfectly into the C.D.A philosophy, bringing something new to the jacket/gilet range which is unlike the competition, packed with textile technology. Of course, this new product had to feature heavily in the filming and set the stage for location needs and style.

The Plan

Throughout 2023, we made an emphasis on promoting where we are from, Colombia. This country has so much geographical diversity there are endless spots to create the ideal route for almost any film. For C.D.A, it had to be different, barely known, with a colder climate (difficult in Colombia) and accessible – which sounds straightforward but isn’t always that simple. We picked “El Nevado del Ruiz” as our destination; One of the only places you can find snow in Colombia. This area is next to Manizales and right beside the most famous climb in the world – Letras. C.D.A brings with it a little added pressure of being “other-worldly”, but this was the perfect spot, boasting landscapes that looked more like Greenland than Colombia. We had been told about a new road running down the back end of the mountain that was newly paved and complete desolate – a cycling dream essentially.

The plan was set to go with a small crew and 3 cyclists from the area. Steven our brand director, the Bedoya brothers, Daniel and Cesar, were the Givelo core team and we met with transport help, camera assistants and the models in

The Trip

The trip began leaving the local national destination airport in the heart of Medellín, the day before filming. To fly to Manizales we took a 22-seater, propeller plane barely being allowed to board without so much technical gear. Just landing at Manizales you start to get an idea why it’s so famous for its hard climbs, even the airport is at 2,094m altitude, tucked between a few cliff-side mountains. We headed straight for the hotel which is at the foot of the initial climb, preparing ourselves for the early start and preparing the gear for filming – you can indeed have nightmares about dead batteries and corrupted memory packs. The final run-through of scenes was talked about (something that usually goes out the window while weather and ideas start changing) and most importantly a quick run-through of the concept and feeling behind the film. This all gets linked back to the initial C.D.A concept giving us a north start, as on the day of the shoot decisions have to be made on the spot.

The Givelo crew was the last to get picked up at 4 am, the riders having already been picked. All-in-all we climbed about 2,000m more trying to get a few more z’s until we got to our base camp. The temperature was now below 0 with the sun just coming up, and what a sight it was. Again, much more like Greenland, not Colombia. Virgin hills, no one in sight and a mix of stone with low moss-like plants covering the landscape. Just behind us, we could see the peak of the “Nevado” that was still snow-covered.
We got straight to it and started capturing the low-light images we wanted in this spot. When filming the basic idea is to capture everything you need for each shooting location, no matter the chronological order. At this first location, we shot everything that wasn’t moving; the loose products, the floating jacket and the abstract cyclist scenes. Here we improvised using the water that naturally comes down from the mountain adding new elements to the initial plan. For the majority of the sunrise, we stayed here at base camp before beginning our descent, cyclists on-bike and filming in full flow.

One thing that is hard to explain about this area are the Frailejones, a native plant of the area. These plants have a unique appearance with almost a cactus-type look and are essential to the paramo landscape. Reaching up to 20m tall, these plants are experts at trapping
water vapour from passing clouds feeding subterranean water deposits and lakes, crucial to the water sustainability of the area. Adapted to survive in these harsh altitude climates, and protected by the Colombian government, they added to the uniqueness and mystery of the filming. The Frailejones were also a sign of the intense humidity and altitude the
riders started to pass through. As we continued the road down, we were struck by more and more corners and curves that seemed to fall into infinity and then open up again as if we were transported from cliff-edge to cliff-edge. Filming was a pleasure as with every turn we made, we had a new vision to capture. The riding part of the C.D.A film was set to last as long as the weather permitted, running and re-running each curve to get the rider at just the right angle. Staying true to the C.D.A philosophy, we got up close and personal, broke the “usual” filming styles and showed each product in a new setting that challenged conventional wisdom.
Soon enough the rain started a little too heavy and the equipment was at risk of damage so we packed up and waited for it to pass. By now we had a good 4 to 5 hours of filming saved and after seeing a run of what was shot, we could already head back home satisfied. The rain never let up and we headed back. Sandwiches in hand, wet the bone and excited with what we had captured. Film camera memories and photography camera memories were stored and the trip back in reverse began.

C.D.A 2023