Oct 30, 2019

Looking to learn more about GoPro's Million Dollar Challenge? To help, we're catching up with some of the 2018 featured creators for a behind-the-scenes look at their Million Dollar Challenge journeys.

Though a seemingly routine jump into the water may not sound unique, we felt that this clip submitted by Mark De Fraine brought a number of WOW elements—environment (um, hello Turks & Caicos epic shipwreck!), great lighting and a super unique POV.

This all came together when Mark, a 29-year-old watersports entrepreneur based in Turks & Caicos, heard about the Million Dollar Challenge and decided to dive straight in. He ended up dedicating a whole month of his business, Wake to Wake, to shoot content for the challenge.

We caught up recently with Mark to hear about his Million Dollar Challenge and GoPro journey from his POV. Check it out: 

Check out Chris Roger’s “How I won the Million Dollar Challenge” to get a full BTS of how it all went down.

GoPro: When did you first start using GoPro?
Mark: I started with the GoPro HERO3 after I moved to Turks & Caicos back in 2013. At the time I was a personal trainer, but my love for everything on the water paired with the awesome content I was getting with my GoPro. It was driving me to find ways to get out on the water and exploring these beautiful islands as much as possible.
 
Every moment I had off work I was going out wakeboarding, paddle boarding, jet skiing, surfing, etc. with my GoPro and trying to get the coolest shots I could.
 
I started a personal instagram account (@markdefraine back then) and gained quite a lot of attention with the stuff I was posting. Fast forward a few years, and I was trying to find ways to make this "hobby" a full time job. I made a good friend, Nat, who shared the same passion as me and we decided to set up Wake to Wake Watersports.
 
This is now my full time job and I have been running it for the last two years. I love every minute working for the business and am stoked to see it grow and get constant posts around the world with awesome viral media content.
 
How did you hear about the Million Dollar Challenge?
We were told about the Challenge from GoPro Family Member Chris Rogers who saw me post on our business instagram saying that we had a week of glassy water coming up and asking if anyone wanted to come down and film with us. He messaged us about the Million Dollar Challenge and it seemed like the perfect opportunity!
 
Side note: To help get the shot, various athletes & videographers, including Chris and more GoPro Family Members Tyler Higham and Austin Keen, jumped on the opportunity and flew down to meet Mark in Turks & Caicos. Teamwork makes the dream work, right?! Or in this case, it gets a total of six clips in the final Million Dollar Challenge video.
 
What inspired your awarded clip?
We have been filming on the shipwreck for ages and pretty much got every angle of every jump possible. Then, Chris pulled out the AER and suggested we try using it to get some shots. We started throwing flips off the shipwreck and launching the AER in all different directions in the hopes we got some cool stuff, and we did!
 
The winning clip (pictured above) was shot on 1080p 240fps. I was throwing a gainer off the 40ft jump at our shipwreck, and my friend threw the AER from above with perfect timing catching me mid-air over the turquoise waters of Turks & Caicos.
 

 

Are you planning on participating again this year?

We are definitely planning on participating this year and hoping to go even harder! We already have planned trips for athletes/videographers to come down and film with us, so we are excited to see what kind of footage we capture.

What shots are you most excited to chase on HERO8 or MAX or both?

I’m excited to do anything watersports related with HERO8 and GoPro MAX. With the new HyperSmooth 2.0 feature we can get gimbal-steady footage without worrying about getting our gimbals wet. This has opened up a whole new area of ride-along footage that we can now get when we're out on the water with our amazing backdrop. I’m confident we will produce some more incredible shots!

 

Check out Chris Roger’s “How I won the Million Dollar Challenge” to get a full BTS of the Wake to Wake story and follow @waketowaketc for fresh new content! Get all the Million Dollar deets and/or submit through GoPro Awards.