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Shooting Semisweet: Extreme Weather

michael — 5 years ago

I’m back inside after 2 brutal hours of enduring subzero temperatures. I’m here in the wilds of Haliburton – The Land of Is – with my crew to film Ron and Nadine, who are shooting one of their homemade company videos for You Tube. When I first heard that they wanted to do the shoot right in the middle of their snow-covered lake, I was quite happy because I knew how nice and visual that would be – all those beautiful evergreens against the blue sky and the pristine white snow. But the logistics of pulling it off is another story.

Winter Extreme
A few hours ago, when we first got here from our hotel, it was already minus 30 degrees Celsius. If anything, it’s gotten even colder since then. Filmmakers with Arctic experience might dismiss that as “lightweight” but, for me, these are the coldest conditions I’ve ever filmed in. The worst of it are my toes. They’re slowly going numb. I have expensive boots and good liners but I think my socks got wet somewhere along the way.

The equipment is also labouring in this intense cold. Batteries are only lasting half as long as usual. Since audio and video cables could potentially crack in this freezing cold, my cameraman Stan Barua and my soundman Dave Draper are being incredibly careful not to make any sudden moves.

The knee-high snow is also an issue in terms of mobility. It makes it that much harder for us to move around – especially when Stan and Dave have to run alongside Ron as he speeds his sled across the lake.

Ron and Nadine
So, as I said, I’m now back inside the cozy confines of Ron and Nadine’s cottage. We’re taking a short 10-minute break. But we have to leave the camera outside because, if we bring it in, the sudden change in temperature will cause internal condensation and then we’ll be forced to wait an hour to let the camera warm up and dry off.

Ron has been kind enough to lend me a pair of socks. I should be okay for the rest of the shoot. I hope. But, now, we have another problem: Ron says he can’t find his microphone. We don’t have an extra one that will fit his consumer camera. He thinks he may have left it out there in the snow.

Snowy weather 2
Now all we have to do is search through 144 acres of snow-covered wilderness.

Cacao, Chocolate, ChocolateInfo, documentary, MichaelBlog, Semisweet

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