Filming in Extreme Climates!

So after 8 days in France which involved a 2 way trip of 14 hours and 735 miles one way, yes we did this twice, we have finally returned.

The Journey

Our journey helped with the creative thinking but after a 3:30am start we needed a kick start of coffee before we were good for anything.

With every trip you have to consider kit and our main concerns were the cold, keeping it lightweight so we could move around on skis and have the ability to access hard to reach areas across ice and snow.

We tried to be minimal with what we took but once we had put all our favourite items in a pile we realised it was too much. We were finally left with a Canon 1DX, Canon 5DMkIV, Canon C200, Ronin S and a Osmo Pocket.

Everyday we would consider what we were filming that day and pack our kit accordingly but there are few things you need to consider with cold weather and your equipment.

  1. When bringing cameras/lenses from a warm room or vehicle, give them time to acclimatise as they will mist up.

  2. Avoid breathing on your lenses or moving from a cold environment into a hot and straight back into the cold, as moisture will build up and then just freeze.

  3. Battery life is considerably reduced in cold weather, I keep one stowed in my jacket close to my body heat.

  4. Keep a chamois on you so that you can wipe the lens if you get moisture on the glass, I have one on me and at least 5 in my bag. I dry these out overnight ready for the next day.

  5. Just on a personal level I have 2 sets of gloves on me, a lycra set which are really thin which I use when operating the camera and soon as I have finished I put on my thick gloves.

We saw two potential videos, one of these being focused on the Nordic Biathlon but before going out and shooting everything I wanted to make sure I didn't just end up with a pile of clips which had no real meaning.

Firstly I wanted to know what my piece was going to focus on, I wanted to know what inspired him and what goes through his mind during the race. By focusing on the questions that I wanted to ask I was able to build a list of shots that would tell the story. Bear in mind my questions are a guide and allow me to come back to them if I loose my chain of thought.

An Interview is about having a personal conversation with someone and taking it in the direction you want, if you don’t build a rapport then their answers will be wooden.

I always use ‘Notes’ on my iPhone, it allows me to add a question whenever I think of one, as I always have my phone on me. I’m then able to start building the pictures I would like to capture.

Now with all this there is no control of the person we were filming. We had to get the shots during the race, which meant we also needed to build the story whilst filming him.

Every camera has a purpose but the majority of the time I was shooting on the 1DX with either a 35mm or 135mm, at 100fps.

I mainly captured the close ups initially as I want to capture as much emotion as possible and I want the viewer to feel part of the action and to share in his experience. I also had a 70-200mm which I could use to get the fast action shots with the focus on Auto and tracking on I could follow him through the frame.

Russ used the Ronin S with a 5DMkIV and he swapped between the 24mm and 35mm, lol we did squabble over the 35mm as it seems we both currently like this lens. We may need to get two!

Ronin S

This was also used to capture some really good stable action shots and proved to be a blessing but just remember when using those fixed lenses to remember your distance if using a really shallow depth of field.

We had already met our star of the show before the race and had a chat, so I could get a feel of how he felt about being interviewed and opening up. Its turns out he felt really comfortable with it and really shone, there were some slight nerves but I felt he told his story the best way he could.

Overall after spending several hours cutting the Interview and another couple of hours finding some appropiate music I managed to complete my piece on Miles Cawood. He's young, focused and I would hope that he could inspire others to go out and get what they want ...... If you really want it!

At the end of the day this was all about us telling his story, I just hope we did him Justice. Please watch his video and share your thoughts.