By Simon Forrester (Freelance)
Stay warm - wear the right clothing
Keeping comfortable is of paramount importance and if you have the right kit, there's no reason why you shouldn't be warm and dry (most of the time) which make life in the cold an altogether pleasanter experience.
Take care when choosing the right clothing for a shoot in the cold. Visit a reputable outdoor supplier and seek advice either from them, or a colleague who has experience of cold climates.
When working on the ice 'Baffin' or 'Sorrel' boots are essential as is a down jacket with an integrated hood and down trousers. It's also worth taking snow goggles as these will not only prevent snow blindness during a sunny day but, should a storm blow up, they will protect your eyes from flying ice crystals.
Extremities of the body such as hands, feet and noses need to have particular attention paid to them as they are prone to frostbite which can become very serious and easily bring an end to your trip, not to mention losing a finger or two!
It is however, very easy to overdress. Wearing too much clothing when working leads to sweating which can be very dangerous. When you stop working and have a rest, your sweat will quickly cool down the body's core temperature and increase the risk of hyperthermia. Wearing bulky clothing also inhibits body movement making even simple tasks much harder to achieve – it’s impossible to sound mix or operate a camera iris with mittens on for example. So it’s better to wear a number of thinner layers that you can take on or off to suit the conditions rather than one big layer that you are stuck with no matter what.
If you get cold - take action!
Finally, no matter what precautions you take, there will come a time when somebody on the crew will get properly cold. When this happens it is essential that filming is stopped immediately and action taken. Often a warm drink and some food will do the trick but on other occasions it will not - the only thing to do is to get them into somewhere warm as soon as possible. If that means finishing filming for the day tough luck!