Getting the right team for mountain filming
Getting the right team
Put the right team together with the right objective and you do however have the recipe for something very special. Having been a keen mountaineer for 25 years and having filmed extensively in the mountain environment for almost 20 of them I consider myself to be very lucky. It continues to be a magical journey.
Working in the mountains can be a complex game. You’re unlikely to take on the Eiger North Face unless you have some serious experience under your belt. I suppose that using a crew with a proven track record is obvious. Suffice to say that knowing everyone’s comfort zone is paramount and that someone who is well outside theirs will not be able to operate effectively. Put it another way they’ll be more concerned with their own ‘survival’ rather than getting the shot, recording quality audio or thinking through the editorial. One man’s Everest is another’s walk in the park.
Planning and prior knowledge are the weapons of choice for a successful shoot and a detailed systematic approach to mountain working is vital where many of the areas feed into each other.
Do I have a Production Team with relevant experience to be able to operate in the location ?
Experienced operators in the mountains will see the problems coming and side-step them or have the confidence to deal with them head-on. They will have their own specialist clothing, technical climbing equipment, tents, sleeping bags etc. This will save a Production a fortune in Snow & Rock. It will also mean that they’ll keep going when everyone else has given up and gone home. They will be able to facilitate the complex safety logistics necessary to get the various angles and shots once you move onto steep or vertical terrain. Being a climber is a great start for this but having industrial experience in rope-access can be vital. To climb you need your hands, to shoot you have to take your hands off the rock and push buttons. Being able to position yourself using ropes will prevent that screaming fall – all supposing your lines are anchored well at the top.