Shooting in the wild
This project, the Archipelago Climber, came about when I had a meeting with Canon representatives, and they wanted me to do a personal project with the Canon Cinema EOS C300 Mark III. I was brainstorming during the meeting and had the idea to film something in the Finnish Archipelago. I then wrote a story around a specific location I had in mind.
I envisioned that we would just go to this rocky island, spend a night there shooting the film and come home. The reality was a bit more complex and required some compromises. First, I broke my ankle while scouting for locations, so I couldn’t risk venturing too far out to the sea in hazardous conditions. Also, it is really hard to dock on a natural rocky island, if there are any waves at all. We tried to find a safe weather window, but with the project deadline approaching fast, I eventually had to come up with an alternative location.
In the end, we shot the parts with the climber on land, in locations we could reach by car. But I wanted to keep the experience as authentic as possible, so we slept in tents and cooked food over a campfire. There were three of us involved in the project: me, the climber and a behind-the-scenes camera guy. It was super fun, although we didn’t get much sleep, because the days are long in Finland this time of year.
I shot the drone parts on a different day and I really wanted to make the location look like a distant island. The weather worked against us once again! This time the sea was completely calm which made it difficult to fit scenes together. I think I found a nice way to work around it in the edit.
While the pre-production phase was quite challenging and stressful, once we actually got to shooting it was quick and fun. I’m happy with the end result despite the compromises with the location. There’s nothing you can do about the weather, so we need to learn to work around it. I was able to capture the main story and the mood of the film exactly how I imagined them.