View Full Version : Logistics and Set Decoration in the High Arctic.

08-02-2011, 10:58 PM
When I put together my plans for H*A*W*S, one of my current feature projects, I intended it to be shot entirely on location at 80 N at the Eureka weather station on Ellesmere Island. However, as I've been looking at the costs to fly in all of the things necessary to decorate the buildings I'd have available, (the Old Main Complex), its looking like it will actually be cheaper to build interior sets on conventional soundstages, which means only about a third to half of the movie would need be shot on location. As you should note from the photo below when they recently built a brand new Main Complex, they left the previous Complex completely intact and just moved all the old furniture and operations stuff over to the New Main Complex. I'd be outfitting the Old Main Complex for production. However, if I tough it out


and shoot everything on location it would put H*A*W*S in the Guiness record book as the most northerly produced narrative feature of all time. I'm a bit torn at the moment as a lot of things have been miraculously lining up to see this project happen with a full budget. Its costing almost $150K just to formally scout the location next summer at a cost of $12K-$15K per person, plus aircraft charter for a twin otter and two helicopters. Two other principle locations are at Blacktop Ridge and Eastwind lake about 10 and 12 kilometers from the station respectively.

By the way its a comedy. Logline: A man and woman working at a high arctic weather station which has been slated for closure, stumble across the largest diamond deposit on earth.

08-02-2011, 11:19 PM
Shooting the whole thing on location would be cool, and good publicity, but yes I can see it costing a whole lot more (and taking longer and having more production problems), possibly for little benefit in the final film - how many viewers will really care where it was shot? Especially as you're shooting in summer so it just looks like arid land (as opposed to shooting in winter, which would be appallingly difficult and dangerous, but at least all the freezing snow would give some nice visuals :) )

Have you considered looking for lookalike terrain closer to 'civilisation', and using that for the main shooting, just using the real location for a relatively few wide shots?