Positively No Smoking


All my life, while driving to my family’s vacation spot at Wakaw Lake, Saskatchewan, I have driven past a gravel road leading to a pair of old, abandoned grain elevators. I’ve always taken these buildings for granted, but just recently (with fellow filmmaker Nils Sorensen) I decided to pull off the highway and explore these fascinating pieces of 20th century prairie architecture.

In this short, our primary focus was to test out various push/pull techniques using a variety of Kessler Crane gear, both as a way of highlighting the equipments’ abilities and also pushing our own use of the gear. But as we began walking through the wooden monolith, we quickly realized that the building had a story of its own to tell.

We took our cue from a prominent “Positively No Smoking” sign, which we learned was a necessity in grain elevators due to the highly combustible nature of the processed grain. So, refraining from any form of tobacco products, the next step was to climb an old wooden ladder leading to the very pinnacle of the building – not so easy with a full array of Kessler gear in tow! But, we managed and were able to capture an incoming snow storm just as we set up the cineslider on the top floor. You’ll see the snow pouring in through the windows.

After spending a few hours in this elevator, we had to abandon ship or risk being snowed in to the overgrown dirt road we had to take. So we quickly packed up and drove off. Even under time and weather constraints, I think we definitely captured the essence of this forgotten staple of prairie industry.

Technical Specifications

Date: January 4th, 2012
Location: Wakaw, Saskatchewan
Film By: Preston Kanak & Nils Sorensen
Equipment: Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 14mm 2.8, Canon 50mm 1.2, Canon 70-200mm 2.8, Canon 24-105mm, Kessler Crane Cineslider, Kessler Crane Pocket Dolly, Kessler Crane Oracle, Kessler Crane Pocket Jib, Kessler Crane KC Lite, Kessler Crane Shuttlepod System, K-POD.
Special Notes: 3 Minute Short – Part of the Kessler Crane Push/Pull video.