The Canadian Rockies

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I recently spent a week in various locations through Alberta and British Columbia filming the Canadian Rockies. I can honestly say that I saw some of the most beautiful locations that I have ever seen in my life. In this video, I wanted to try and capture this beauty — even if just a small slice of it.

The Canadian Rockies comprise the Canadian segment of the North American Rocky Mountains range. They are the eastern part of the Canadian Cordillera, extending from the Interior Plains of Alberta to the Rocky Mountain Trench of British Columbia. The southern end borders Idaho and Montana of the USA. The northern end is at the Liard River in northern British Columbia.

In this post, I will be covering:

  • Breaking Down Your Story.
  • Using Movement to Tell a Story.

Over the coming weeks, I hope to do a short for every province across Canada. My goal is simply share what already exists in nature with those that may not have the opportunity to experience for themselves.

About the Film / Breaking down the story

The production of this film was broken down into two sections. The first half of production was shot with Nils Sorensen & Leanne Schinkel in the Kootenay’s and the second portion was shot with my parents through the Okanogan and Lake Louise Areas.  The schedule and breakdown of this project was extremely laid back.  I had a basic idea how I wanted to approach the story and I know I wanted to use movement as the main story-telling element — showing a visual exploration of space & time.

Beyond this, I wanted to immerse people into nature — showing how it is possible to exist in nature — and show the importance of taking a step back and experiencing what nature has to offer.   One of the main reasons I enjoy heading out and filming in the wilderness is the feeling you get when separated from industrialization — with no power & no cell phone.  It is the one time when life seems to slow down — and where many of the stresses you experience in your day to day lives seems to be subdued.  This is seen through the two characters playing chess in the middle of the wilderness.  You can see through their actions and emotions are focused on each other and the time they are spending together.

Using Movement to tell a Story

There are many elements that help shape the story including acting, directing, audio, & much more.  For this project, it was key to integrate some unique camera moves — and let the camera guide the viewer.  I wanted to use different techniques to capture unique camera moves.  For the intro sequence, I shot most of the ‘dolly’ shots from a car — simply stabilizing by hand.  All of these shots were shot at about 100mm.  I was able to accomplish these shots because of three reasons:

  • Smooth Road.
  • IS on Lens, supporting the camera with the edge of the window frame on the car.  (If you don’t have IS, you will want to stabilize your camera by either using a hand-held rig or strapping down a rig/tripod to your vehicle).
  • Driving slow.

Technical Specs

The music is by Sigur rós and the song is called Glósóli.

To find out more about using Sigur rós in your personal projects, check out the attached link. sigur-ros.co.uk/band/faq.php#13.

To purchase the music on iTunes, visit itunes.apple.com/ca/artist/sigur-ros/id73720797.

Special thanks to my parents, Nils Sorensen, Leanne Schinkel, Eric Kessler & Chris Beller.

Equipment

Shot using the Kessler Crane Pocket Jib, Cineslider, K-POD, Hercules Head, Stealth, Oracle, ElektraDrive System & Shuttlepod System. Shot on 2 x Canon 5D Mark II’s and a 5D Mark III using the 24-105mm 4.0 L, 50mm 1.2 L, 70-200mm 2.8 II IS L, 14mm 2.8 L, 16-35mm 2.8 L.

If you would like to find out more or purchase Kessler Crane gear, please visit Kesslercrane.com.

Locations:

The primary locations of the short are as follows: Three Valley Lake, Griffin Lake, Golden, BC, Bow Lake, Jasper, AB, Kootenay Lake, Kelowna, BC, Summerland, BC, Salmo, BC, Revelstoke, BC, Banff National Park, Nelson, BC, Kokanee Creek, BC, Glacier National Park.