Services for Media & Art Projects

One of our first challenges was support for a BBC production with David Attenborough.
Contrast program: Shots for the winter edition of an eco-fashion winter catalogue.
Summerly filming in Spitsbergen means often: Survival suit in open boat. Even for short changes ...
... of perspective to shore, the clumsy suit is often kept on, nevertheless, because afterwards in the boat, ...

When we started in Spitsbergen back in 1986, the archipelago was still pretty much a white spot on the map for media and artists from outside Norway. Understandably, we soon got involved in media and art projects as a local logistics and consulting partner - initially for Spitsbergen, but since also for the Russian Arctic and for projects related to arctic politics.

By now, we have been involved in media and arts projects in the Arctic over more than 20 years, ranging from minor advice to support of major film projects. On average, we contribute to 2-3 film projects per year, in addition there are journalists from newspapers, magazines and radio, professional photographers with special themes, advertising projects or movie productions. And also: art projects in the fields of photography, multimedia, painting.

 

 

Usually requested is a combination of:

  • Consulting -  ranging from suggesting topics and locations to equipment questions.
  • Our wide background knowledge regarding all kinds of arctic issues.
  • Organisation of contacts.
  • Help with logistics,
  • Providing field assistants with practical arctic field experience (often also for carrying in pathless terrain)
  • Polar bear guards.

Questions ? Please get in touch with us: info@terrapolaris.com  !

 

Pictures shown here were taken during a number of projects in Spitsbergen and the Russian arctic, in which we were involved. All in all, we have assisted numerous projects from Austria, Canada, Germany Great Britain, Netherlands, Norway, Russia and Switzerland. A click on a picture leads to a larger version.

 

... the survival suit is highly welcome for keeping warm.
Highly popular, but also a budget and permission issue ...
... is the aerial perspective from a helicopter.
Far more unusual are in arctic filming are submarine shots.
Another dramatic perspective: the majestic ice sculptures ...
... of glaciers, especially near their calving fronts.
Rules for filming in winter: optimal cold protection plus time and patience,
because in possible snowstorms with whiteout conditions, there is little to do outside but wait.

A number of principal points to be observed for arctic projects:

Transports to more remote regions are often extremely demanding and expensive - and sometimes even impossible in certain parts of the year, or may require long time for preparations (possibly a year !). Usually, only ship or helicopter, in winter and spring sometimes also snowmobiles, are realistic options. In Spitsbergen, other motorized vehicles (like off-road cars) are forbidden off the few short roads. In huge remote areas of the Arctic, there are simply no motorized vehicles available (like in certain parts of the Russian arctic), and would have to be brought there specifically, for instance by expensive helicopter transport, as well as fuel.

Related to necessary long distance transports, there is also the issue of eventual rescue operations: insurances for appropriate rescue cost levels may be costly or even difficult to get at all.

For helicopter flights, usually permissions are needed, which are handled very restrictively in some regions (like all of Spitsbergen) - very high costs and limited availability and range come in addition. In many cases, available helicopters are not well suited for film work, needing for instance special doors and/or safety harnesses for such use.

Armed protection against polar bear risks may be needed for any activities outside settlements.

At least in Spitsbergen, where a lot of media work takes place due to the excellent combination of easy access, very northern position and great and varied scenery, a certain "media fatigue" has to be taken into account - often not least because of the behaviour of earlier projects.

In some areas, very strict protective regulations apply both for the natural environment and cultural heritage, culminating in some places in a complete ban on access seasonally or all year round.

Large-scale true wilderness requires patience, time and flexibility. The wrong expectation of many tourists: perfect wilderness - but of course with full infrastructure is a contradiction in itself, unfor-tunately often met also with media representatives.

Especially in the Russian arctic, there is not only a lack of suitable transport, but often also the closure of huge areas for military or national security reasons an additional hindrance.

 


Last Modification: 15.04.2010