Filmmaker Abraham Joffe, along with cinematographer Dom West and photographer Joshua Holko, trekked over 120 miles a day in the Arctic region of Svalbard to capture a glimpse of the elusive polar bear.
They spent 16-hour days crossing the beautiful frozen tundras, braving bumps and bruises amid -20 degrees temperatures. Holko is still recovering from second-degree frostbite on his face. He removed his face covering briefly to shoot a 3-minute take.
The wind chill also made the cold grueling to work. Often, the equipment failed — cameras didn’t power on, batteries lost charge in mere minutes, HDMI cables became brittle and snapped in the cold.
All the while, they existed on a diet of freeze-dried cod and pasta, washed down with tepid coffee and the occasional frozen Mars bar.
“In spite of the conditions, it was one of the most rewarding shoots we have all been involved in,” Joffe added. “I’ve always been drawn to places that are hard to get to. The polar regions fit those criteria like nowhere else.”
Well… thats a wrap! An epic 7 day expedition of filming in the Arctic in winter in Svalbard is now complete. We experienced some incredible landscapes, amazing arctic winter light and some truly amazing encounters with Polar Bears. Averaging around 200km a day on our snow mobiles, up at 4am most mornings and never back before 8pm, 2 cases of frost bite, broken cameras, cameras that didn't want to work in the cold, dead batteries, lots of broken cables (the metal just gets brittle in the extreme cold), Broken LCD screen, temps between -10 Celsius and -29 Celsius + wind chill, and more freeze dried meals than I care to remember . Woking in winter arctic conditions is incredibly difficult.. My sincere thanks to Frede Lamo, Abraham Joffe and Dom West for their total dedication and assistance on this film project… how@my cinematographers look after 7 days at -28c and no sleep….48 hours to recharge and then head out on the next expedition on ship…
Holko is an Australian landscape, nature and wildlife photographer who specializes in the polar and sub-polar regions of the world.
See the incredible footage at 4:36…