It's tough to drag yourself off to bed when you have 24 hour-a-day sunshine, and some of the most incredible natural history I've ever seen.
Canada's Arctic is a popular natural history and wildlife filming location. The big draw here are polar bears, but not far behind you'll find the epic walrus, bearded seals, ringed seals and bow head whales.
The landscape is as cinematic as it is memorable, pure white islands of ice slowly floating in a sea of blue. But don't let all the charming characteristics give you a false sense of security, it can be a very challenging environment to shoot in, especially underwater.
The key here is to find the right people. The local Inuit are extremely friendly, professional, personable. and as you'd expect, hugely knowledgeable. Their history and insights are indispensable, and their charm is infectious.
In addition, a great camera assistant is equally as important so I'm happy Tynan Callesen was once again with me on this shoot. Tynan's background in the motion picture industry has given him a unique set of rigging and grip skills that he now applies to wildlife filming. And the Arctic was a great sandbox (or should that be ice box) for him and I to play in. From Mad Max to Polar Bears.
Filming underwater in Canada's Arctic requires (*uses Liam Neeson voice), a particular set of skills. Situational awareness, dive planning, good instincts, excellent dive skills and kit reliability. a dedicated safety team and equipment, good skipper, and a little luck with the weather - all parts of the polar puzzle.
Having two underwater housings is extra handy. If walrus shit hits the fan, and I loose a camera, having an separate redundant system is always a good idea. The RED V-Raptor performs insanely well in the arctic environment, underwater or above. While the RED Komodo serves as a mastic back-up, toasty warm in its hard case.
Nauticam's Raptor and Komodo housing just gets better each time I use it. And now I have an 8K 120fps split rig (oh, everything is Netflix approved btw), achieving those dream shots is more of a possibility than ever.
I was also impressed with the Magic 3 Cine. When it comes to Arctic travel. every ounce is precious, so using a Magic 3 Cine, instead of a larger Inspire makes a lot of sense, and the Apple ProRes footage - is stunning.
Walrus look magnificent underwater, like something from a sub aquatic Game of Thrones. While an encounter with a polar bear relaxing on ice, is another in a long line of memorable moments, and awesome shots in the can.
The challenge of filming here pays off, we completed our shot list, unaware what time of day it is, as the sun bounces off the horizon without ever dropping below it.
As I unpack, and immediately repack for the next shoot, the experience of filming in Canada's Arctic is still fresh in my mind. I can't wait to see how this sequence looks in the final show, but until then, I have to get used to night time once more...