Written by on Oct 24, 2014. Posted in Production News

Harpoon Pictures films seaplanes and dozens of extras for Verizon Alaska shoot

Harpoon Pictures filmed in Alaska for an epic new campaign promoting the arrival of internet service provider Verizon in the north-west US state. Arrival features engineers making the journey to a lakeside Alaskan home by land, air and water to deliver their service.

Filming focussed on a home, a glacier and an off-road biking area as the three main shoot locations, all in or around Anchorage. Off-road scenes were filmed at the mouth of the Knik River, while ski planes had to be used to transport crew, equipment, dogs and their sleds onto a nearby glacier by way of sling-loads.

“We used three ski-planes – two DeHavilland Beavers and one DeHavilland Otter – to transport agency and crew to the glacier,” explains Bob Karwoski, Assistant Director on the shoot: “The transport planes also doubled as picture vehicles. We established our base camp on the mountain at which time our chopper, provided by ZatzWorks, met us on the glacier.

“The chopper had a Cineflex mount with a Red Epic that was used for air-to-air and air-to-ground photography. After the aerials were completed the planes re-landed on the glacier and we completed our photography with the dog sled and snow machines. We then packed up again, loaded the planes and returned to Anchorage.”

The home that appears at the end of the spot was found in Anchorage on a lake shore. It satisfied the team’s requirements by having a kitchen looking out onto the water and a yard area that could comfortably accommodate more than 60 actors.

Most scenes throughout the shoot were filmed with at least two separate cameras. A pair of Alexas comprised the main A and B cameras and in addition to the helicopter system they also used a Canon C100, a 5D and several GoPro units. The technical complement gave the team the flexibility needed to complete the logistically challenging production on schedule with limited prep time.

“We worked with a local production manager in Anchorage who seemed to know anyone and everyone who could be of assistance to our production,” Karwoski adds.

“With the exception of our producer, director, AD and DoP, virtually all of our crew was local to the Anchorage area, and we benefited from the cooperation and enthusiasm of almost everyone we worked with locally, from the helicopter pilots to the dog mushers to the vehicle owners and various local vendors. This local support was critical to the success of this challenging but exciting production.”

To view the commercial click here.

Client: Verizon
Production Company: Harpoon Pictures, NY/LA
Executive Producer (Harpoon Pictures): Chester Mayer
Director: Samy Mosher
Assistant Director: Bob Karwoski
Producer: Doug Conte
Director of Photography: Kevin Ward
Production Manager: Meg Halsey
Location Scout: Jerry LaVine


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