How to make the films you love and lose weight at the same time by Robert Waldron Not sure whether to write a film-making or a diet blog on this one. The great thing about filming wolves in Yellowstone is that you’re allowed to walk. In fact, you have to walk, the Parks people don’t want you to leave your vehicle just anywhere, or drive off the road. This little rule was particularly character building for me – I was used to driving everywhere and filming from vehicles in Africa. Now here, in the crunchy snow, I see the wolves as specks on the snow ridge two miles away. Hi ho, hi ho. Lift your tripod bro. So, if you’re going to be doing a bit of walking, choose the lightest gear you can. I was happy with my Sachtler Video 18 tripod. Its weighty enough to be stable, and yet doesn’t feel like you’re carrying Golden Gate bridge after a mile. The camera, in the not so distant days of Super 16mm and DigiBeta, didn’t show me any mercy though. Full size, 15 lbs, and then there’s the long glass on the front – necessary because the wolves are not often in your face.
An excerpt from our award winning movie ‘Double Pack:Wild Dogs and Wolves’ filmed over two years in Yellowstone USA and Madikwe game reserve, South Africa.
Now, today, I can just whip out my Panasonic HPX 250 full broadcast HD camcorder, and hit the road at a trot.. Either way, think about a shoulder pad for where the tripod, head and camera rig nuzzle your shoulder as you slog the miles through the blizzardy wastes. A couple layers of towelling sewn into your shirt, or a heavy duty foam pad that you can belt on, will protect your shoulder (or shoulders, as I often swop arms and whimper a little) from getting raw over the duration of your shoot.
Oh, and the bonus is, you’ll lose more than a couple of pounds while you’re watching wolves encircle bison, or plunge through icy rivers, or howl in the tree line. I lost about seven pounds in two weeks, eating like a truck driver. All good clean fun. Next time : Hands Off (as in how not to freeze your hands off.)