This week at the station

This week at Davis: 9 August 2013

Back stage at Davis

Last weekend saw the Davis crew (and many others across the continent) attacking the Antarctic 48hr Film Festival. The team pulled together brilliantly as we spit-balled ideas, formed a rough idea of a story and leaped (maybe a little prematurely) into filming. There were a number of heated discussions between the director, producer and editors... but needless to say we got through them and ended up with some great footage that we were able to cut into a pretty decent short film. I’ll cover the details of the competition in a later story.

This set of pictures gives a little insight into what was happening behind the scenes.

Where would we be without the tremendous efforts of the catering team? Rocket and Jase served up an amazing hot breakfast on Saturday morning, and we needed it! Saturday night turned out to be a record cold day at Davis, negative 41.3 degrees. This is now the coldest August day here, and only 0.5 of a degree off the coldest Davis temperature of all recorded time! Having to shoot outside in these conditions meant three things; beautiful clear skies, but lots and lots of clothes, and frequents breaks to come back inside to warm up.

Lucky for me, after shooting some early scenes on Saturday, I relegated myself to the warmth inside to sit down and start editing... there are always perks when you wear the editors cap!

Expeditioners line up for a hearty cooked breakfast before heading out into the cold to film
Feeding the troops
(Photo: Rich)
An expeditioner rugged up in multiple jackets to keep warm in the minus 40 temperature
Rugged up to shoot
(Photo: Comms Ninja)
Picture of a camera filming an expeditioner climbing the communications tower near Operations building and ANARESAT radome
Shooting Mark on tower
(Photo: Rich Y)
Picture of camera filming expeditioner standing on a snow bank in full search and rescue gear looking out over horizon
Shooting Pat's search
(Photo: Rich Y)
An expeditioner in a penguin suit sitting on a quad bike out on the frozen sea ice with snow covered islands in the back ground
Penguin on a quad
(Photo: Simon B)
A group of expeditioners crowd together in the library to discuss the finer points of editing the movie. The table in front of them is littered with computers, cameras, radios and food
At the editing table
(Photo: Nick N)

Vestfold Productions presents an extended trailer for “The CALL”

The rules of the 48hr Film Festival are pretty simple, the film must be shot and edited over 48 hours (one weekend). To ensure this, we are provided a list of five elements on the Friday afternoon that must be included in the movie. We then have to upload the final product on the Monday morning. This year the elements were:

  • The sound of an "authentic sneeze" 
  • A table tennis ball (ping pong ball) 
  • A bath tub 
  • Someone must say "Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir" 
  • The character "The Gingerbread Man"

Our production team decided to shoot our film in the style of a trailer, and eventually we came up with the title, "The Call". The storyline begins with discussing how hard it is on an Antarctic station made up of only 17 guys. The tempo ebbs and flows and it all changes when a call comes in over the radio from a damsel in distress. The team immediately go into search and rescue mode to find her. And, like all great thrillers, there are twists and turns that will leave you guessing – everyone loves a cliff-hanger!

These are a selection of some of my favourite shots taken from the movie footage.
Picture of the title credits from the movie “Davis Station 66th ANARE presents The CALL”
Title for Credits
(Photo: Gavin H-T)
Picture of the opening movie introduction, wooden boards with “Vestfold Brewery Productions” burnt and stencilled on to them
Title for Opening
(Photo: Mark K)
Expeditions in the cinema surrounding a large wooden chocolate box firing nerf guns at each other
Nerf battle in cinema
(Photo: Bob S)
Close up picture of expeditioner juggling ping-pong balls
Bob juggling
(Photo: Gavin H-T)
Close up picture of expeditioner laughing
Mal smiling
(Photo: Gavin H-T)
Expeditioner with crazy fuzzed up hair in the radio room, wrapped in a big jacket and woollen scarf
Scary Bob
(Photo: Mark K)
Expeditioner throwing his hands up in disbelief that the SAR alarm is going off and he has to leave his comfy chair
Colin in the smokers hut
(Photo: Aaron M)
Silly close up picture of an expeditioner sneezing
(Photo: Mark k)

DVD Extras, the alternate scenes

What would a film be without the added DVD extras?

Some of these were either cut completely from the final movie, or are just different angles of what was used. Either way, they are all collected from the pile on the cutting room floor.

Expeditioner bouldering on the indoor climbing wall
Nick bouldering
(Photo: Bob S)
Expeditioner skiing in a tuck position, coming down the hill with the Met Building in the background
Skiing tuck
(Photo: Mark K)
Picture of two expeditioners in the spa bath squirting water with their hands at each other. One is smiling, the other squinting after getting water in his eye
Spa bath shoot
(Photo: Nick N)
Expeditioners in penguin and gingerbread man costumes wrestling to see who gets to sleep in the bed
Fight for the bed
(Photo: Paul K)
Picture of the red Band Hut, a large bit of snow blizz peeling off the left side of the building with the bright sun lighting up the frozen sea ice behind it
Band Hut
(Photo: Keith D)
An alternative picture of expeditioners on quad bikes and Hagglunds approaching the Rimmet Van on the frozen sea ice with Gardener Island and icebergs in the background
Rimmet Van approach
(Photo: Nick N)