Scott Adams from Birchbark Media always seems get me involved in the oddest jobs. This time he had me working as the host for a tourism video for the Mattawa Region. It seemed easy enough, we would drive up and film me wandering around doing some Summer touristy things : paddle the Mattawa River, hike the Eau Clair Gorge trial, camp at Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park, ask for information at the luxurious downtown tourism building and visit all 23 wooden statues spread throughout the region that depict the "legends of the Mattawa Region."
Problem was, he needed the film out before the Summer season so they could, obviously, promote the Summer season. This meant we filmed the moment the deciduous trees showed green. We had to make early Spring look like Summer, without a big budget and without the use of any fancy props.
In doing so, I had to continuously wave the blackflies away from my face every time Scott filmed me paddling along the Mattawa River. I was forced to run class III rapids and make them look like the usual Class Is. I had to wear long underwear under my fashionable summer outfit while hiking the gorge in temperatures that hovered around 6 degrees Celsius. We snuck past the "closed" sign for Samuel de Champlain and pretended to camp beside neighbors that included the camera man and producer. We even filmed inside a tourism building that was going through renovations - but with a tight camera angles and muting the construction crew cussing in the background, no one would ever guess it was Spring rather than the usual busy Summer season.
The only true difficulty was dodging bulldozers and dump trucks working on revitalizing the downtown roadway while we searched out all 23 wooden statues. Our crew did manage to keep safe. Scott even took advantage of the smoke spewing out of the road-paving machine and added fog and mist to one of his shots.
Overall the film shoot was a success. We were not only able to promote the romance of spending a Summer vacation in the Mattawa Region but Scott and I also captured the true essence of this northern town - a town I have visited and vacationed in for countless years and will continue to do so what ever the season.