What I remember from elementary school about Iceland is my teacher telling me, “Iceland is green and Greenland is ice.” While I have not yet been to Greenland I can attest to the fact that Iceland in August is definitely green.
Iceland – the well-known film and photo destination at the confluence of the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans – has been on my list of locations to visit for seemingly forever. Finally had the chance to check out last week on a sizeable commercial production. On one hand, I was surprised to learn how many Hollywood features have recently been shot in the harsh landscape (Ridley Scott’s Prometheus and Oblivion starring Tom Cruise are two of the big budget examples…). On the other hand, it makes complete sense – the landscape is bonkers-cool, the quantity of light (18 hours or so of it each day this time of year) and quality of that light truly makes Iceland a dream destination location for photo and film work.
Some fun facts about Iceland:
// as a country of just over 300,000 people they have the highest per capita number of golf courses, hot tubs and trampolines.
// most of the Iceland population believes in elves – or will certainly not deny their existence (we tested this and found it to be the truth)
// 30 post-glacial volcanoes have erupted in the past two centuries, and natural hot water supplies much of the population with cheap, pollution-free heating
// the Icelandic horse has a “5th speed” or gait that other breeds do not possess
// the size of Iceland is roughly the same size as Pennsylvania in the US.
// the people are lovely and warm, but good luck learning the language – the mutha is tough!!
As always, local knowledge was key and we had some incredible local producers through ProFilm. Marteinn Ibsen and Arnaldur Halldórsson drove us all over their country in the short 5 days we had in-country – and knew exactly where to take us and when. Having local knowledge is always key.
We scored some especially high quality offerings from the air (we chartered helicopters again this trip and flew some cameras on affordable drone quadcopters too ) and along the south coast… So many rolling green hills abutting glaciers with rainbows, I expected to see a Unicorn at any second.
Of course knowing what to do with it comes down to your ability as a photographer/filmer. (TIP: check out Corey Rich’s outdoor photography workshop over at creativeLIVE for more on the skills: here.)
Below are some BTS moments with my crew snapped on iphones and point & shoots. We’re all passionate about the work – and despite some brutally long 16 hour days we won’t soon forget the trip.
Behind-the-scenes photo by Yours Truly, my man Erik Hecht and homeskillet Christopher Jerard