Making Video Recordings for the Iggesund Snowflake Card

After I had worked for several months on the design of the Snowflake Cards, finally the production had started. By the end of October 2016, Lovisa Blomberg from the paper mill Iggesund asked me, if I wanted to visit Sweden again to contribute in an Image video for the Snowflake Cards. I was enthusiastic about the idea and agreed immediately. Since the cards should be sent out in early December, we had to do the video recordings soon, to be able to publish the video at the same time. So we opted for Monday, November 7, 2016. From the very beginning, we knew, that we would have only this one day to finish all the filming.

When we set the date, it was not certain if it would snow at all. And so the director of the video, Johan Lindberg from the Agency Content Innovation,  wrote two different scripts: One version with and one version without snow. In this way we were prepared for all cases. The second part of the film was to be recorded in the old factory, which now houses an industrial museum, so the weather did not matter.

But of course we all hoped it would snow. “Peter dreams of snow” is much more difficult to film than “Peter walks through the snow“. And indeed: As upon order, it really started to snow a few days before my arrival. And how! When Lovisa picked me up at Hudiksvall station on Sunday afternoon, it snowed so hard, that a video recording would have been impossible. But we wanted to do the filming no earlier than by the next day.

On Sunday evening, we all met in a restaurant to discuss everything: Lovisa Blomberg and Elisabeth Östlin from the Iggesund marketing team, Johan Lindberg and Johan Åberg from Content Innovation, the director of photography and filmmaker Erik Ericsson –  and I, Peter Dahmen, have been there as well, of course.

Even though it was already pitch-dark in the evening and still snowing hard, we drove by car to different places in the Swedish forest, to find suitable locations for the shoot on next morning. I was glad to stay in the car – the next day I would still freeze! After that we went to the old factory, where we wanted to shoot the interior scenes. Since the space is huge, various camera positions were possible, so it was good to plan them the day before the shoot.

The film team and I were allowed to stay in one of the three guest houses in the historical property “Grill Manor”. The guest rooms are equipped with every comfort. 
This is a great opportunity to thank Iggesund for the great hospitality. It was really fantastic to be a guest with you! THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

First I unpacked my suitcase and discussed my clothes for the shoot with the film crew. Johan (L) had asked me to bring black clothes – and so I had several black trousers, shirts, sweaters and jackets to choose from. After I tried some of them, we decided to use a combination of jeans and turtleneck sweater – as you can see in the film. We were sitting together for about another hour – but since we had planned a lot for the next day, we went to bed long before midnight.

The next morning, Johan, Johan and Eric had to get up early, because they wanted to use the first rays of sunlight to take pictures of the snowy landscape. I did not have to be there yet, because the first pictures should show the untouched snow. So I didn’t need to be in these pictures anyway 🙂

I was allowed to sleep an hour longer and to have breakfast in peace, while the others were already working in the cold. Since I knew we would spend a lot of time outside – and later in an unheated factory hall – I put on very warm underwear on this morning. During the day it turned out that this was a good decision!

At about 9 o’clock I was picked up. Our first stop took us to a lake where we shot several different settings. Since I think, that a woolen hat doesn’t suit me well, I took it off as soon as the camera was recording. In the film you get the impression, as if I have been walking around all the time without a cap. In fact, I was happy, however, that I could put it on between each recording, no matter how stupid I may have looked. (As long as no one filmed, I did not care 😉 )

Since it looks particularly beautiful when you walk through untouched snow, I could not always estimate exactly how slippery or unsafe my steps would be. When Erik suggested I should walk on the footbridge, which is going into the lake, I was a bit afraid that there might be an ice layer under the snow – I did not want to slip and fall into the lake. (Although this would surely have been an interesting video …). Fortunately, as you can see in the film, the footbridge was safe.
Since I always left traces in the snow, we could only record one take at each location, so we walked along the lake after each take.

After filming at the water, we shot different settings in the forest. It should look like I would be catching a snowflake from the sky. This is not so easy, especially if you have to do it on command. But finally, we recorded this idea as desired.

At lunchtime, we ate in one of the canteens from Iggesund and, more important, we could warm up again.

After the meal, we went on to the old factory. In the hall, in which we recorded the video, there was no heating. Since we wanted to film the various steps from the development of the snowflake card, I had to sit quietly at my work table during the shoot. It was quite cold. As soon as Eric had finished a scene, I usually jumped up and moved to get some warm up.

Every now and then, about every 45 minutes, we stopped the filming and went to one of the adjacent buildings. There it was well heated and there was coffee and tea ready to warm up. Later, there was also delicious chocolate cake, made by Lovisa herself. Thank you very much!! Without these warm-up pauses, we certainly could not have finished the recording. We were very happy when Eric finally recorded the last take in this location:

Was this the end of the shoot? No way! In the main building of Grill Manor, we had to record some interviews. While I was still packing my models and materials in the factory hall, the others had already moved on to the next location to prepare light, camera and sound for the next shoot. To my surprise, Staffan Sjöberg, PR Manager of Iggesund came to pick me up. Thank you, Staffan!

Throughout the day, we had done all recordings without sound, but now I had to give an interview. English is not my native language, so it was not so easy for me. Since I knew, that we had little time before my train would take me back from Iggesund to Stockholm, I was also a bit nervous. After many recordings, which were useless because I made a mistake or lost the thread, there was finally enough material that could be used for the video interview.

Finally, my day of filming was over. After a nice dinner, I had to leave Iggesund  – while the others still had to record the interview with Anna Adler. Staffan was so kind to take me to the station in Hudiksvall, from where I went by train to Stockholm. After a comfortable overnight stay at a nice hotel, I flew back home to Germany.

If we had known beforehand that my train would be delayed by two hours (118 minutes, to be exact), we would not have had to hurry at the shoot of the interview! But maybe it was good to have such a tight schedule.

I like the movies very much! If you have not already seen them, you may watch them here:

Videos produced by Content Innovation for Iggesund Paperboard.

Sincere thanks to all who have made this possible!

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