“Minus” Everything in PyeongChang

Our last eventful trip to PyeongChang was not all plain sailing!

“Minus” Everything in PyeongChang

15th January 2018
“Minus” Everything in PyeongChang

Peter, our creative director, has recently got back from an eventful trip to PyeongChang, South Korea, where he was filming the preparations for the Winter Olympics. Here is his report.

I’ve got packing a suitcase for a long haul shoot in Korea down to a fine art. Snow boots, thermals, gloves, three pairs of jeans, a nice pair just in case we get the sniff of a few beers at the end of a long day on the slopes. The same for camera kit, lights, batteries and hard drives. As I met up with Tom, my director of photography at Heathrow, looking forward to a week’s shoot in South Korea, we looked up at the sky, at the pretty little snowflakes gently falling onto the pavement and dissolving immediately into nothingness. “Might be a little delayed mate.”

8 hours later, we finally got the nod from the airlines. Cancelled. Due to the perfect storm of inches of snow and the decision not to stock up the cupboards with aeroplane de-icer, just in case.

So began a 6-hour queue to get reallocated – or ‘re-protected’ as they like to say. We were ‘re-protected’ onto a different airline for the following evening. But don’t worry, they said. Your luggage will be seamlessly transferred onto the flight.

Cut to Seoul. Fade up on baggage reclaim. Push in on an empty trolley waiting for luggage that never came.

We took stock of our situation. Minus 20 degrees C. Minus snow boots, thermals, gloves and scarf. Minus toothbrush, toothpaste, razor, shaving cream, and that really strong hair gel that mushes my hair just the way I like it. And probably even more important, minus tripods, lights, batteries, sound kit, monitors and cables.

Thanks to the full-on brilliance of our production director, we were able to race into Seoul and pick up the filming kit we needed for the next day’s call time of 6.30am. Something to keep us warm in the unforgiving arctic conditions? We managed to find two nice pairs of knitted gloves at a petrol station on the three-hour drive down.
Tom took the blue, I took the grey.

And so we found ourselves standing at the bottom of PyeongChang’s iconic ski jump, framing up for the key interview. I looked down at our feet. Minus 20 degrees C. Skimpy training shoes and scuffed Chelsea boots. Just as well I had my nice pair of jeans on. We got our beers in the end. And they never tasted better.