Preparation of the film

Posted by Jacqueline Farmer on October 1, 2018 – News

road and snow-capped mountains in Iceland
All roads lead to the snow-capped mountains in Iceland...

Two years ago, our teams conducted research around the climatological phenomenon that is snow, travelling from Iceland to Belarus, via the State of New York and the French Alps.

The locations were carefully chosen to explore the snow in all its multiple forms, while following a winter depression that will eventually bring snow to France from across the Atlantic.

In French Alps, snow must be earned.

a forest of fir trees under the snow

We decided to locate the French part of the film in the Orres ski resort and its local area, including the Ecrins National Park. Like all ski resorts in France, the Orres is facing changes brought by global warming, but with a North West exposure and peaks at 2800m, it is managing for the moment to cope with the vagaries of nature and retains a winter snow pack.

The team working there is dynamic, rooted in local tradition but also modern issues of ecology and the environment. Key for them is how to preserve the fragile eco-system of the high mountains today.

In New York State, snow is an event.

New York State is amongst the snowiest in the United States. To the north, in the Great Lakes region, heavy snowfall and impressive storms are common.

Several weeks were needed to select this specific region and to find specialists, scientists and meteorologists familiar with the “Lake Effect Snow” – the meteorological phenomenon that bring large amounts of snow to this part of the world.

Amongst others, Professor Neil F. Laird at Hobart & William Smith Colleges, Geneva, Prof. Mark Wysocki at Cornell University – Ithaca and Prof. Scott Steiger at the State University College of New York at Oswego, shared their knowledge about the Lake Effect Snow.

We traveled 1400 km through Rochester, Buffalo, Geneva, Ithaca, Sodus Point, Oswego, Syracuse, Utica, Redfield and Tug Hill, the impressive Niagara Falls, the magnificent Taughannock Falls and Watkins Glen.

In Iceland, the snow is the landscape

mountains and snow in Iceland
Icelandic mountains on the horizon.

A nation of great skies and vast expanses, the elements including snow, wind and ice, have shaped the landscapes of this island in a unique way.

We spent time traveling across the western and northwestern part of Iceland, meeting Icelanders, mountain guides, glaciologists and scientists to find out about their relationship with the snow. On the island, the severe winter weather conditions follow each other without respite, causing dreadful snowstorms. Even though located in the far north of Europe, Icelanders still testify to the effects of climate change. We passed by Reykjavik, Bláfjöll, Akureyri, Skíðadalur, Siglufjörður, Sauðárkrókur and met stories of weather change wherever we went.

In Belarus, deep snow is fact of life.

oaks of the Belarusian Belovezhskaya Forest
Oaks of the Belarusian Belovezhskaya Forest.

In the forest of Belovezhskaya we discovered oaks that are over 1000 years old, some of them upright, others fallen to the ground where they remain alive forming of a surreal landscape. The Soviet history of this country has largely hidden Belarus from the world. But since Poland started exploiting the wood of its share of this last primary forest in Europe, Belarus has become the sole guardian of this magical place in its original glory. It goes without saying that animals both large and small (buffalo, lynx, wolf, vole, fox) sheltering in this forest are accustomed to major annual snowfalls and have adapted to survive in these conditions.

The Future of Snow

The Future of Snow