Caterpillar Inc. contracted the in-house production team at the popular Northern Ontario tourist attraction to showcase the environmental conscience of the mining industry.
“Caterpillar had seen some of the films and videos we’ve produced and believed we had the skill sets and expertise to do this,” said Science North’s director of business development Guy Labine, who hopes this first-time opportunity sets the stage for future productions. Labine would like to see it follow the same path as Science North’s Imax film business, which produces films for the centre and others on a regular basis.
Science North has earned accolades for being the largest producer of educational Imax films in the world, as well as the largest exporter of multimedia products and exhibits in Canada. More recently, its multimedia production, Awakening of the Temple, developed for the Aztec on the River theatre in San Antonio, Texas, won a coveted Thea Award from the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) for outstanding achievement.
The Caterpillar film was directed and supervised by John Milne, with David Lickley, Science North’s Imax film director, acting as supervising producer.
It was a substantial investment in time, effort and complexity. The production team worked collaboratively with Caterpillar on writing the story line, shooting and scouting out locations. Shooting took place in six countries over a six-week span. The locations included Chile, Ghana, Australia, Indonesia, the U.S. and Sudbury.
“Logistically, it was quite complex,” said Labine. “The crew consisted of about six people with 20 cases of camera gear, lighting, sound and recording equipment. Visas and local support had to be arranged and aerial scenes required helicopters and fuel.”
Local music composers, set designers and builders were also employed, supporting Northern Ontario’s emerging multimedia industry.
Armed with 550 minutes of raw footage, the team weaved together the sound, music and narration into a 25-minute video production. The production focuses on environmental sustainability and social responsibility within the mining world, two important considerations Caterpillar supports in its role as a manufacturer of construction and mining equipment.
The video will be launched at MINExpo 2008 in Las Vegas Sept. 22 to 24 and will be shown at Dynamic Earth’s high definition digital theatre in Sudbury. It will also be available for global distribution for use in classrooms as an educational tool.
“It has been a valuable experience for the team to enhance and hone its skills, try new techniques, use new products and develop new relationships with suppliers,” said Labine. “It not only creates great products for the clients, but makes our team better equipped and experienced to make projects here at Science North.”