Reindeer in the Spotlight - filming Lapland reindeer
Miia Merkku knows the challenges in filming Lapland reindeer, and her company Arctic Reindeer is ready to meet those challenges...
“Absolutely, this was the biggest thing we’ve done.” That’s how Maria Gullsten, producer at Flatlight Creative House, sums up the company’s involvement with filming The Bachelor, the US reality TV show. Flatlight, together with Lapland Safaris and Lapland Hotels, provided local services for filming that took place in November 2016 in the Saariselkä and Rovaniemi areas. The penultimate and final, 9th and 10th episodes of season 21 were filmed in Lapland.
Flatlight, based in the provincial capital of Finnish Lapland, Rovaniemi, is the biggest and best-known production company in the region, sourcing all of their lighting needs and labor from Helsinki-based Valofirma.
Lapland offers a range of assets for filmmakers of all kinds in addition to the experienced and versatile human resources such as those offered by Flatlight and Lapland Safaris. Those assets include spectacular landscapes and exotic extremes of light and climate, as well as the kind of cosy and romantic locations appropriate for a love-interest reality TV show. It was also an advantage that the local populace is accustomed to the sight of film crews making feature films, commercials and promotions on the fells and in the streets of Lapland towns.
Johanna was one of a team of drivers provided by Lapland Safaris who ferried personnel between locations.
“It helps that we know the terrain, the small tracks and roads and locations,” she says. “We do this kind of thing every day, although this was on an especially big scale.”
The format follows the pursuit of the central character – The Bachelor – of the love of his life by a process of gradually eliminating lady ‘candidates’.
Confidentiality was also ensured by means of accommodating the entire visiting crew at the Lapland Hotel properties, namely the Riekonlinna Hotel in Saariselkä and the Bear’s Lodge, handily hidden out on the edge of the wilderness near the Arctic Circle. Of course, Finns are pretty good at keeping secrets, so this wasn’t the biggest challenge.