When something related to ambitious filming productions takes place in Finnish Lapland, there’s one company that is often involved: Flatlight Creative House – Lapland’s biggest and best known production company – specializing in production services in Lapland.
Last winter the company participated in its biggest production so far when it offered producers, assistants, and lighting to the production of US reality show The Bachelor. Filming took place in Saariselkä and Rovaniemi – both famous winter destinations in Finnish Lapland.
“Our strength is definitely our experience in working with extraordinary light conditions that are determined by nature. Here we have various and extraordinary conditions around the year. People really need to come and see it, before they can understand it,” says Maria Gullsten, Flatlight’s executive producer, who herself worked as a service producer at Flatlight in the Bachelor’s production.
The conditions also varied during The Bachelor’s production: When the show’s crew scouted the location in August 2016, the length of day was 16 hours 30 minutes. When they came back to film in October, daylight lasted slightly longer than 8 hours. A month still, and the sun wouldn’t rise above the horizon for two months.
Another issue that Gullsten addresses when discussing production services in Lapland is gear: Finnish seasons can be surprisingly harsh, especially when the purpose is to film outdoors in winter, when not wearing enough layers might become a safety risk.
“I always advice people to bring all of their clothes with them, and then multiply the amount by three,” Gullsten says.
The weather discussion also happened during The Bachelor’s production, but clothes weren’t the issue; the crew was concerned about keeping their Coca Colas cold during production. Luckily, November’s chilly outdoors in Finnish Lapland functions as a freezer.
Crystal-bright winter days, frosty trees, and snowy landscapes were the only factors that Flatlight’s people couldn’t guarantee for the Bachelor’s production, but almost anything else would have been possible.
The staff enjoyed working with a massive production team. The company has an arsenal of filming equipment and what they don’t have themselves can be acquired.
“We have participated in many international productions, Japanese, Chinese, German, Greek, you name it, and the team often consists of a producer and a director; we also offer the rest of the staff and whatever else they may need,” Gullsten says.
Fortunately, everything went as planned; in addition to great weather conditions and effective work at the hands of Flatlight’s production managers, the Bachelor’s production team experienced the Northern Lights in November 2016, when the show was filmed.
“We learned a lot about each other’s working culture, and it’s also wonderful to work with new people and see how they do their job,” Gullsten says.