Polar Bear Swimming Behavior Sequence - Ice Bear
Cameraman Adam Ravetch comments on shooting this incredible footage sequence for the 3D film Ice Bear. The footage is available to license from NatureFootage.
Ice Bear was extremely challenging as it was specifically shot as a 3D movie; Twice the cameras, twice the number of lenses with everything needed to be synchronized to work with a very small crew. Also in 3D we were trying to mimic the human eye, which means we had to be close. Very Close:). I collected over 250 hours of natively shot 3D polar bear footage to make Ice Bear. Also, normally I would have two full seasons to make a film, which is necessary to capture new behavior. On this production, I had only one season. Ice Bear was awarded Canada’s Top Honors by the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, given a Canadian Screen Award for Best Nature and Science Documentary, Best Cinematography, and was nominated by the 34th Annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards for Outstanding Cinematography.
The above was especially rewarding, because even with all the limitations of filming in 3D and the dangers of getting close to wild polar bears, the movie in my opinion had to standup as a 2D film, as well as a stereo movie. The story uses a narrative approach. The movie opens with our main character, a lone teenage polar bear, named Ice Bear, who is in stealth mode, hunting on a frozen ocean. Running at full gallop, following a seal, Ice Bear jumps head first into the seal’s breathing hole, only 30 inches in diameter, with half his torso disappearing beneath the ice. This failed attempt turns out to be a possible death knell. Without enough nourishment yet obtained to last an ice free summer, suddenly the ice beneath Ice Bear breaks. Now, he is forced into the water, and must use what ever skills and wits he has in his young life to make it to the main land 100 kms away, and attempt to survive a very long and hot summer.
Cinematography by Adam Ravetch