Winter Olympic fever abounds in Vancouver right now. I’m back from a trip and dealing with the daily to/from work challenge of navigating streets of an Olympic host city. Posters of support decorate high rises, line ups are outside pavilions, souvenir stores and the zip wire attraction at Robson Square. The festive atmosphere has permeated the city block after block.

Here are three things I’ve learned about filmmaking from the Winter Olympics:

 1. Well, you can plan for snow…

Even though you can choose a country known for its snow, a country that had incredible snow falls last year with great ski conditions… but it doesn’t mean you’ll have the snow you want when you want: during the Winter Olympics. I’ve filmed a recreation of the summer Olympics once where we had crew out on the field shovelling the snow away. I’ve filmed a Christmas special with no real snow and leaves still on the trees. Sure, you can minimize the risk by choosing your shooting location and time as best you can, but it’s not such a bad idea to budget for the ability to augment snow on a film set… you may to create screen snow from scratch.

2. The importance of being Internet

Can you imagine Olympic coverage in newspapers and on TV without coverage on Internet? Can you imagine a film without a presence on the Internet? When was the last time you watched a movie and didn’t surf at least IMDB at the same time to find out what else that Performer was in? Sure, we interact with the film itself in a different way from its Internet presence, but we need both, and the Internet provides potential to add a new dimension to the movie experience. Yes, Internet presence is essential, and during the shoot is the time to collect unique and timely information. We need to collect that information as an integral part of making the film.

3. We Line Up for Souvenirs

Line ups are everywhere! Line ups to see the delights of the free pavilions; line ups to experience the zip line across Robson Street (over 5 hours long!); line ups to get into the Bay to buy souvenir merchandise! The Olympics affect so many people across society and cultures and they want to be here, be a part of it in many ways. They want souvenir moments, souvenir items. We also need souvenir moments in films… and that’s where you need to not scrimp on spending the budget’s money.

So back to the busy streets of Vancouver for me. Go world go!

All the best &  a good shoot to you,