It’s true…we’ve gone commercial. What a wild ride! Pairing with Tom Opre of Tahoe Films, we trekked to the Galt Ranch near White Sulphur Springs, Montana in early May. Noted not just for his commercial work, Tom is the host/producer for Primal Adventures (great hunting show on Vs and WildTV), but he has done extensive work filming various extreme sports including ATV and snowmobiling. Oh, but did I mention he is a slave driver?
We started out before light the first day to catch the magnificent hues of the early morning light. However, that day…there were no magnificent hues. In fact- there was no light. There was snow. Instructed to “shut up and hunt”, we crouched, scouted and hunted most of the day. When met with protests of hunger and thirst, Tom responded with, “You are hunting, shut up and hunt”. We shut up and hunted. We hunted tree lines, ridges and even up a mountain (which we believe we were sent to “hunt” so the crew could spend some time glassing the magnificent wildlife on the ranch!) The morning shoot was a wrap. We returned in early evening to catch some great light in the setting Montana sun. Oh…more snow. The shoot was called, but while we waited out the snow we viewed some gorgeous mule deer, whitetail, bear and moose.
Tom Opre of Tahoe Films coaching his minions…
Day 2 we were rewarded with some of the most beautiful light and sun one could imagine. As we were shutting up and hunting, we were able to obtain some great footage. As the early morning shoot was complete, we trekked an additional hour to another portion of the great Galt Ranch. There, we were loaded into a helicopter and lifted into the peaks. What a ride, as neither of us had ever had such an experience. Try as we might not to squeal, I believe we did…but just once. Remember…we were trying to shut up and hunt! We then traced our way down a very (and I do mean VERY) narrow finger that jutted out into a beautiful valley. The cliffs dropped away a sheer 400 feet on each side. At one point, the finger narrowed to about 6 feet wide. I guess this was a bad time to start discussing my paralyzing fear of heights. Luckily, as I was contemplating my life and it’s possible demise at the foot of these cliffs, a sadistic voice barked across the radio, “Double Time…Move forward”. OK, done. Right then, we could feel and see the helicopter coming down the valley with our nemesis shooting footage that I felt certain was going to be the documentary of how a budding entrepeneur was going to careen to her death. Alas. We survived. We hoofed our way back to the peak, briefly checked out the sights and got to enjoy our second helicopter ride of the day back to the crew.
Following our near-death experience, we trekked further into the Galt Ranch for some river shots. Looking for the ‘perfect light’, we journeyed for 2 hours. Eureka, we found some great light and got some footage. Of course, we did have to cross the river about 8 times until Tom felt the footage was worthwhile…I believe it was punishment for all of our taunting. That was a wrap.
All joking aside, we had a fabulous experience with Tom Opre of Tahoe Films. He was nothing short of professional and knowledgable. His vision was a perfect fit for the vision of Prois and we thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We had an amazing time and forged a great relationship. Oh…and Tom wasn’t nearly the ogre described…he was awesome. But, boy have we gotten some mileage out of the ‘shut up and hunt’ line! Do me a favor- check out his website at Tahoe Films and see what sort of projects he is forging.