Faced with traveling through the extreme cold and snowy terrain of the South Pole, the production team behind the documentary "The Push: South Pole Expedition," turned to Anton/Bauer to power the crew's video cameras during adaptive athlete Grant Korgan's two-week-long trek.
Cinematographer Tom Day of Warren Miller Entertainment chose Anton/Bauer's DIONIC HC battery to keep the team's Sony HXR-NX5U camcorders and Canon EOS 7D Digital SLR camera running through the tough last leg of the trek.
The documentary, directed by Steve Sig, filmed by Day and Petter Nyquist and photographed by Keoki Flagg, follows adaptive athlete Korgan, who suffered a paralyzing spinal cord injury in 2010, and his team, Doug Stoup, founder and expedition leader of Ice Axe Expeditions, and Tal Fletcher, a guest guide for Points North Heli-Adventures. Throughout the documentary, the team worked together to help Korgan reach his goal of trekking to the South Pole first by use of a sit-ski, which allowed him to use his arm power to push him along, and finishing the expedition on skis, in a standing position.
Day and his production team were able to capture Korgan reaching his goal by his target date of Jan. 12, 2012, the 100th anniversary of Robert Falcon Scott's Terra Nova expedition.
Faced with a 75mi journey in up to -35-degree weather on dry snow, which is difficult to glide on, Day and the production team knew they would need a rugged, reliable power source to keep their equipment running. Day and his team, who trained for a year for the expedition, were unsure of how long the on-board batteries of their cameras would last, so they decided to travel with a stock of 25 DIONIC HCs as back-up power. The compact, lightweight batteries were easy to fly with and, as it turned out, proved to be the best solution for the final mile, which was also the most difficult.
"My first challenge going into this shoot was picking a camera and batteries that I thought would work in this unusual situation," says Day. "Anton/Bauer's recommendations were spot on. The DIONIC HCs were lightweight, portable and tough enough to withstand the cold, which was key."
"It was just so cold; every time we took a shot, we didn't want it to be a big process," he says. "We just wanted to be able to grab our camera, take a shot and move on. Moving is how you stay warm, and I didn't want to compromise too much. I wanted to have a certain look to the film, and I wanted to have the camera gear not hinder that too much."
DIONIC HC provides 91Wh and can operate a 40W HD camera for more than two hours. Transported as carry-on luggage without restrictions, the DIONIC HC incorporates high-capacity cells offering 10A.
Day's biggest challenge was the last mile of the trip, which he knew was going to be an emotional time, as the entire team reached the end of its very long journey. Day and the crew wanted to keep their cameras running, even if they weren't necessarily shooting because they wanted to get the audio.
"This trip was planned for an entire year before we began," explained Day. "We had been training and Grant was training real hard. We'd been documenting all of our training trips and everything that led up to the South Pole; we had been working together as a team. I knew that last mile was going to be emotional. We basically never turned our cameras off — they ran for a full half-hour. I was happy that was able to happen."