An exotic shoot in Salt Lake

So many of our shoots are protected by an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) that we often forget that post the ones that aren’t. This particular shoot, which was just last week, has a number of very sweet aspects to it. Mike was hired by Lone Peak Productions to do audio and grip for a piece for Avalon Healthcare.

The location? The VA Nursing home in Salt Lake City. This was a lovely facility with many services and perks for its residents. There were nice areas for recreation, garden plots for the residents to grow tomatoes, and animals that keep the spirits up. There was a gorgeous Golden Retriever, and normally this dog would have been the star of the show. But there were more exotic pets to be seen.

The tortoise was fun. Larger than a dinner plate and surprisingly mobile, he was a sure crowdpleaser. But the star was Alvin, the administrator’s kangaroo.  While filming was happening Alvin was bottle-fed by a resident and then went promptly to sleep. But before that, Mike got a photo with Alvin.

Utah Olympic parks and snow covered hills

Here are photos from the Utah Olympic Park and a few snow covered mountains/hills in Park City.

The photos of the bobsled track show curve 12, which is the best curve for getting a shot of the bobsled going by on a curve. There are multiple photos of the starting area (blue tarp) as well as the finish area. The actual finish line is not a permanent fixture and was not on display when these photos were taken. There are photos of that area included in this photo set, and you can also see what the finish line looks like in these videos: (0:57) (1:05)

Winter mountain scenes in Utah

There are some amazing resources here in Utah for filming winter sports.

While I’ve included some photos at the end of this post, I’ve also included a video clip or two from around the web that show the kind of views that I think my client is looking for.

This video contains a fair amount of introduction to the company’s tours, but within the video there are some great views of people hiking in the backcountry.

These photos are from the top of the tram at a local resort. From the tram landing you have a 360 degree view of the surrounding mountain range.

Another video with some stunning visuals of the Wasatch Mountain range.

Here are some other photos gathered from local ski resorts:

Salt Flats – Central salt flats

Photos taken between 12:00pm and 2:00pm on December 1, 2010.
Weather was overcast with occasional sunlight.

Notes from interview with tour guide at Salt Flats included below photos, as well as audio of Mike (my business partner) interviewing the tour guide.


Last time we went out about two miles into the salt flats. Today, the entrance to the area was not passable due to mud and soft salt so we hired a local guide to take us on an alternate route in his four wheel drive vehicle.

Much of the area was muddy and there were random ponds and large areas of standing water. We headed out into the widest area of the salt flats and found some relatively dry areas. The guide said that it has been an unusually wet year and about 30 degrees colder than normal.

The salt was more grey than white, which is typical from this time of year. Our guide said that the salt wont look very white again until spring.

We found a dry area on the speedway where the ground was firmer because of the cold. We took some pictures standing on the marker where they start the races. This area would work for driving shots but only if the conditions were similar to today.

Our guide said that the weather on the salt flats is extremely variable and hard to predict. If the weather remains dry for the next three weeks, the conditions would probably be pretty decent for driving shots. If any storms move in, the whole speedway could be under three inches of water and salty mud. When asked what the chances of finding 5 miles of nice looking, firm, and flat driving area would be during the third week of December, he answered,  “Less than 50%”.


Bonneville Salt Flats

All photos taken at the Bonneville Salt Flats, just outside of Wendover, UT.
Photos taken November 27, 2010, between 10:30am and 12:00pm.
Weather is overcast, snow visible on many of the mountains on the horizon.

Conditions on the Salt Flats: Snowy in some places, wet in some. There are areas that are dry, but as shown in the photos the top crust is dry, but in places the salt layer is not very thick and just underneath is largely muddy in the areas where we were. I’ve included one photo of my business partner standing on the crust so you can see the amount of mud we got from his standing there.

Also, it is important to know that if you are taking vehicles on to the salt it is important to plan to wash them as soon as possible after you leave the Salt Flats. The salt has been known to cause damage to pain, rubber, and electrical systems… any metal, really. Be sure to schedule time for this.