Behind The Scenes of a Peter McKinnon Film

If you’ve seen our Chasing Sounds in Norway video, you’ve got to see our behind the scenes of the shoot.

Behind The Scenes of a Peter McKinnon Film

If you’ve seen our Chasing Sounds in Norway video, you’ve got to see our behind the scenes of the shoot. This raw look at how Peter McKinnon and Ooyy shot their video together will give you insight into film production.

Not only do you see how that video came together, but you get to see how the creative process works. To catch you up, we brought Peter McKinnon to Norway to meet up with Henrik Olsson aka Ooyy. The goal was three-fold: 1.  For Ooyy to create a new song inspired by the experience. 2. To learn more about Ooyy. 3. For Peter to shoot a mini-doc about Ooyy as he creates a song inspired by the experience!

The first shot involves Ooyy on a small boat, using a drone to capture the scene - but things don’t go exactly to plan. First with a few flying errors, then Peter manages to drop the SD card, almost ending up in the water below. Fortunately, a lucky landing prevents the card from being lost forever. We cut to some of the shots being captured through the day via drones, boat cameras, and handheld as well. While Peter makes the end video look polished and easy, the actual work that goes into it is extreme. Even the nighttime shots involve a ton of planning and effort - with their own set of issues, including a smoke alarm triggered by a fog machine.

As night becomes day, we move on to the next shoot. This time employing a seaplane for shots in the air and water. Not only does it require multiple flybys for distance shots, but actual shots need to be taken on the plane itself. This is no small task, but Peter McKinnon’s team is up for the challenge. The ‘chase’ shot looks especially epic in this behind the scenes shot.

The third shoot location involves a cave system with creative lighting. Considering this is literally in the middle of nowhere, generators have to be lugged into power the equipment they need to shoot. If there was any question about the work that goes into production, this answers it! What’s interesting about this experience is that unlike traditional ‘influencer’ roles, Peter is here as more of a freelancer. He’s not here as Peter the YouTuber, he’s Peter the Filmmaker. “I like it, almost more, and a lot of people might not expect that answer,” Peter says about this kind of work. Unlike influencer work, in this case he’s on the clock to create - not to be the personality.

Back on to production, the struggle of shooting in the Arctic Circle in November is that the sun is VERY limited. In fact, by 3PM it starts to set. “The sun sets so fast here,” Peter says. “It’s [a] curse and a blessing, it looks great, but we have no time to capture greatness.” The other issue is the fact that with such beauty all around you - you had to be shooting all the time. Swapping cameras, swapping batteries, swapping media cards. There is no time to not be shooting - so production was non-stop. Fortunately, the crew does take some time to experience an unexpected school of Orcas with their own eyes instead of behind the lens.

Finally, to capture the last shots needed for the shoot, a hike up a hill, in the blistering cold, with snow up to their knees is needed. The beauty is breathtaking. Sometimes all the work, the frozen socks, and cold hands are worth it when you get opportunities to shoot shots like this. Recapping some of the shots captured in a montage makes you realize just how important this all is to create a video. It’s not just about doing what’s easy but doing your best. Peter McKinnon and Ooyy, in their respective fields, prove that if you do your best - you will succeed!

Music featured in this video include:

  • Flowers by Yomoti
  • I Don’t Mind by Particle House
  • The World as Will and Representation by Oh The City
  • Alienated by ELFL
  • Coda by Jakob Ahlbom
  • Cumulus Motion by LAMA House
  • Changli by OOYY

Are you a video editor or filmmaker? Whether you’re an absolute master or just a beginner, discover what Epidemic Sound has to offer on our Epidemic Sound for Filmmaking page. Oh, and if you’re looking for some background music for your videos, we got you covered.