When Melanie Wood signed on with Dreamfilm to direct Rescue Me, she thought it sounded like a “nice” project. She’d get to spend a lot of time with super-fit men. She’d get to see some stunning scenery. She’d get to learn about a world she knew very little about.
“I really had no idea what I was in for.” Time for a reality check.
Melanie and the crew have spent months trudging through snow and ice – in blizzards, in sleet and rain – on foot and on snowshoes. Every week they train with Vancouver’s North Shore Search and Rescue Team, the oldest and busiest volunteer search and rescue team in Canada.
They have to prove to the rescue team that they have the right stuff to tag along for the grueling rescues they undertake – almost 100 a year – in some of North America’s most unforgiving territory. “It’s been super intense, “says Wood. “We’ve had to dust off our Boy Scout skills big time.”
What would they do if they got lost during a rescue? What happens when people are buried in an avalanche without a beacon? What are the many clues to look for in the most remote locations when searching for a missing hiker? If the film crew was going to go along with the team, they couldn’t be a burden. They had to be ready for anything.
“We quickly realized in the world of search and rescue, your life is not your own.” says Wood. To shoot the rescues that will help viewers truly understand how the system works, the film crew was on the team’s pager system 24 hours a day. Early in the morning, late at night, a call will come in just when you’ve stopped expecting one. Summer is about to hit, and that’s the time, say SAR folks, when things get really interesting. Melanie and her team are most definitely up for the challenge.
Rescue Me will air on Doc Zone in winter 2014.