Arctic Porsche adventure with a location scout
Finding perfect film locations at -30°C
A man on a snowmobile in Finland
A film production north of the Arctic Circle is a complex matter. Especially in winter. It can only go smoothly with the help of local experts like Hessu Tönkyrä and his snowmobile. This is the story behind the film for the Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo
If this were Texas, we would probably be sitting on the saddle of a wild horse. That’s certainly the first thought that springs to mind when Hessu Tönkyrä opens the throttle of his snowmobile and charges ahead at full speed through the untouched Finnish expanse with us riding pillion. But Hessu isn’t out here, where the air temperature is -30°C , for fun. This is his job, and it’s a pretty tough one.
A man rides his snowmobile through the Finnish wilderness
The Finnish wildness is a popular location for international film shoots because of its remoteness
Spectacular locations for a spectacular filmAs a location manager, Hessu works for film crews that come to Finland’s isolated landscape from all over the world to create content. He makes sure that the directors find exactly the scenes they are looking for in order to tell the perfect stories in their films: endless white expanses, snow and ice-covered roads. A Sámi yurt. Baying dogs pulling sleds through sparse pine forests. Or lone ice fishermen in the middle of a frozen lake. Scenes of this kind were also in the briefing from the cinematographer Nicholas Schrunk, when he and the Porsche team from Dubai dreamt up the plot for the spectacular launch film for the new Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo.
Sled dogs and a musher on their way through the snow
Cinematographers want shots of sled dogs on camera, but snowmobiles are used for the hard work behind the scenes
Men like Hessu are indispensable for projects like this. They know every corner of the wilderness and have the experience to lead crews from around the world to exactly the right locations. Searching for the desired location isn’t even the main problem. What really matters is that film crews can still reach these locations in adverse weather. And that the necessary infrastructure for feeding and accommodating several dozen crew members for many days isn’t far away.
A film crew prepares for the shoot
Every film production requires meticulous planning to ensure that everything runs like clockwork on the day of shooting
The workhorse of a modern ageThere are of course very few roads north of the Arctic Circle. Therefore, to reach these sought-after locations, special transport is often required – like Hessu’s snowmobile, which can take him virtually anywhere. It’s with good reason that they’re also used by the Sámi, the indigenous people of northern Finland, in the winter months for working with their herds of reindeer. The Sámi knife – vital for survival out here – is also always to hand, in the shaft of a boot or dangling from a belt. For Hessu, what drives him is a sense of ‘lone wolf’ adventure: taking on the challenges of nature like a Wild West cowboy wearing a warm fur hat and riding a snowmobile.
A man on a snowmobile
Hessu’s Snowmobile has plenty of power for carving through the snow
Hollywood productions regularly put their trust in his local knowledge and organisational skills. Today’s job is almost a relaxing one for him, however. The Porsche film crew’s base is not in the middle of Finnish Nowhere Land, but on the site of the Porsche Ice Experience. From there, it’s just a few miles to the next town, where perfect facilities are available for accommodating a 40-person film crew in wintry conditions. In a normal winter, it offers perfect accommodation in almost luxurious conditions to up to one hundred visitors to the Porsche Ice Experience, week in, week out.
A hot air balloon and two snowmobiles in the Finnish landscape
Hessu’s job on the shoot includes picking up the balloon crew after their short ride
Our last trip with Hessu is across a frozen river to collect the hot air balloon crew at their landing site. White clouds of snow and ice crystals fly up and swirl around us as we race at high speed over the glistening white snow. You can see that Hessu is enjoying himself. The only thing that comes close to the exhilaration in these parts is a controlled drift in a high-performance sports car at the Porsche Ice Experience. Click here to watch the video where a professional demonstrates how this is really done.
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