Canadian filmmakers say filming BC survival series was an ‘extreme sport’

Showrunners Brendan Gall and Martin Gero say they’ve spent much of their film career filming Canada as a stand-in for other parts of the world or even a distant planet. But with their new Netflix survival series keep breathingthe duo hope to bring viewers around the world into the heart of the Canadian wilderness.

“We really wanted, as Canadians, to bring the world to Canada as Canada, and not for it to substitute for something else,” Gero said in a recent interview.

“We started having this idea of ​​trying to figure out how to bring the whole world into the Canadian wilderness in a way that could also be exciting.”

The six-episode limited series follows New York lawyer Liv, played by In the heights Melissa Barrera as she battles the elements after a plane crash leaves her stranded in the far reaches of Canada.

The BC production also had to contend with the forces of nature to capture the harshness and serenity of the show’s setting, said co-creators Gall and Gero, whose previous collaborations include the TV thriller science fiction. Blind spot.

Gero said last summer’s filming schedule was often dictated by conditions on the ground, with four-wheeled vehicles carrying heavy filming equipment through forests and mountains to reach remote locations.

A few sites had to be removed because the province placed them under fire watch, Gall added, and the crew was on a “razor’s edge” that a fire warning could halt a shoot weeks after filming.

“The kind of extreme sport for us to do the show was taking those kinds of risks,” said Gall, who grew up in
Halifax and lives in Toronto. “We just had to step in, and we were so lucky with what we got and what we were able to accomplish.”

Melissa Barrera plays the main character, Liv, a lawyer stranded in the middle of nowhere following a plane crash. (Netflix)

The showrunners didn’t want to alter the natural beauty of the sets with too many visual effects. But they made an exception with many of the campfires seen on the show, using computer graphics instead of controlled open flames to avoid posing a risk to the environment.

“We wanted to be stewards of the land,” Gero said. “It was important for us to leave it as we found it.

keep breathing is the latest in a series of survival shows airing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It seems like there’s a survival instinct that’s been activated in all of us,” Gero said. “I think watching the most extreme version of that on screen can be deeply, deeply cathartic.”

Unlike other series of this genre, such as “Yellowjackets” and “The Wilds” – which revolve around the group dynamics of survival – keep breathingThe protagonist of is alone, and her central conflict is with herself.

Gall says the main character’s internal struggle could resonate with viewers venturing out into the world after the prolonged isolation of COVID-19 lockdowns.

“She’s incredibly competent as a lawyer. She’s incredibly confident as a human in New York. But she’s been kind of on a full-time mission to protect herself from herself,” he said. he declares.

“In addition to having to survive, eat enough, and not die from the elements, she is also forced to sit with herself and sit quietly. She has nowhere to hide.”

“She is forced to reconcile her past in order to move forward in this landscape and in her future, hopefully.”

keep breathing begins streaming on Netflix on Thursday.