Meeting Survivorman, making a commercial and driving in the Rockies

Last week I had a chance to visit the Rocky Mountains.  After landing in Cranbrook, I hopped into my taxi to Fernie where I would be spending the night.  I was lucky enough to call this trip work, and the next day I would be shooting a commercial for Lexus with Survivorman Les Stroud.

For those of you that haven’t been to this neck of the woods, there is a reason Lexus wanted to drive the Crowsnest Highway in their ad.  It’s stunning.  My cab driver, a Brit from Chester, explained that he moved to Fernie 8 years ago after seeing a photo of the city in the British newspaper the Guardian.  The image of that historic downtown, surrounded by mountains, was enough to make him pack his bags and he’s never looked back.

After exploring the town and noticing a disproportionate number of vans topped with canoes and blanketed with bumper stickers, I stopped at Mugshots for some bacon, eggs and coffee.  I needed to be fuelled just in case Les Stroud wanted me to eat something I caught myself.  For those of you unfamiliar with Survivorman, he puts himself in horrific situations (ie. alone in the woods with no food, tent, matches, etc.) and then films it for the entertainment of the rest of us.

My concerns were eased, when the producer confirmed that there would be no surviving, on the contrary we’d be driving a gorgeous blue Lexus down the highway at 30 km/hr and chatting about exploration.  Whew.  That I can handle.

This being my first time in a car commercial, or any commercial for that matter, I probably looked a little shell shocked that it took more than a dozen people, several vehicles and a lot of cameras to capture a jaunt down the road. Nonetheless, Les made me feel comfortable and soon we where chatting about everything from expedition misadventures to why we love to explore.

The commercial series will feature a number of explorers from across Canada and will air in August on the Globe and Mail website. Stay tuned.

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