By Reid Bangert
As we drove down the steep grade to Horseshoe Bay, 30 minutes north of Vancouver, everything that was on our minds before just melted away. The sailboats, peppering the harbour, popped up against the most majestic backdrop we’ve ever seen; bluegreen ocean meeting sharp, dense rock that climbed straight up to 12,000 feet.
We were greeted by our host (and talent) Pat with a cold beer and warm handshake before loading our gear into his cabin cruiser and taking off across the bay. The feeling was so magical, it’s hard to capture in words, we just knew in that instant - this shoot was going to be more than special.
Keats, our destination, is a small island north of the Salish Sea and bordered on either side by Gibsons, B.C. and Bowen Island. It has around 100 cabins on 1,100 acres and the only mode of transportation on the dirt roads is by golf cart or moped. When you pull up to the dock, the first thing you notice is that even though you’re only an hour away from Vancouver you feel totally isolated.
It’s this type of environment that facilitates some of the greatest footage. We started filming immediately after we had our gear settled - capturing detail shots; grass, dogs, birds, environmental goodness. We hiked up to the peak of the island around sunset to capture our first views of the magical vistas surrounding us.
Our goal for this shoot was to capture a story of freedom while still being able to connect to the greater world digitally. We knew this type of story only works when it is true. There is no sense in hiring an actor to pretend to be comfortable living on the edge of civilization. Pat Baker and his family spend their summers on Keats Island far from the bustle of the city. He’ll get up in the morning and do an hour or two of email and his work day is done. This leaves him to relax, set the crab pots, spend time with family, and take in the absolutely stunning sunsets.
Not only did we capture amazing scenes but we also caught a halfdozen crab. There is nothing quite like a crust of bread and succulent crab to accompany the incomparable scenery. It was at the end of the trip on the boat ride back to Horseshoe Bay that was the toughest part of the trip. The shoot was over but we were happy knowing that we had captured the British Columbia sound.