After spending 16 days traveling in Antarctica last winter, Swedish creative director Kalle Ljung came back with a breathtaking version of the modern souvenir: Drone footage of the spectacular local scenery. The video sweeps over melting icebergs, rocky islands, and spouting whales.
The film is proof of how much easier it’s become to shoot documentary-quality footage with simple equipment, even in the most remote places. “With a limited budget you can achieve quality for TV broadcasts,” Ljung says. It also has environmental advantages–instead of using a helicopter that pollutes, filmmakers can rely on a device that runs on batteries. In Antarctica, drones can also be useful for scientific research.
Still, it’s not without some challenges–at one point, Ljung’s drone suddenly stopped following directions, possibly because of snowy weather that day, or because compasses can behave strangely at the South Pole. He was able to later retrieve it, but it was a reminder that a drone can be fairly easy to lose.
“With new technology comes a responsibility,” he says. “It is important to examine how it can affect the environment and the animals, as well as to have a plan if a drone crashes so you can find it and it doesn’t affect the environment.”
He hopes his film helps give the world a glimpse of a place that is changing as temperatures rise. “It’s a unique place on earth that slowly will disappear, melting down due to global warming,” he says. “I have tried to convey a sense of melancholy with the film. I tried to also convey the loneliness and the remoteness.”