Survival 

 

Mount Robson Photo Credit : Bari Demers

 
The Canadian Rockies offers the serene beauty without being touched by mankind. It’s majestic, powerful and awe inspiring. Most Canadians take our landscape for granted.  

This Sunday is the 88 Academy Awards will feature Oscars 2016. One of the nominees for best picture will be the film, The Revenant

The Revenant was filmed in twelve locations, from Canada, the United States to Argentina. In Canada some of the most riveting scenes were in the Fortress Mountain area, which so happens to be a ski resort in Kananaskis Country, just west of Calgary, Alberta. 

The Kananaskis Country is the very edge of our massive Canadian Rocky Mountains, the raw wild wilderness which stretches a length of 1450 km ( 900 miles) and a width of 150 km (93 miles). However, the highest peak is Mount Robson in British Columbia which reaching an elevation of 3954 m (12,972 ft). 

It’s a short hop skip and jump just west of Jasper, Alberta. 

During filming of The Revenant, the director made a decision to head to Argentina, simply because the weather wasn’t cold enough during the seasonal Chinook that held fast to the Kananaskis Country. Little did they know, if they just went another 200 miles towards British Columbia, most specifically Mount Robson, their wish would have come true. 

As a screenwriter, I’m always pleased to hear when Canada is used during making of any film. It’s most awarding to see the incredible professionalism of a film crew, from the director, actors, cinematographer to screenwriters, who, under extreme conditions, make any riveting thrilling film. 

So, I would like to predict, Leonardo DiCaprio to become Best Actor along with Director Alejandro G. Iñárritu (director, producer, screenwriter) for Best Picture and Best Director. And the incredible Emmanuel Lubezki ,”Chivo” cinematographer (I predict) Academy Award for Best Cinematographer. 

The Revenant storyline is captivating, as legendary frontiersman Hugh Glass (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) who’s attacked by a savage Grizzly. Left for dead, it’s a brutally realization, Glass must survive the gruelling raw wilderness, fighting off everything from the harsh elements to fierce deadly conflicts with the natives.  
Needless to say, the story will surely keep you glued to your seat, as you wonder the outcome of Hugh Glass.  

It’s based on the true story of Fur Trader Hugh Glass who’s hunting party was out for Beaver Pelts, a much sought product of its time. Apparently he stumbled onto a griz and its cubs by accident, along the Missouri River. He was savagely mauled to near death. In fact, his fellow fur traders crew dug a shallow grave and left him for dead.  The wilderness is indeed a harsh environment and if left out alone to survive on your own wits and skills, is without a doubt, the most challenging thing one can possibly do in your lifetime. 

I know. 

Because I too was forced to face the harsh elements during a hunting trip in the rugged wilderness of the Chilcotin region by Williams Lake, British Columbia. Finding myself lost for over eleven hours, after parting ways with my hunting crew, expecting to meet on the other side of the mountain.  

I was lost.

 

Young Red Cedar Forest Photo Credit : Bari Demer

 
What scared me the most, was the realization we were tracking a Grizzly in this same area, the day before. Tall tell signs of this incredible Grizzly were clearly visible, with his long deep claw marks buried deep into a towering cedar tree.  

A confrontation was enviable.

It was a good 30 years ago, when this young hunter went missing up north, deep in the Chilcotin wilderness (a true story of my wits) driving me to survive in the harshest of conditions, fearing for my life, as the Grizzly hunted me down. Without giving away what happened, I can only say a hunter turned into the hunted. And by no means was I hunting Grizzly. Our hunting parties mission was geared to filling our freezer cache of moose or deer. But no one, at the time, thought it was possible for anyone to become lost. Specially when most of the crew were experienced seasonal hunters, but they did make one basic common mistake, known by all hunters. 

You never hunt alone or do you leave your partner.

The survival of this ordeal made me write my own screenplay, MISSING UP NORTH based on a true story during the early November winter months in the late 70’s. 

  

Grizzly Photo by Tianndra Demers

 LOGLINE

MISSING UP NORTH – Young hunter goes missing deep within British Columbia’s rugged wilderness, only to be hunted by a savage rogue Grizzly.
You can see a synopsis of my screenplays here : 
By Bari Demers 

PS Good luck to the nonimees 2016 Oscars 

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5 thoughts on “Survival 

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