Forget the gorefests; forget the scream queens. None of these can match the kind of horror story that “Chasing Ice” tells. It’s a shame there’s no big bucks or major studio behind this documentary to give it a bigger opening PR campaign. This documentary shows us how ice indicates the quick death of our world.
As a SoCal girl, I am not very familiar with ice as something you have to watch for on streets. Ice is something for cool drinks and shave ice. It’s not a something that you see on your car or scrap from your driveway.
For environmental photographer James Balog, ice is an index of the greatest story of our time. In the spring of 2005 Balog was searching for way to use photography to tell the story of environmental change and visited Iceland to photograph glaciers. Balog wasn’t totally convinced about global warming. Balog has a degree in geography and geomorphology and is a leading outdoor photographer. What he saw in Iceland on assignment to The New Yorker where he photographed glaciers led to a National Geographic assignment where he began documenting the changes of glaciers in various parts of the world. This became the June 2007 cover story “The Big Thaw.”
His team had a few technical problems to overcome for this Extreme Ice Survey and we hear about this in the beginning of the movie. After six months, the team settles on a 100-pound unit that includes a NIkon D200 digital SLR camera in a waterproof and dustproof Pelican cases, Bogen tripod heads and a complex system of anchors and wires. The team traveled to Alaska, Canada, the Andes, Greenland, Iceland, the Alps and Mt. Everest. There are 34 cameras on 16 different glaciers.
Where you might have seen time lapse photography in the past showing the wonder of an individual blooming flower or a scene changing with the season, the Extreme Ice Survey uses time-lapse photography to show stunning videos of a landscape quickly transforming as glaciers melt and disappear.
What Balog and his team found will easily convince anyone that there is a global warming problem and we need to act. Can people really still call global warming the result of junk science and crazy fear-mongering environmentalists? The beauty of the photography sharply contrasts the horrors of this story. “Chasing Ice” opened today in Pasadena (Nov. 30, 2012), but if you can’t see it there, check out their website to learn where it is screening and how you can be involved. “Chasing Ice” is the greatest horror story of our times.