Mini Documentary


Blizzard NYC

New York filmmaker, Jake Oleson talks about the day the big blizzard hit New York. Jake talks about the spontenaity that often comes with shooting a piece such as 'Blizzard - NYC'. He describes the satisfaction that comes from doing an entire project in less than 24 hours.

Blizzard NYC

"This project was extremely spontaneous and happened during my first year in New York, while I was studying at NYU. The longer I live here, the more I am amazed by NY's beauty and changing seasons and character. On this particular morning, I woke up after a recent blizzard and there was snow everywhere."

"I then went out with my Canon 5D, my glidecam and my 24-70mm lens to some of my favorite places in the city. I went into Central Park wearing nothing less than two pairs of gloves and four pairs of socks - it was so cold! I really needed to prepare myself for shooting for hours and hours on end in these freezing temperatures. However, I have to admit that shooting by myself like this, is a kind of meditation to me."

"One of the greatest things about using the glidecam and DSLRs in general, is that people don’t realize that you are actually shooting them. Because you're not directly pointing the DSLR at them, they think you're not shooting stills. Because of its size, you can really be sneaky getting the insiders perspective on their life. It's the perfect size for shooting New Yorkers."

"While I was shooting this project, not a lot of people cared because the snow was coming down so hard they just wanted to do their work and get inside. In general, New Yorkers don’t really care about being filmed, and they seemed to care even less on that day. It was just so much fun documenting those unique moments."

"It was about 20°F (-7 °C) which was certainly cold, but it was the wind chill factor that really got to me in the end. I was out there from early morning until about 4.30pm when my batteries finally ran out of juice. Thank goodness for all of those coffee shops around the city that warmed me up between shooting."

"I went into Central Park

wearing nothing less than

two pairs of gloves and four

pairs of socks because of

the extreme cold!"

"After I had finished shooting for 6 hours in the cold, I came back to the dorms at NYU and edited this piece for the next 9 hours straight. In fact, the editing didn’t take that long to do, however, I also composed the music track which took most of the time. I have been playing piano for about ten years now, and I am only just starting to get into composing for film which I am finding a blast."

"I was very surprised that my camera worked so well in that sort of cold and didn’t shut down on me. Other than my batteries starting to run down because of the cold, the biggest difficulty was keeping my balance on the icy roads while shooting. As you can see there are a few shots that I took in the middle of the road with cars slipping past me on either side in the snow. In fact, I had a few people shouting at me from the sidewalk, that it wasn’t worth the risk just for one shot."

"I guess shooting in the snow with gloves was also pretty challenging. Often I would have to take off my two pairs of gloves to get a more precise shot, which would then immediately freeze my hands to the camera! But looking back on the day, it was such a creative rush because I didn’t see this project coming. It was one of those projects that just happened because of the weather. In the end, I worked all of the day and then stayed up through the night, so I could release this piece by morning. Doing a project in less than 24 hours can be a total blast sometimes."


Director Jake Oleson
DOP Jake Oleson
Editor Jake Oleson
Colorist Jake Oleson
Sound Jake Oleson