How do you film in a state which is largely inaccessible by car?
Production company Picture North takes us Behind the Scenes of a new Blue Cross of Idaho campaign by creative agency Langrand, to show how they sought to capture Idaho’s people and remote terrain, including the miles of protected forests, iconic mountain ranges, and flowing rivers, most of which are inaccessible without a plane or raft.
Fortunately, Picture North’s director and pilot, Henry Behel, could provide the solution for this logistical challenge.
Behel, who got his start shooting commercials for airshows and the U.S. Air Force, saw an opportunity to launch the creative to new heights. As someone who has piloted his own personal backcountry trips in the state, he knew the moments could be breathtaking. He utilized his skills to capture stunning aerial cinematography as well as shine some of the spotlight on the everyday pilots who live in Idaho.
“The flight with the backcountry pilots through the Sawtooths was stunning,” said Behel. “Those shots are always fun because I’m flying the plane myself and coordinating everything over the radio. The best sunset you can imagine is blasting through the mountains and you’re in a place so remote there’s not a road or human in the dozens of miles you can see from the plane. It was the last thing we shot. I remember saying goodbye to the agency and the rest of the crew as I hopped into the airplane and flew off to get the shot.”
While Behel’s strong car and plane reel gave him the technicality to direct the spots, his focus and passion for intimate human moments are what drive home the campaign. Behel’s work consistently finds the shared ground between adventure and reflection by celebrating everyday people. A neighbor fixing their own roof, ranchers driving into town, and families on a commute to school–all of these moments highlight the beating heart behind the ethos of a town and community.
“Idaho has always been close to my heart. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and have been to Idaho at least three times a year since I was a kid,” says Behel. “I’ve hiked the Sawtooths in the summer, skied them in the winter, rafted the middle fork, and flown formation with backcountry pilots above it. I love talking to its warm and fiercely individualistic people, getting lost in its landscapes, watching the sun dip below its rocky peaks. Idaho is a part of me, and I was excited to celebrate it in this spot.”.
The campaign also represented another win for production company Picture North who signed Behel earlier in the year.
“Being a pilot gives Henry such a competitive advantage for work in this category, and many others for that matter,” Picture North Executive Producer, Martin Rodahl comments. “He literally operates independently of commercial air traffic. Need him on set in some weird place tomorrow and all flights are sold out? No problem. He’ll touch down at 7 AM. Oh, and he’s bringing the entire camera package you need with him. Having these resources at your fingertips opens up different doors that get agencies and clients alike very excited. It makes you think about production differently, which this campaign certainly benefited from.”
CREDITS: PICTURE NORTH Executive Producer: Ryan Patrick, Martin Rodahl, Neha Datt Schultz Head of Production: Matt Bobbitt Head of Operations: Michael Nowicki Post-Production Supervisor: Stacey Nuzbach Director: Henry Behel AGENCY: LANGRAND Creative Director: Spencer Strickland Senior Writer: Suzie “Z” Jennings Senior Producer: Monica Haddow Group Account Director: Rochelle Mintz Account Supervisor: Katie Larson CLIENT: BLUE CROSS OF IDAHO: VP Brand, Marketing and Communications: Pam McNamara Director of Marketing and Brand: Emily Agerton. Brand Marketing Manager: Judy Mitchell Executive Vice President: Paul Zurlo President & CEO (also VO talent): Charlene Maher* Producer: Ross Sauriol Director: Henry Behel Production Supervisor: Gretchen Oyster DP: Gus Bendinelli 1st AC: Jacob Depp Gaffer: Dan Misner Key Grip: Taylor Bickel Grip: Bill Zuehl Grip: Pat Metzler Wardrobe: Christine Burman Hair & Makeup: Danyale Cooke Art Director: Chris Anderson Production Assistant: Koby Parker Production Assistant: Nigel Sprague Drone Operator: Matt Roderick Talent: Claire: Nichole Stull Claire's Daughter: Caslin Stull Sarah: Dorenna Schrader Keith: James W. Humphreys Hip Friend #1: Jessica Mayne Hip Friend #2: Skilar Stuart DIY Man: Charlie Finn Dog Walker: Rozlyn Chambers Running Kids (x3): Kyren, Rowan, and Raelynn Brady Horse Woman: Tahnee Fornstrom Waterfall Kid #1: Elon Clough Waterfall Kid #2: Kyren Brady Fly Fisherman: Shane Lowe Pilot #1: William Foote Pilot #2: Andrew George POST-PRODUCTION: Editors - Michael Barker & Alison Gordon Color - Matt Osborne Mix - Jack Goodman VFX - Tyler Nathan Online - EJ Hansen