Google: Polarsteps (Gramafilms)

Algor Lieman is from Gramafilms, a London based creative agency, and production company. When we first signed the contract for this projects, our excitement was leaping out of bounds. We knew this was going to be one of the best filming experience for the whole team. And, we weren’t wrong.

Here’s a walkthrough of our journey of filming for this project from the start!

Sudden change in filming location

Our initial plans were to shoot the film in Kathmandu. But, the plans changed and the next morning, we were all on a bus to Pokhara. We packed everything and filmed along the way. We stopped only for lunch throughout the day. By the evening, we had reached Pokhara and checked in. Just then, it started raining.


Filming in the rain

It was still raining the next day yet we decided to film. We were filming on the road on our way to Sarangkot. The back-door of the Hiace was left open all day. Our cameraman, Tiago, was wearing a special harness to film through the open door of a moving van. The roads were narrow and difficult. After a busy day of shoot, we headed back to the hotel for a very late lunch. We then headed to Recce and decided to call it a day.


Getting to the White Peace Pagoda

Next day, we headed towards Recce near White Peace Pagoda. We stumbled upon some obstacles along the way. One of the shorter ways to our destination was under construction, so we had to take the longer way. We planned to shoot that day but the weather wasn’t in our favor. On the Recce, we faced roads of dirt and mud, but somehow we managed through it. By the evening, we had finalized the locations to shoot for the next day. We then headed back to the hotel at Sarangkot.


The actual filming day!

Finally, the filming day was here!

We woke up early and had our breakfast. It was around 5 in the morning when we left for the shoot. The road to our location was ruined by the rain last night, so, we had to leave our bigger car behind. We took the four-wheel vehicles with us and filmed through most of the way to our location.

We had a warm welcome at Pumdi Bhumdi. The filming went pretty smooth for the day. On our way back, we had a different location planned. We were filming in the middle of the jungle when it started raining again, yet we managed and finished the shoot. We still had to face some obstacles as we were going downhill. Eventually, we reached the hotel late in the evening and called it a day.


Filming in the beauty of Damauli

Our next location was much farther from Pokhara. We left early in the morning and reached the riverside of Damauli. And trust us when we say this  — everything about Damauli is beautiful. The rivers running. The beautiful highway. The cool wind. Just about, everything?

Well, we filmed all day by the river and returned to the hotel in the evening. On our way back, one of the vehicles broke down but we had contingencies planned for that. Finally, the whole team united back at the hotel by 10 in the evening. We were all enjoying everything, yet a little sad that it was coming to an end soon. Tomorrow was the last day of the shoot.


Cruel weather vs Our persistency

The weather had been cruel to us ever since we started our journey. Yet again, we couldn’t get a proper shot of the Himalayas due to the adverse weather conditions. It was one of the main reasons to shoot in Pokhara: to capture the scenic beauty of the Himalayas.  Nevertheless, we woke up early at 3 in the morning hoping that the haze would clear out. We got to the top of Sarangkot hill by 4:30. We waited for a couple of hours to get the shots we wanted. After some time, we decided to pack and finish it with whatever we had. So yeah, the shooting was finally over!

Headed back to Kathmandu then, and reached by the evening with lots of amazing experiences from the shoot.



Filming for Lion’s Club – Pieter Miller from Image Base

At Kathmandu Films, we strive to provide the best filming services in Nepal and that sets us apart. We thrive in challenges and make a way through to get the best results. Whether it is days-long shoot or managing filming permits or talking to local people, we do it all and that is why our clients entrust us for their projects.

As of such a case, we had a chance to prove ourselves on an international platform again. Pieter Miller is a producer from Image base, Chicago based video, and event agency. He traveled to Nepal to film some of the projects the local Lions Club in Nepal were participating in. This was for Lions Club International, and a thrilling experience stocked for us in the future. We made plans and the shoot lasted for 8 days in total.  

The onset of filming journey: day 1

Inspection and Introduction

All the equipment had to be checked thoroughly by the Cinematographer himself and one of the specialists from the production company. After inspection, some more equipment was required. We had it delivered in time on the same day.


Understanding our location: day 2

  1. Koirala Lions Center for Ophthalmic Studies

It was May 6th, Sunday. The journey started from our hotel to BP KOIRALA LIONS CENTRE FOR OPHTHALMIC STUDIES. All the equipment were already loaded on the vehicle. We started early in the morning at 7. We reached the hospital and was welcomed by the Director Mr. Anand Sharma. He briefed the crew about the institute and after that, we went to scout the premises.

While half of the crew were out scouting, the other half were setting up the equipment for the interview. So when the scouting was over, we started the interview. There were 5 interviews in total. After the interview, we started shooting V-rolls. And that was it for the day.


Interviewing students and doctors: day 3

  1. Koirala Lions Center for Ophthalmic Studies Rural Clinic

The next morning, we headed to the Insitute for the Rural clinic team. We traveled with the team to Nepal-Korea Friendship Hospital, Bhaktapur. There, we got some interviews with the patient and the doctors who were running the rural clinic. After the shoot at the hospital, we headed for the town of Bhaktapur where Lions club had established an eye care center. There were children coming for inspection and diagnosis there. We shot some V-rolls and had interviews with students and the Doctor who was conducting the treatment.


Unfortunate weather and Gurkhali spirit: day 4

Travel to Gorkha and Interview with Engineers (2 Interviews)

Our day started early in the morning at 7, with all the luggage and equipment packed and ready to go. We made our way towards Gorkha, famous as the home to the brave troops of Gurkhali soldiers. However, we stopped to get some lunch in the daytime. As soon as we reached Gorkha, we checked into a hotel a. Since it wasn’t dark already, we decided to look around for a location to shoot the interviews.

Later, we found out that the hotel we had checked in earlier was owned by one of the founding members of Lions Club in Nepal and in Gorkha.  We were supposed to travel for 2 more hours off road for the next day. But unfortunately, we decided not to travel because of the poor condition of the roads and the weather. Luckily, we found a better option to film: the school.


A sweet gesture at work: day 5

School shooting interviews and V-rolls

The next day we got up at 7 in the morning and headed towards the school for filming. The students would not be there till 9 so we had a little time. We prepared the equipment and set it in place. We started interviewing the Lions from Gorkha. After the interviews, the first school bell rang. We started filming the classes. It was the usual: the students were studying what the teacher was teaching. After the V-roll we started interviewing students. When we were wrapping up, the school prepared a nice farewell program for us. The whole school was singing songs for us while the principal was handing us a small token of love. We spent the night in Gorkha.


Traveling back to Kathmandu: day 6

Travel Back to Kathmandu

Next day, we traveled back to Kathmandu. The weather was nice. The wind was cool. We took a much-needed rest on our way back.


An inspirational story: day 7

Mobility Cart Story

We are filming in the streets of Teku for the day. It was for a Mobility Cart story. Specifically, Chatra Bahadur Gurung’s story.

He received the mobility cart from Lion Ramchandra Dahal, who is an amazing guy in himself. Gurung narrates his story of how he received the three-wheeled cart that changed his life, which was very inspiring. After the shoot, we said goodbye to Chatra Bahadur Gurung and head back to the hotel.


Done with filming for the project: day 8

Travel to Dhulikhel Lions Club Global Action Team Meeting

We started our day early in the morning, heading towards Dhulikhel where the Global action team meeting was being held. We filmed the whole event and interviewed some of the members of the Global Action team. After the shoot, we headed straight to the airport to drop our clients off.

The whole experience was mesmerizing. Working with international clients always teaches us something we never knew before. It was amazing to work with such a talented crew and to also prove our worth. Even our clients agree on that.