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Ice Pilots NWT nabs two Geminis
Best Photography, Best Original Music go to YK show

Kevin Allerston
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Ice Pilots NWT received two Gemini Awards in Vancouver Aug. 30.

The Yellowknife-based reality television show for History Television picked up honours for Best Photography and Best Original Music. It was nominated in three other categories as well.

For Sean Cable, director of photography, it was an amazing experience.

"Well, I remember I was sitting there with my colleague Todd Serotiuk, he was up for an award. And of course they rattle off the names and I'm like, 'Oh, well, you know,' and I heard my name and it's like, 'Holy shit! I don't believe it.' I go running up there and basically it's like, 'Wow! This is a pretty surreal experience!" Cable said of the ceremony.

"In our industry, especially being a camera guy, you don't often get recognized. You're always the unsung heroes, you know what I mean? So to have that moment in the spotlight was pretty special. It was definitely one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences," said Cable, who shares the award with Todd Craddock.

Cable comes from three generations of videographers - his father won a Gemini for his work with BCTV in 1994.

"That was pretty cool for him, so it was nice to follow the family line. So for me it was really cool, really special," he said.

As for the filming of Ice Pilots, the Vancouver native said it's been anything but an easy experience.

"It's really the most difficult thing I've ever experienced filming. In the cold, you're out there, things are breaking down, and you've just got to grin and bear it, so I mean, I've seen a lot in my career, but the challenge of the cold in the North is something else," said Cable.

He said the award is for everybody who makes the show happen. Cable doesn't just fly up to Yellowknife to film, but spends time here and has a home.

"I definitely feel like I'm a Northerner because I got all my Northern friends who I've gotten to know really well," he said. "It's my second home up there."

Mikey McBryan, general manager for Buffalo Airways, had nothing but good things to say about the crew of the TV show.

"This is really their award - so it's really these guys, they worked their tails off. They're living the Northern, -40 (C) cold stuff. So they went through the worst of it with us and their job is to remain invisible, so any time they get that chance to shine in the spotlight it just makes me happy," said McBryan.

As for their soundman Graeme Coleman, who took the award for Best Original Music, McBryan said he also plays a key role in the production.

"Graeme, his job is to sit in a sound booth in Vancouver and make us sound good. You know, I stutter and all that stuff and they can fix it all up in post (production) and make me sound intelligent," he said.

McBryan said the Gemini awards are gratifying.

"When you get nominated by your peers, by other people in the television industry, that means the most. We're now a part of that select group of those Canadian television shows that somewhat make it," he said. He added that he received news of the awards by text message.

"I wasn't answering my phone because I was loading an airplane, and I was blown away. The Geminis were coming up, I totally forgot about them, and I was too busy working. It was just, "Holy shit! Wow. That's awesome," said McBryan.

He said the show, which will debut season three on Oct. 12, started as a one-page idea from the producer. They then received more funding and wrote a five-page description before having enough for a pilot episode.

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