Home Arts & Entertainment Fairbanks team kept lights on for Hollywood horror film

Fairbanks team kept lights on for Hollywood horror film

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Jon Huff (left) positions a stage inside the former ACS Building in Fairbanks on Oct. 29, 2013.
Jon Huff (left) positions a stage inside the former ACS Building in Fairbanks on Oct. 29, 2013.

Jonathan Huff is used to working long days. Earlier this month, Huff helped prepare the Carlson Center in Fairbanks for the Arctic Winter Games’ opening ceremony on March 16. His work day started late-Saturday night and went well into the early hours of Sunday morning.

Huff owns Alaska Universal Productions, an audio/visual multimedia production company based in Fairbanks. From providing sound and staging equipment for the Midnight Sun Festival to rigs and lighting for Hollywood films, Huff does it all.

During a 22-day film shoot in January, Huff really did do it all. As the Key Grip for “Unnatural,” a horror film shot in Fairbanks, he ensured that scenes were well-lit, properly rigged, and safe.

One of his more memorable moments on the set was during a shoot with actor James Remar. Remar is known for his role as Harry Morgan in the television series Dexter.

For Remar’s shoot, Huff attached a backward-facing camera rig to the front of a snowmachine. This allowed a camera operator to film Remar from the front while the snowmachine was in motion. What made the shoot a challenge was the snowmachine lacked rigging points, which meant Huff had to find a creative and safe way to attach the equipment.

“I think [that shoot] was one of the most fun things for me on the film,” Huff said. “I was able to play around and use some of the skills I’ve learned in the past.” In addition to “Unnatural,” Huff has worked on several other projects in the state, including “Alaskaland,” and “Mining for Ruby,” and “Big Miracle.”

Another challenge Huff and the team faced was Alaska’s bitter cold. One day saw the crew outside for a six-hour shoot at -35F. “The cold was hard on everyone,” he said. “It was a very long day.”

For Huff, the best part of the experience – aside from being involved on a Hollywood project – was working with the crew. “I had a good crew behind me and we got the job done,” he said.

“I’m ready for the next one.”