Taco Bell: Operation Alaska

I can finally say that I’ve been to all 50 U.S. States now. I got a call from Brendan Malloy a little over a week ago to camera operate on an interesting job in Alaska that him and his brother Emmett were directing for Taco Bell. I just had to keep it under wraps until now.

The town of Bethel, Alaska is out on the tundra where the ground never fully thaws. The only way to get there is via a 1,000 mile boat trip or a 400 mile flight. Somebody played a cruel joke on the town by putting up signs that said Taco Bell was coming to Bethel and everybody got pretty excited for tacos only to find out it was a hoax.

Upon hearing about this Taco Bell decided to air-lift a taco truck filled with 10,000 tacos into the center of town. As you can see in the spot the people of Bethel were pretty excited, some of them had never even tried Taco Bell. I’d be pretty happy for some free Doritos® Locos Tacos if I lived out on the tundra too.

I was one of the first camera operators on the ground in Bethel. They flew me in early because we were worried about the weather. It didn’t look quite like I expected when I flew in. It was very flat, there were few trees and there was water everywhere. Our PA had two hunting rifles with him. One of the most interesting things about being this far north is that the sun barely goes down at all, I was getting magic hour light at midnight but sleeping during daylight is hard to do. The mosquitos are remarkably large and numerous out there too.

I’ll let these videos tell the rest of the story but I do want to give a shout out to some of our crew. Danny Moder was our DP and he worked the RED Epic, Dave Seoane came up from Portland with his 5D mark III and some excellent coffee, EJ Missico was our 1st AC who managed to get all of our assorted gear prepped and going, Julie Hotz was our DIT and she was on top of her transcoding game. HSI’s production team managed to get releases from nearly 1000 people and we were in and out without a hitch and without cell phone reception.

Taco Bell: Operation Alaska

One Reply to “Taco Bell: Operation Alaska”

  1. Good looking shots Niles… Now if they could only air lift some of the LA food trucks to Black Rock City, there’s yet another story to be told 😉

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