Everything you need to know about Alaska Long Hunters

The award winning story of "Alaska Long Hunters" follows the life of a young pilot who flew in Alaska’s frontier arctic. Experience the front-seat thrills of bush planes and helicopters operating in the most dangerous conditions on earth, airborne among the magnificent mountains, glaciers and rivers that only Alaska has to offer. Includes true-life experiences of accidents, comradeship, humor and heartbreak of life in early Alaska, gone forever when dismantled into parks in the 1980’s. Based on the book Last of the Long Hunters by Mark Rose, the scene opens with an early history of the Great Land and those that lived in it through interviews with several life-long Alaskans, including Hilda Lidner, Ray Atkins and Gale Ranny to name a few. Leading up to the introduction of the authors use of a new tool of transport – the single engine airplane, but not without extracting a terrible price. Experience what it was like to growing up among the dangerous game, hunting the massive caribou herds and absorbing the greatness of the county. Pilots will gain from the flying experiences related, and every boy, man and aviator will be compelled to grapple with its final truth, concluding with a crisis encounter that forever changed the pilot's life forever. The film is directed by Mark D. Rose.

Mark D. Rose was born in Corvallis, Oregon to a logging family seasoned in the outdoors. At an early age he and his family moved to Alaska, where he was raised near Juneau. Immersing himself in that challenging environ, he early took up aviation, focusing his career in that direction for the next decades, eventually thrown into the construction of the Alaska Pipeline as a helicopter fleet manager, tasked with building out the mountain network vital to the project. Rose worked and flew in those extremes which pushed he and his colleagues to the edge on many occasions, teaching life lessons that only Alaska and the mountains can.

Mark was always fascinated with photography, attested by the photo albums he collected based on the experiences he witnessed and documented along the way. Eventually earning multiple patents in wireless, Mark moved from high-tech to writing and now to now to film, seeing that the current generation would rather watch than read.

It is our pleasure to interview Mar D. Rose for Chicago Movie Magazine.

What draws you to filmmaking and the cinematic language?

Most youth are not reading anymore, film has saturated the media market, so to reach the world with a message - use film.

Do you believe in film schools or does making a film teach you more than film school?

I was taught a large part of what I know; how to make a living and contribute to society in my trade, by getting the basics from a good education. Good training shortcuts the learning process.



What makes cinema stand out more than the arts for you?

The works of Ford in Yellow Ribbon and Dances with Wolves by Costner stand out to me. Both were expressions of the emotion that comes from absorbing wild country. We went part of the way trying to share that about Alaska in Alaska Long Hunters, but only delivered a taste to the audience. More to come in the future. We gave you Alaska Long Hunters that's on the screen today, feel blessed to have experienced that.


Did you choose a certain directing style for making "Alaska Long Hunters" based on the script?

As the author of the book the film was based upon, and not the full director, (who almost completed what ALH is today), we had a conflict of styles. As producer, I won that battle, the first director went his way and I went mine to give what the world has in ALH today.. An outstanding world-class documentary.


We online interviewed based on a non-script rendering as a documentary, even at that, we won a festival for best emotional expression. Growing experience for all.


How did you fund your film and what were some of the challenges of making this film?

#1 was Internally funded. Biggest challenge? Yours truly getting back into the pilots seat and flying the bush again after 30+ years. Had some interesting and quirky things come up I didn't expect that took some time to figure out: e.g new tire system that made the airplane nearly impossible to land.. a bad fuel gauge that nearly caused a crash on the long ferry trip up to Alaska, a thunderstorm that got between us and home base one night, causing a race to see who made it back first.. stuff like that. Had a battle with our costume crew about the style of boots that "Mick" (my partner in the film) was to wear on set, staff thought some cheap boots would be fine, I said "no way" using the example that if the "Deadliest Catch crew" asked told to wear ball-brand boots Vs the BF Goodrich high tops Mick and I lived in for years, (even went to highschool in) that they, (the staff) would end up in a crab pot and over the side as bait.. That got everyone's attention - the costumes folk later winning an award for their job..


Do you consider yourself an indie filmmaker and what would most be the most difficult thing about being an independent artist?

I am a brand new "indie" director/producer and am addicted to the filmmaking the possibilities ahead. Winning the Canadian Eagle award for aerial cinematography put a hop in my step doing that role.. Have a new gimbal design we are testing for that use - should be awesome!

What is the distribution plan for your film?

We are on a few small platforms and Prime Video as Alaska Long Hunters

What is your cinematic goal in life and what would you like to achieve as a filmmaker?

We are currently engaged in making a new narrative doc film based on Alaska Long Hunters, that new name soon to be released. I can tell you we are going to take another shot at bringing Alaska front and center in bush planes and helicopters thats exciting like no one's business. We will try to engage the audience and baptize them into Alaska like never before - as Costner did in Dancing. Have another script in the works for the next in line.. Watch out for that next Christmas.. Should be a shocker of a documentary with a huge true-to-life Christmas story in itself!

What kind of impact would your film have in the world and who is your audience?

Our audience will be anyone interested in Alaska, outdoors, the big game and Alaska aviation, plus romance included. The faith message will be there also as we did before, see:

https://chicagofeedbackfilmfestival.com/2020/11/05/feature-film-alaska-long-hunters-audience-feeback-from-nov-2020-chicago-film-festival/

© CHICAGO MOVIE MAGAZINE

2020