A strolling reindeer. Photo: Alexandre Buisse/Wikimedia
Thomas Hellum, the NRK producer in charge of slow TV projects wants a 15-20 strong NRK team to spend a seven days following the Sami people on their annual herding of reindeer from the Finnmark plateau to their summer pastures on the coast, with the footage broadcast in real time.
“Following the reindeer migration from the Finnmark plateau will be spectacular for an incredible number of TV viewers in Norway, and it will certainly arouse considerable interest abroad,” he told Aftenposten newspaper. “It’s a unique and important aspect of Norwegian and Sami reality, which was created to be told in real time.”
Helium and his team are now looking for a Sami family willing to have their herd filmed on migration, and plan to shoot a pilot on the coming spring to demonstrate that the project is technically feasible, with the broadcast then taking place in spring 2017.
“Something which must be clarified first is whether we can find a herd that can start on command and if the whole thing is technically feasible,” Ole Rune Hætta, who runs NRK’s Sami language division in Karasjok.
Helium said the feasibility of the project would also depend on whether it would be possible to transmit television images in HD quality from Norway’s extreme north to viewers in Norway and the rest of the world.
Nils Mikkel Somby, a reindeer herder from Karasjok, warned that watching the reindeer migration in real time could push the slow ness of the slow TV close to breaking point.
“There’s certain to be a lot of waiting, yes, it can actually be damn boring at times,” he said. “At any time the reindeer can lie down in the snow, and when they do that, they stay there for two or three hours,” he said.