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Extreme science caught on film

Documentary filmmakers spend seven weeks in one of the coldest places on earth, all to find a story in science

Edyta Zielinska
On a spring day, with temperatures a balmy -20 degrees Fahrenheit, documentary filmmaker Anne Aghion and her three-person crew made their way to the exposed rock of the Olympus Range, Antarctica -- one of the driest and coldest places on the planet, on the only continent committed entirely to science and exploration.The film crew spent seven weeks in a tent, trading baths for baby wipes and heaters for cooking stoves, filming their only neighbors: Four geologists led by Allan Ashworth, a professor at North Dakota State University and Adam Lewis, a postdoctoral researcher at the Byrd Polar Research Center in Ohio. Aghion filmed as Ashworth collected fossils from the time when Antarctica's landscape sported deciduous shrubbery, liquid lakes and insects. Ashworth's fossils, together with volcanic ash deposits that Lewis collected, will help determine when Antarctica froze over, and just how long it took. Like scientists, documentary filmmakers often spend...
samplesAntarcticaQ: What was your impression of Antarctica? What surprised you?Q: How did you decide to follow Allan Ashworth and Adam Lewis' work? Why these two scientists in particular?Q: Did you see discoveries in action?Q: After your work with the survivors of the genocide in Rwanda, "In Rwanda We Say..."(2004), what made you decide to follow scientists?Web sitemail@the-scientist.comhttp://www.anneaghionfilms.comhttp://www.ndsu.nodak.edu/instruct/ashworthThe Scientisthttp://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/21307/The Scientisthttp://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/23292http://www.livingantarctica.org

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