WELCOME TO HAYFIRE

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We tell stories

We are a documentary film and video production company

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featured projects

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JOHN HARTMAN: ACROSS THE GREAT DIVIDE


Acclaimed Canadian artist John Hartman heard a story on a visit to Banff, AB. It was a story about four young men that humbly did what others before them had failed to do. This is a short film about how that story consumed his thoughts to the point that he has painted an entire exhibition about it. This short documentary is meant to accompany the exhibition and shine light on his creative process as he explores a new idea and turns this exploration into large and dynamic oil paintings.

A new film by David Hartman


This is the story of something old that exists in a new world. A story about adapting traditions and recognizing their use before they are forgotten. But this is not a story about living in the past.

Keepers of the Trail is a documentary film by David Hartman that follows a group of nine winter travellers as they walk north between Canada’s two great rail lines. The group travels by traditional methods handed down by those who used this land to survive. These methods have been developed and fine-tuned for centuries and they simply work better than anything else in this landscape. Garrett Conover is an underground legend among those who still travel the Boreal Forest in this manner. Keepers of the Trail silently witnesses him passing on the torch to the next generation as the group navigates a harsh and beautiful winter environment.

Click here to watch the film. Or watch from trailer above or shiny Vimeo On Demand button below.

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nobody does it alone: trailer


What started as a film about a 1000 km bike ride quickly turned into something much more significant. The Georgian Bay Cancer Support Centre asked me to make a film about Mike Dupuis as he rode solo on a tandem bike around Goergian Bay with a life-size stick figure on his back seat. We set out to communicate the importance of a strong support network when dealing with a cancer diagnosis. The story took on a life of its own when I asked a close friend of mine to help me understand this process.

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VOYAGEUR QUEST

Algonquin Park is one of Canada’s most celebrated wilderness areas. Made famous by Tom Thompson and his contemporaries, the whole idea of a flatwater canoe trip seems to be influenced by the Park. Watch the video.

spirit of the west adventures

This project was proposed to me on very short notice, and before I knew it I was flying out to a remote area off the northwestern coast of Vancouver Island. This area is incredible and certainly left a mark on me. Watch the video.

THE GREAT AMERICAN ROAD TRIP

This idea came, as most good things do, as a spur of the moment decision. I had always wanted to see the American South, so when my partner Ashley asked me to drive her new car from Vancouver to Toronto with her we opted to take a 10,000 km scenic route instead. Good way to break in a car right?
See the photos and read the story.

 

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documentary films

broadback

The rivers that flow into the eastern side of James and Hudson Bay have a certain allure to paddlers worldwide. They are very remote yet relatively accessible, they are wild, and their flows can be absolutely massive. Some of this changed when Hydro Quebec began diverting rivers in the area to feed their hydro projects, but much remains the same. Learn More and Watch Film.


nine rivers

NINE RIVERS follows four men on a month-long, thousand kilometre canoe journey through the Canadian shield. Share the hardships and splendor of the North on this journey to Hudson Bay. Learn More and Watch Film.



We enjoy working in remote and challenging environments

{ as well as the studio }

the instagram feed

 From my new film, 'John Hartman: Across the Great Divide." You can't get a much better combination of visibility and light in the mountains than this. After being snowed out four days in a row we finally got to fly the route that Don Gardner, Chic Scott, Charlie Locke, and Neil Liskie were the first to ski in 1967, just about 50 years ago to the day. Link to the film in bio. #hayfire #mybanff #exploreBC #exploreAlberta #travelAlberta #DestinationBC #explore #rockies #rockymountains #icefields #landscapephotography #cessna #d800 #mountains #photooftheday #whyte #ski #traverse #greatdivide #backcountry #lakelouise  Professor Stephen Ritchie wore a heart rate monitor under his traditional Anorak jacket for the entire duration of our trip. He was researching how the body responds to the transition into a demanding trip like this one. He theorizes that the body's systems take two days to begin to adjust to life on the trail. Our muscles, digestion, and metabolism seem in decline for those first few days, and then we turn the corner and get stronger and warmer out there. Keepers of the Trail drops on Vimeo on Demand on February 7, 2017. We were led out there by @lureofthenorth #fur #boreal #landscapephotography #landscape #westwind #pine #greatlakes #wilderness #northernontario #natgeo #ontariotourism #omtpc #winter #traditional #discoveron #snowshoe #camping #arctic
 From under the wing of a 1976 Cessna. We flew for 4 hours over the glaciers of the Great Divide in this old plane. By far the most amazing flight of my life. These mountains go on and on and on and I feel lucky to have seen them from this specific height on such a clear day in May. This is part of an upcoming short #documentary about my Dad's exhibition of paintings that opens April 8th at the Whyte Museum. Cool project to say the least. #hayfire #exploreBC #exploreAlberta #travelAlberta #DestinationBC #explore #rockies #rockymountains  #icefields #landscapephotography #cessna #d800 #mountains #photooftheday #whyte #ski #traverse #greatdivide #backcountry  Why wear gore-tex when you can wear a traditional Anorak like this one. Vanessa's blue jacket always stood out next to our white canvas ones. Say what you want about real fur, but I don't think anything compares when you're walking headstrong into a blizzard. Part of the upcoming film Keepers of the Trail which drops on February 7th, 2017 on Vimeo on Demand! #fur #boreal #landscapephotography #landscape #westwind #pine #greatlakes #wilderness #northernontario #natgeo #ontariotourism #omtpc #winter #traditional #discoveron #snowshoe #camping #arctic
 This will probably be the last holdout of the two-lane section of Highway 69. Four lanes coming from the North. Four lanes coming from the South. Cool blue van high on the Canadian Shield. This is right at the turnoff to Britt, ON. #ontariotourism #otmpc #yourstodiscover #northernontario #bike  #documentary #landscape #d750 #nikoncanada #highway69 #abandoned  There's something pretty mysterious about the islands of the Great Bear Rainforest. When the sun is shining the blue water and white sand beaches make it feel a bit like the Caribbean, but I think the areas true character comes out when the fog moves in. This is one of the moodiest places I've visited; a place where open ocean swell meets stubborn cliffs and trees. With @spiritofthewestadventues and @aicha1127 #beautifulbc #tourismbc #natgeo #kayak #greatbear #pacificwild #greatbearwild #seakayak #adventurekayak #celebreategreatbear #bcpoli #bctourismmatters #rainforest
 As I go further into the digital world of arts it becomes easy to romanticize the simplicity of a set of watercolour paints. I'm working on another project with old footage and this one involves my Dad. This is his palette. #documentary #greatdivide #art #watercolour #watercolor #canadianart #creative #landscape #nikon #ski  This is one of the most strangely comforting photos I've ever taken. We were nearing the end of an 11-day expedition in the headwaters of the Missinaibi River and this canvas tent had been our nomadic home in the Boreal Forest. We set it up at a new location every night, chopping a night's worth of firewood and laying spruce boughs as our floor. Temperatures regularly dipped down below -35 Celsius on this trip but I never once felt cold out there. There must be something about hard work and simple living that keeps me warm. This shot is part of the upcoming film 'Keepers of the Trail.' We were guided by my good friends Dave and Kie @lureofthenorth #boreal #landscapephotography #landscape #westwind #pine #greatlakes #wilderness #northernontario #natgeo #ontariotourism #omtpc #winter #traditional #discoveron #snowshoe #camping
 This man's face. Colin is an engineer by trade, but he is really in his element in the wilds of the Canadian North. I've watched him stand calmly as he gets attacked by swarms of blackflies and walk cheerily with his head down into a snowstorm with no care for his own physical state. He took a tree branch to the eye on this trip and returned to work immediately after disembarking the train in Sudbury at 7:30 am. looking like he was returning from battle. He may look tired and worn, but this is a happy man. Part of my new film KEEPERS OF THE TRAIL. Link in Bio. #fur #boreal #landscapephotography #landscape #westwind #pine #greatlakes #wilderness # documentary #northernontario #natgeo #ontariotourism #omtpc #winter #traditional #discoveron #snowshoe #camping #arctic #missinaibi #portrait  This shot is from the only remaining two-lane section of Highway 69. I've grown up travelling this highway and have slowly witnessed all these old businesses closing their doors in anticipation for the new highway, though I'm sure there are other reasons as well. This is one of my favourite spots on the stretch from Pointe au Baril to the French River and could very well be the holdout of the old road. I like the new highway, but I guess I like the old slow one too. We stopped here to shoot some scenes for Nobody Does It Alone. #ontariotourism #otmpc #yourstodiscover #northernontario #bike #cancer #cancersupport #nobodydoesitalone #sunset #documentary #landscape #d750 #nikoncanada #highway69 #abandoned
 Four winters ago almost to the day I snapped this photo that I think still goes down as one of my favourites. I've always loved a good blizzard and I spent this entire day smiling and filming with bare hands. My new film KEEPERS OF THE TRAIL is available today. I think this photo properly sums up what the film is about. Check my bio for the link to watch it. #fur #boreal #landscapephotography #landscape #westwind #pine #greatlakes #wilderness # documentary #northernontario #natgeo #ontariotourism #omtpc #winter #traditional #discoveron #snowshoe #camping #arctic #missinaibi  The word 'yoho' is a cree expression of awe and wonder. This peak rises above the little town of Field, B.C. and the weather in this area is constantly in motion. We had to wait patiently for opportune moments while filming in the valley, but the views are amazing when the clouds part for even just a moment. #discoverbc ##explorecanada #bcwild #beautifulbc #tourismbc #natgeo #nikon_canada #nikon #d750 #landscape #holyshitthatsbeautiful #raft #kickinghorse #bcparks #takkakaw
 We were on the trail by first light on this beautiful morning on Lake Missinaibi. It's pretty amazing to watch the sun rise while breaking trail on a frozen lake. The temperature was likely around -35 Celsius at this time, and when it's that cold everything seems to squeak as we walk. Our goal on this day was to travel 20 kilometres to make up for lost time earlier in the trip. Keepers of the Trail drops on Vimeo on Demand on February 15, 2017. We were led out there by @lureofthenorth. Link in bio. #fur #boreal #landscapephotography #landscape #westwind #pine #greatlakes #wilderness #northernontario #natgeo #ontariotourism #omtpc #winter #traditional #discoveron #snowshoe #camping #arctic #missinaibi  This is what happens at the base of a 1000-foot waterfall. Takkakaw Falls is one of the most impressive things I've seen. The water coming off the Daly Glacier arrives to the Yoho Valley floor in pretty grand fashion, and halfway down the valley wall it starts turning into mist. There's a pretty thunderous sound to the whole thing, but I'm not too sure where it comes from. Part of a new project for @hydra_river_guides. #discoverbc ##explorecanada #bcwild #beautifulbc #tourismbc #natgeo #kayak #waterfall #nikon_canada #nikon #d750 #landscape #holyshitthatsbeautiful #raft #kickinghorse #bcparks #takkakaw
 Even in the coldest of winters some sections of river never freeze. This isn't a particularly turbulent rapid but the water is moving fast and by the time we got there in mid-February only this thin sheet of ice had formed down the centre of the Little Missinaibi River. We walked on what was deemed to be strong shelf ice at the edge of the river. Best not to think of the consequences of a swim here when you walk beside something like this. Keepers of the Trail drops on Vimeo on Demand on February 15, 2017. We were led out there by @lureofthenorth. Link in bio. #fur #boreal #landscapephotography #landscape #westwind #pine #greatlakes #wilderness #northernontario #natgeo #ontariotourism #omtpc #winter #traditional #discoveron #snowshoe #camping #arctic  We spent four days shooting in the Kicking Horse Pass back in July and woke up every morning to thick clouds and rain. When the skies cleared the fog made for some amazing light, but it's certainly a test in patience to wait for the rain to stop at the perfect moment. Working on the edit for @hydra_river_guides at the moment. This is at the Hydra base just outside of Yoho Park. #explorebc #explorecanada #bcwild #beautifulbc #tourismbc #natgeo  #nikon_canada #nikon #d750 #landscape #holyshitthatsbeautiful #raft #kickinghorse #bcparks