Sometimes the only way Ward could get his cast and crew to a remote location was by helicopter in order to shoot on ice floes some 100 miles from the nearest community.
Ward has nothing but praise for his cast, but it's clear he cherishes especially his encounters with the Inuit who participated in the making of his film. "Some of them had never been out of the Arctic until we needed them for looping in Montreal, had never before seen a tree or a spider. One man was transfixed for over half an hour by a spider!
"We were filming a 104-year-old woman dancing a Scottish jig, which she had learned from the whalers. It took about an hour for her to warm up, to get up to speed. That evening she wandered about the village, which we had made to look like it was in the 1930s, with crate huts and mock sailing ships, and became convinced that she was walking around her own village of that time. We couldn't take her home; she insisted on spending the night there.
"Another woman, the one who plays Jason's grandmother, all her life wanted to be an actress--like Garbo, for instance--as she had been brought up on Hollywood films. Even though she had temporary snow blindness from the glare, which can be excruciatingly painful, she always smiled. She was so pleased that toward the end of her life she finally had the opportunity to act."