Beyond Survival: The Making of "The Snow Society"

Feb. 6, 2024


There's no official making-of of the film... but the internet and social media have been providing us with glimpses into the making of "The Snow Society." Both the director J.A. Bayona, Netflix, the cast, and even the real-life survivors have been leaking information about the making of "The Snow Society," which, of course, fans of the true story have eagerly consumed. J.A. Bayona had confirmed in many interviews that they had hundreds of hours of footage at their disposal. It's no surprise that Netflix, known for this type of production, would use them for this documentary. "The Snow Society: Who Were We in the Mountain?"


There have been other documentaries about the Andes Tragedy, but "The Snow Society: Who Were We in the Mountains?" focuses more on the creative and filmmaking process. The documentary, lasting just over half an hour, features: Statements from Jota Bayona himself about when and how the idea of filming the movie came about, as well as multiple observations about the creative process, comments from various members of the technical team, and unseen footage of the actors and the casting process. The documentary also includes contributions from some of the real-life protagonists of this story and their relatives. Both Pablo Virci and the survivors of the Tragedy actively participated in the filming process of the movie.


  •  Making of Society of the Snow | Who Were We on the Mountain?


The Casting of "The Snow Society

a camera crane, a man with sunglasses in the snow and a boy with long hair and a jacket

The cast of the movie is made up of a large group of actors: mostly men and very young. The actors are of Argentine and Uruguayan nationality. Pablo Vierci ensured that these young actors spoke just as young people from the Carrasco neighborhood (Montevideo) would have in 1972.


In Bayona's own words: "I like this little piece about the movie's cast. If the cold, fear, hunger, and loneliness come through the screen, it's because of how these actors have put their souls and bodies into each frame of this movie. I love working with actors, going hand in hand and exploring with them until we achieve something we're proud of. What gave me the energy to face such a tough shoot was working with this wonderful group. From the first to the last, led by the great Enzo Vogrincic, who earned the love and respect of all of us. I can't wait for you all to see it".


Enzo Vogrincic received the call for the casting while working at a small independent theater company in Montevideo. For six months, he went through one audition after another until he landed the role. There were many reasons for choosing him. Enzo shares nobility, and kindness, but also mystery with Numa Turcatti - the real person he portrays in the movie. His entire performance is touched by this aura of enigma, lending his presence weight, past, and memory. And just like the real Numa would have, Enzo won everyone's affection without ever overshadowing anyone. It takes a lot of talent to earn that spot without hardly raising your voice! I still remember the emotion in the air on his last day of work. How much you left in your fellow cast members, Enzo! You gave it your all. Rarely have I seen an actor put so much soul and body into a performance - and I'm not just talking about the over twenty kilos you lost during the shoot. But Enzo, I assure you that the result was worth it. Apart from a tremendous performance, full of beauty and pain, you have resurrected the memory of the great unknowns of this story. You gave them life! With a performance that will go down in history and remain in the memory of audiences around the world.


The Script of "The Snow Society

man in a suit raises his fingers, in another image a boy kneeling in the snow

The script of "The Snow Society" stands as a monumental narrative achievement, weaving together the harrowing ordeal of survival with the nuanced exploration of human emotions and relationships under extreme duress. Crafted through the collaborative genius of J.A. Bayona and Pablo Vierci, the screenplay delves deep into the psyche of its characters, drawing from the well of real-life experiences and emotions of the Andes tragedy survivors. This script transcends mere storytelling, embodying a tapestry of resilience, hope, despair, and the unyielding human spirit. Through authentic dialogue and meticulously crafted scenes, it captures the essence of the human condition, offering viewers not just a glimpse into the physical challenges of survival, but also the profound emotional and psychological journeys undertaken by each character. "The Snow Society" script is a testament to the power of words in painting the vast landscape of human endurance, making it a pivotal component of the film's soul-stirring impact on its audience.


Where Was the Movie Filmed?

filmmakers filming a scene in the snow

We know that most of the filming took place in Sierra Nevada (Granada, Spain), but some scenes were also shot in the actual Valley of Tears: Part of the filming crew spoke to "El cine en la Ser," revealing why Sierra Nevada was chosen for the majority of the film's scenes. The team (between 200 and 300 people) stayed in hotels serving the ski resort and traveled daily to the three sets installed at different altitudes. A replica of the Farichild 571 fuselage was installed on each of these sets.


Sound in "The Snow Society": The Original Soundtrack

boys inside the fuselage of an airplane

Netflix has shared this excellent making-of video of the movie's sound effects: J.A. Bayona has shared images on his social networks of the techniques used in the movie to record some of the sounds: A metal sled filled with microphones. This is how some of the sounds of the movie.

The original soundtrack of "The Snow Society" was written by Oscar winner Michael Giacchino.


Special Effects (VFX) in "The Snow Society

man walks next to a gorge

The special effects in "The Snow Society" deserve special mention when talking about the making of this spectacular production. All the backgrounds in the movie have been changed to correspond with the actual images of the Valley of Tears. So, although the scenes were filmed in Sierra Nevada (Spain), the backgrounds we all see in the movie are the same ones the survivors saw in their day-to-day lives. Makeup, Wardrobe, and Characterization have an impressive job carried out. The actors lost weight as the days of filming progressed, and all details were meticulously taken care of.


In crafting "The Snow Society," J.A. Bayona and his team have transcended the traditional boundaries of filmmaking, merging real-life tragedy with cinematic storytelling to profound effect. This behind-the-scenes exploration reveals the meticulous care, emotional investment, and creative ingenuity that went into the making of the film, from casting to location selection, from sound design to special effects. The collaborative spirit between the cast, crew, survivors, and their families imbues the film with authenticity and depth, offering audiences not just a movie but an immersive experience. As "The Snow Society" resonates with viewers around the globe, it stands as a testament to the power of cinema to honor the memory, evoke empathy, and illuminate the resilience of the human spirit against the backdrop of the harshest elements.



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