There’s a company in Gloucestershire that has pretty well sewn up a market. It’s not something you’d necessarily even think of, till you have a bit of a ponder and realise, ‘Well, hey, somebody has to do it I guess.’ They create snow and ice for the film industry. That’s all they do.

Snowbusiness is big business. Seen The Day After Tomorrow? Snowbusiness were on that case.

Over the weekend there was a terrible film on television. Arctic Apocalypse is just as bad as the title suggests, but there’s some snow going on. Entire forests covered in it. Trains being derailed by it. There’s no business like Snowbusiness as they say. Iced up windows on cars? Snowdrifts piled up against glass doors? Somebody has to do that in the middle of a filming schedule. The occasional avalanche? They’re the guys to trust.

It’s because of their efforts that you so often get that really irritating thing where people are supposedly struggling through temperatures of -40 and their teeth don’t drop out when their gums freeze. You can’t see their breath, because it’s actually quite balmy on set.

Some other things that don’t make sense given the meteorological temperatures and conditions. Know the car in the woods where it gets a flat and they have to change a wheel? Forget that. The metal in the studs and nuts contracts and the whole lot seizes. Give it a  knock with a brick, and the metal is so brittle from the cold, it snaps off. This is a genuine problem for people working in the Arctic and Antarctic. Those SnoCats have heated hubs in case they get a flat and have to shove a spare on mid-blizzard. If you get the AA out to change a wheel on the hard shoulder, that is a piece of cake compared with changing a track idler in the middle of the Weddell Sea ice sheet.

Snowbusiness have pretty well got the market nailed down, so fair play to them. Know those winter street scenes in, for example, Oliver? That snow didn’t fall out of the sky. Say ‘Hello’ to your friend the snow blower.

Or just a load of rocksalt. That makes convincing urban snow, and doesn’t melt during filming. And it sounds right when people walk on it, so the Foley editors have a reasonably cushie job. And after shooting, you just shovel it up for re-use.