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Old December 7th, 2002, 03:13 AM   #1
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taking the camera to the slopes

OK, in the unlikely event that we e v e r get snow on our mountains I'm going to be doing some snowboarding video. I'd like to start a thread dealing with anyones experience shooting while riding the white stuff. Not just dealing with shooting against the snow which was just covered, but all aspects.
I'm particularily interested in riding with gear and not destroying it (I should lay off the McTwists while the XL1 is in my pack I guess). Also shooting and riding at the same time. Since I snowboard, I understand this might be more difficult than if I skied.
Please, share all experiences.
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Old December 7th, 2002, 04:01 AM   #2
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I would also be interested in hearing anyone's experiences as well.

I am going skiing in a couple of weeks and was planning to bring along my helmetcam, a Dig8 camera and my PD150. Still trying to figure out how to get down the the mountain, shoot and not destroy myself and/or my gear.

Rick
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Old December 7th, 2002, 04:17 AM   #3
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Ok bro, here's a few little things that will help you get good shots.

1. Ride with the guys you want to shoot. If you are going to shoot jibbing runs around the resort do a few runs with the riders first to check out how they ride and scope out some good hits/jibs. Also look for good angles. For park/pipe shooting, get the riders to do a few runs first and follow through your VF.

2. The most important aspect of a good trick is showing that the guy made it. So make sure you get the run-in, that actual trick/jib, and the landing/run-out. There's nothing worse or more unbelieveable than someone going huge and then not getting to see if they stuck the trick. Another important thing is style; people like to see big smooth moves that don't look hucked. It's better to show a smooth switch backside 3 done with style, than a huck and hope frontside 9.

3. If you are going to shoot while riding I'd suggest doing it on skis. You have more control and as you are in a forward facing position as opposed to standing sideways on a snowboard, handling the camera is much easier. If you can what I would suggest is using the XL as a stationary cam and then a smaller GL sized camera with a flip out screen for the follow cam shots.

4. Try to avoid shooting up the hill. Standing at the bottom of a slope and shooting towards the summit will make the slope look almost flat. Shoot across the the fall line so that the angle is evident.

5. If you plan to go into the backcountry, take my advice and do an avalanche awareness course. The backcountry is a beautiful but deadly place. You will get your best footage while hiking but remember to be safe. Don't shoot in gullies, under overhangs, or on in places you could get trapped by a slide. Always check with the patrol before ducking the rope and ALWAYS carry a transeiver and rescue gear and make sure you and everyone in your group knows how to conduct a search. Ten minutes of prep can save lives in the event of a buried rider.
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Old December 7th, 2002, 07:55 AM   #4
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Snowboard video

I was watching fox sportsnet yesterday and I couldn't believe the horrible quality of some of the stuff they show. Most of the footage was poorly framed, bad angles, uphill shots, blown out highlights. It was soooo bad they had to adjust everything in post. Some poor editor probably had this junk dropped on him and told to make it watchable. He failed but he did his best. Garbage in garbage out.

I would suggest ski's vs board for cameraman, much more stable platform. Take your time and setup shots. These guys were just ski to a spot, yank the camcorder out in auto mode, pull full wide and try to aim.

They even had to zoom like 5-10X in post and add filmgrain and scratches to cover up how bad it was. (eeeeeeekkkkkk!)

Anyway, be safe. Adrian's advice should be well heeded.

Good luck.
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Old December 7th, 2002, 07:56 AM   #5
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PS

Don't use porno music for backround either!!!

= : )
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Old December 7th, 2002, 08:52 AM   #6
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Hm.. how about a hardcase scuba housing for the camera? that takes quite a pounding without destroying your camera. Plus its totally waterproof :)

Just an thought, im to crappy on skiis to this kind of photo :) Give me a body of water however and i'll plunge headfirst with my cam :)

/Henrik
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Old December 7th, 2002, 09:40 AM   #7
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Marc,

It kills me to see some of the crap that makes it to the tele. There is so much point and shoot stuff that the filmmakers? claim is like that because they are keeping it real. BS. It's good to see that they are having a go, but their poor quality product is hurting everyone. As soon as I mention I have shot a lot of snowboard footage people go "oh, i know what you mean". I really need to get my act together and get back to the hill. Damn shoulder injury took me out just as I was getting a name for myself in NZ.

Porno music and jazz just don't cut it for snowboard vid sound tracks. My favs are fresh driving tunes from new unknown bands.
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Old December 7th, 2002, 11:36 AM   #8
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It should be interesting.

I plan on shooting with my PD150 but also catching some helmet cam footage with the camera mounted on my helmet (of course) but also on the side of my boot and also possibly shooting back up from my binding. I have no idea how any of it will turn out but that is precisely why I'm trying a variety of things. I will probably use my EWA "raincoat" if I try shooting with the PD150 while skiing. As I said, should be interesting.
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Old December 7th, 2002, 12:11 PM   #9
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I also Snowboard but i'm planning on throwing the skiis on for taping. If you watch any Pro snowboard movies you can see that the camera man is usually on skis and and hold the camera with 2 hands in front of his stomach/chest.

A real cool shot os going down the middle of a half-pipe with your camera and taping a guy boosting from wall to wall.

You could also just head down to a resort with a nice half-pipe and set up on the deck and tape any good riders you see.
Guys will see the camera and give you the good stuff. Everybody loves to be a star infront of the camera.

As for carrying the cam, i was thinking of getting this bag.
http://www.lowepro.com/pages/series/dryzone/dzone.htm
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Old December 7th, 2002, 05:43 PM   #10
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Some good advicee so far.
Looks like I should learn to ski for those tracking shots, huh? I've been boarding for 13 years now, and only ever tried skiing once. Never too late to learn I suppose, especially seeing the new generation of skiiers kicking it with the boarders in the terrain parks and half pipe. I was watching Re: Evolution yesterday, and it's amazing to see skiiers pulling off stuff that you wouldn't ever see them even trying 5 or 6 years ago.


You know what would be pretty cool... everyone here lives in a different part of the world, we could all shoot a 5-10 minute riding segment on our neck of the woods, and then wrap it into one full length riding movie and find a distributor for it.

Here's the only advice I have. If you go to the lodge for lunch, don't drink a pitcher of beer and a monster plate of poutine, and then go back out riding. You will throw up the first time you bail.

If you are shooting random people in the terrain park, should you get release forms if you plan on doing anything with the video? Or is it only important if you get an interview with them?

Also, do you have to get permission frfom the resort/mountain/park to take your camera up and shoot and then use the footage for something? I'm thinking about Cypress Bowl in particular here. I'm sure no one would say anything if I had a GL2, but the XL1 kind of screams for attention.
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Old December 7th, 2002, 08:02 PM   #11
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I suppose you could use the snowboard and snowplow while holding the cam with both hands but it's just easier on skis.

It's funny that you mentioned RE:Evolution because I was in an episode. I was the guy getting Huge air and doing back flips hehehe Just kidding, but if you watched the one where they covered the RedBull Bike Battle in Boston City Hall Plaza, you'll see me in the back ground video taping it. I got a press pass for it and i'm in the background of a couple of the shots but it's only for a second.


The video idea isn't a bad one. Getting a distributer isn't that hard. We could hook up with www.justpushplay.com
Getting some sponsors and finding really good riders to tape is the harder part.

If you are going to sell footage then I'm sure you need a model release form from the riders you are taping but I don't think you need the resorts permission unless you are taping a competition they are having. (i'm guessing)
Red Bull for example has real tough restrictions on how you use their footage. They were even making people who were just taping from the public area sign forms of how they could use the footage. I had a press pass so I understand the form I signed but if you just show up with your 200 dollar Hi-8 camera they found you and had you sign a form.
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Old December 8th, 2002, 01:28 AM   #12
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Jim is correct about shooting at resorts, you really only need to get permission if you are shooting a high profile comp from inside the barrier.

That being said, I always go and see the marketing manager and tell them what we are doing as sometimes they will be interested and flow you free lift tickets, or the use of groomers, snowmobiles and staff.
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Old December 8th, 2002, 05:15 PM   #13
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Adrian, you said you were starting to make a name for yourself here in New Zealand? As cameraman or a snowboarder? If cameraman, have you done anything for shows shown here in NZ cause I'd like to try and check it out if I can (I know someone at TV3), or try and remember if I've seen it as I usually watch the xtreme sports shows and all that stuff here.

Went snowboarding for first time this year and loved it so want to keep at it and then maybe start taking some footage with my XM2.

This is a great thread. One thing I'd like to know as well, is will cams like the XM2, Xl1s etc require heating as well or just physical weather protection?

Cheers
Aaron
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Old December 8th, 2002, 06:08 PM   #14
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Aaron,

I was starting to make a name for myself as a photographer. I had done work for Mt Hutt as well as for a number of NZ snowboard companies. My video work was with people making snowboard videos and some local productions in Methven/Christchurch. I was starting to get interest in a video project where myself as two upcoming Kiwi riders travel around the northern hemisphere winter. They would ride and compete and I would document the trials and tribulations of a couple of Kiwis trying to make it in interbational snowboarding.

If you track down some shows called Ski Flicks or Ride 99 from the 99 NZ winter then you'll probably see some of my work.
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Old December 8th, 2002, 06:52 PM   #15
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the slopes

The travelling video is a great idea. I'm in if you need some Colorado footage (I live 15 minutes from Monarch Ski Resort). So... who is going to coordinate this video collage?

Re releases: If the face is recognizable and the tape is intended for commercial use, you better get a release. Also, if you shoot the resort's logo, sign, or staff, you better get a release from them, too.
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