Sunday, December 15, 2013

Specialized Video Shoot

In early November, Specialized contacted me to see if I was available for a video shoot with pro snowboarder and Specialized Women ambassador, Kimmy Fasani.  The idea behind the shoot was for Kimmy to mountain bike with me in 'my world'.  Then, later this winter, I would take a stab at her world and get on some snow.  Specialized, at first, thought it would be a good idea for me to get on a snowboard, but I discouraged them away from that notion unless they wanted some footage of the bunny slope and the magic carpet.  Since I grew up ski racing, skis would be the ideal choice.  I absolutely love snow and I jumped at the opportunity to be able to ski powder with Kimmy.  It’s one of the coolest marketing ideas that I’ve ever been a part of.

I was excited to go to Tahoe for the shoot and get back on a mountain bike.  I met the crew in the morning and we drove a rental van up some questionable roads to scout the shoot sites.  The snuck out for a quick sunset shuttle ride with the Specialized boys to get used to the Rumor that I was going to ride.   We returned to our rental house for the shoot and met up with Kimmy.  We had met in the spring at the rumor launch and we caught up about how her knee injury recovery was going and what was on tap for the season (Japan, Mammoth, and Whistler chasing powder.  I’m wildly jealous).  Then, Aaron made us have the catch up conversation again on camera which was awkward at best, but Kimmy is a pretty good actress.  I think we’ll both keep our day jobs though. 

 Shoot Outtakes 
 Scouting shooting locations

We filmed over the next two days with a stellar film crew armed with a drone filming helicopter and more camera equipment than I could believe.  The three-man crew would hike a long boom around through the woods with a 70 foot weight on the end.  It seemed like they were getting a better workout than we were.  The Brit, Robbie, would run alongside us with a camera and pop out of the woods and onto the trail at unexpected times. For this, he earned the name sasquatch.  I was completely impressed with his ability to run through dense forest with a heavy camera, keeping an eye on the frame and not exactly where he was running.  He also was equipped with skate shoes.  Apparently, the trick is having loose ankles and just running with it when he tripped or rolled an ankle.  For all those aspiring action filmers, stretch out your ankles.

The drone helicopter was the most interesting element of the shoot.  It was about fifteen feet long, and there was a special pilot to operate it.  Thank goodness this pilot was skilled because he had to fly it through some tight spaces.  Before we started shooting, they warned us that if the helicopter was ever within twenty feet of us, something was wrong and we should just ditch it and take cover.  It seemed like every single shot with the helicopter it was well within twenty feet of us.  I wasn't sure if something was going wrong and I should take cover, or I should keep riding.  My solution was to usually sprint maniacally away from the helicopter.  It was terrifying, but it sure does produce some amazing footage.  

All in all, we had an absolute blast and, from the little I saw, the footage is incredible.  I think the finished product is going to be sweet.  I can't wait to continue the fun this winter, get my snorkel out, and ski some legitimate powder.  Thanks so Specialized for making this happen.