SKYWAY- Salomon TV

Last March I travelled to the Italian side of Mont Blanc to film an episode for Salomon TV based on the new Monte Bianco Skyway. In 2015, the rustic Helbronner lift was replaced with a state of the art, 120 million Euro cable car system that whisks skiers and tourists up to 3500m in a mere 20 minutes. Oscar Taiola, who has worked for the cable car since the 70's, an icon of the Italian side, introduced us to the history of the tram and his passion for the mountains. 

Despite being typically late in the season for the predominantly south facing descents from the Skyway, we were fortunate to have 10 days of clear weather and stable conditions in March to ski some of the bigger descents accessible from the tram. We pushed production into the high alpine, flying drones at altitude to capture unique footage of the Alps and enjoyed some incredible skiing and hospitality. 

A huge thanks to Cecilia and the ladies at Courmayeur Mont Blanc. And  thanks my crew- Tony Lamiche, Alex Pittin, Kaj Zackrisson, Josh Daiek, Mattias Fredriksson and Jay Trusler.

Salomon TV Launch

After 10 years of Salomon Freeski TV and 6 seasons of Salomon Running TV, Salomon is launching Salomon TV. That's a lot of Salomon I know. As the brand continues to grow, the content continues to diversify and as a part of the Switchback Entertainment team I am really excited by the prospects ahead that will allow us to work outside of just the snow sports domain.

This past season I was personally fortunate to travel to Italy to film an episode on the new Skyway Tram, work with the legendary trail runner Kilian Jornet in Norway, and realize a trip that I have imagined for a long time: to venture to Greenland with a scientist to learn more about how the climate is changing and ideally contribute to enhancing that understanding. We brought glaciologist and climate scientist Alun Hubbard, a character in the BBC Frozen Planet series, who conducted ice core surveys and found some troubling evidence of melting on the Greenland Ice Sheet at high elevations in the accumulation zone that may be contributing to faster than projected global sea level rise. Beyond the learning and the skiing, Alun proved to be one of the most interesting human beings I have ever met and a great character. The film will be premiering at the Banff Mountain Film Festival in November before releasing online on Salomon TV.

Eclipse- Salomon Freeski TV

Eclipse premiered at the start of November at the Banff Mountain Film Festival and claimed the Best Snow Film Award which was a huge honour. 3 days later it went live on the Salomon Freeski TV Youtube channel where to date it has over half a million views and counting. Along the way the film picked up a Vimeo Staff Pick as well as a stream of main stream media buzz. National Geographic adventure blog featured an article with Brody Leven while Outside Online featured the film and article by Devon O'Neil. 

 Brody, Reuben, myself and Mike accepting an award at Banff

Brody, Reuben, myself and Mike accepting an award at Banff

Eclipse has since picked up 3 more awards including Best Visual at the Kendal Mountain Film Festival, Best Adventure Film at the New York Wild Film Festival and Best Mountain Culture Film at the Whistler Film Festival. Photographer Reuben Krabbe also claimed the prestigious Photo of the Year award at the Powder Awards for his image.

The response has been overwhelmingly positive and the film has appealed to skiers, photographers, outdoor people and non-outdoor audiences alike. 

To compliment the film Salomon, along with Origin Design and Switchback Entertainment, created an interactive multimedia website with behind the scenes videos, maps, photo galleries and even a Google Street View tour of Pyramiden. I worked with the Origin team to help layout the narrative and bring the bonus footage and stories to life. You can explore the multimedia experience at www.freeskitv.salomon.com

Salomon Freeski TV Season 9

Last winter was without a doubt one of the most demanding, yet one of the most rewarding. I spent over 3 months on the road filming, travelling from Japan to northern BC, Chamonix to Sweden and the highlight, an expedition to Svalbard in the Arctic in pursuit of a solar eclipse. The SFTV format will see some changes this year that are really exciting as we do few stories, but bigger stories. Complementing the larger stories is an immersive multimedia experience to take viewers behind the scenes. It is exciting to bring together film, photos and words along with some interactive elements to enrich the experience.

An exciting addition to the arsenal this year was acquiring a drone. It added another level of production, and at times stress, but the final product is pretty impressive. Hopefully you feel the same way.

Salomon Freeski TV launches Sept 25th.

 

Lost Village- Salomon Freeski TV

This trip to France last year with Salomon Freeski TV was a real treat. We spent 10 days living in a chalet in the mountains above Val d'Pres, near Briancon. Emile Roman, the owner rebuilt the chalet himself with wood from the surrounding forest. Th chalet has been in his family since the 1700's. The chalet is off the grid with no phone or internet and powered by solar. With some incredible terrain for ski touring right out the door and no resorts, it is a unique location. 

The story centred around Emile and a local group of conservationists inspired by Emilie Carles, who have fought to keep the valley free of a highway and tunnel into Italy, along with the development that would have come with it. That Roman and his wife Annick allowed us to stay in their chalet was extremely generous of them as it is not usually open to anyone who isn't family. 

I was joined by Bjarne Salen, Scott Markewitz, Mark Abma, Leo Ahrens, Tony Lamiche and Timothee Theaux. It was a great trip where we all got to enjoy some time off the grid ourselves.

Look out for some editorial from the trip written my myself and accompanied by Scott Markewitz's photos.

Iceland- Salomon Freeski TV

In March, 2014, I had the chance to return to Iceland for my third trip. I was a filmer on a Salomon Freeski TV shoot joined by Jeff Thomas, Mattias Fredricksson, Leslie Anthony, Mark Abma, Chris Rubens and the late Andreas Fransson. It was great to go back to a place that I find truly magical. The Icelandic reverence for the mystic is fascinating and connects them to their landscape and heritage. 

We spend our time skiing with Jokull Bergman at his families heliski operation based in the farm house he grew up in near Dalvik on the Troll Penninsula. It was not a trip with an abundance of skiing due to one of the most intense and exhilarating storms any of us has sat through. The wind blew for 3 days straight at close to and over 100km/hr, burying roads, blowing a shipping container into a house in town and making the 30m journey from the barn to the dinning room an expedition. To read a great account penned by Les Anthony, read his Mountain Life Annual blog here. But in the moments between the elements flexing their muscles, we skied some unique mountains, even down to the dark North Atlantic Ocean, and this is one of the most aesthetically unique episodes I have shot. I hope you feel the same.

We finished the trip with a few days in Reykjavik--one of my favourite cities--sightseeing and partying for Jeff's birthday. If you ever have a chance to spend some time there, do it. Make it a trip, or extend a layover en route to somewhere else. Vibrant, friendly, chic and brimming with arts and culture, you won't be disappointed.

Huge thank you to Jokull and his Arctic Heliskiing crew for their warm hospitality, incredible food and access to some stunning mountains.

P.S. The voice over in this piece was read by Ollafur Dari. For those that have seen "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" Olafur is the drunken helicopter pilot. I love that he was excited to read for us.

SNOWMAN Film Kickstarter

Since September last year I have been working full time with the awesome folks at Switchback Entertainment best known for producing Salomon Freeski TV. I came on to help Mike Douglas with his first feature length documentary about his best friend Kevin Fogolin who was in a crazy helicopter crash that is something out of a "Die Hard" film. We spent the winter following Kevin, filming avalanches and the backstory to their childhood and now we are in the final stages of post production. We launched a Kickstarter campaign to help raise the funds needed to complete the project and give people a little sneak peek at what we have been working on. 

Enjoy and if you like what you see, I encourage you to pledge on Kickstarter and become a part of the film.

Click here to pledge.

Salomon Freeski TV- S7 E2 Fjord Norway

In March I travelled to Norway with the Salomon Freeski TV crew to film an episode for season 7. The finished product released this week. Watching it, I had some fond memories of a great trip with Chris Rubens, Andreas Fransson, and Greg Hill along with filmer and editor Jeff Thomas and photographer Mattias Fredriksson. The narration was written and crafted by Leslie Anthony and really brings it all together.

A huge thanks to the great Norwegian folks whose hospitality we received. 

Fjord Norway for arranging the entire trip. 

Arne and Stein-Mangna at Actin Adventures for our sailing adventure.

Knut Slinning at the unique hotel Juvet Landscape Hotel

Our guide Oscar from Ute Guiden

 

Instant Radification - Deep Summer 2013 w Bruno Long

Last week Crankworx rolled into town and with came the Deep Summer Photo Challenge. Stacked with some of the best mountain photographers, including my partner in crime from STAND, Nicolas Teichrob, Garrett Grove, Harookz, Scott Markewitz whom I assisted last year, wildcard Duncan Philpott and good friend Bruno Long. Earlier in the year Bruno had asked if I might help edit his slide show. After having so much fun being a part of it last year with Scott, I agreed immediately. Bruno's idea sounded really interesting and I thought we could put a good show together.

His concept was a play on the advent of Instagram and a tribute to the past. Over the three days of shooting Bruno employed some old school techniques, shooting on Polaroid, and a Diane alongside his DSLR. The outcome was some really unique images that saluted the early days of both mountain biking and the documentation of it.

On Monday night Bruno arrived at my house and we set about arranging his photos into a show that would get people stoked.

The event showcased 6 really solid shows and it wasn't at all clear who would take the check. In the end Nic claimed the crown. (You can watch his show here.)

For some behind the scenes insight into Bruno's show, check out the PinkBike post here.

 

Salomon Freeski TV Season 7 Teaser

The teaser for season 7 of Salomon Freeski TV and produced by Switchback Entertainment just went live online and it has me both excited to ski and even more excited to be a part of the project moving into the coming winter. Season 7 will bring up 100 episodes of Freeski TV and further extend it's roots as the number one online action sports series. And that qualification comes from Youtube themselves.

Last year I got to travel to Norway (see the trip report here) to shoot an episode which will be released through out the winter, so sit back and enjoy the teaser to get the appetite whet, and be sure to subscribe or check back in October as the full short films begin to roll out. 

Exploring the Bendor Range

Last fall I joined the Sherpas Cinema crew, Mike Hopkins, Matt Miles and Blake Jorgenson in the mountain above Bralorne for 8 days camped in the alpine to film a true frontier in the sport of mountain biking. What ensued is captured in this edit for The North Face that recently premiered online.

Be sure to put your helmet on. Its a rowdy ride. 

Bella Bella Boardshop in SBC Surf

SBC Boardshop Scan.jpg

This short article ran in SBC Surf's summer 2012 issue. It focuses on the 7 students building their own cedar SUP boards. What is so cool about this is that prior to meeting Raph Bruhwiler at the launch of their boards in Hakai, they had only seen him in this very magazine. They were mightily impressed that he was featured in the magazines. "He must be a real pro," was a comment one student made. Well, now they themselves are all pros by that definition! We are pretty sure you will think so to after you meet them in the film.</p>
<p style="text-align: left;">Look out for a full feature on the making of STAND in the next issue of SBC Surf.

John Cleese on Creativity

A friend pointed me towards this talk by John Cleese on creativity. Much of what Cleese says is true, namely that creativity is not a talent, it is a mode or mood. Everyone is creative. What was interesting was this came through my feed at a time when the creative juices are both required and stemmed by the need to get s$%# done ie. edit STAND.  It reminds me of a flow chart for creativity that I came across at a similar stage of the production of AZADI that was a blue print for the emotional rollercoaster that creative endeavors are.  (See the diagram here)

Take a break and this might just get those juices running again.