It's fun thinking about some of the themes that keep coming up in our work. Looking at the last few blog posts I see a lot of snow and skiing, but as I imagine winter drawing to a close the themes of Vermont, collaboration, community and creativity come into focus. "Vermont Spotlight" was created from a perfect blend of creativity and collaboration inspired by Vermont. 1 producer (me) + 2 hosts (Doug and Kelley) + 1 musician (James Mee) + 1 Vermont barn = theme music for "Vermont Spotlight."
It's fun to look back, and at the same time look forward to that warm summer sunshine.
[videography & Editing - madmotion] [hosts - Doug & Kelley Lewis] [musician - James Mee]
I love shooting spring ski events. It forces me to spend the entire day outside on the snow. Yesterday I worked for my buddies from Echo in LA as one of 6 cameras covering the US Freestyle Nationals for Versus TV. The show will air April 5th.
For fun, I mounted my little Contour HD POV camera (the kind you'd put on a helmet) to the top of the broadcast camera I was using. The POV camera weighs less than a pound, the XDcam camera weighs between 20 and 30lbs. The POV camera is completely auto, we set the exposure, focus, white balance, shutter speed and focal length on the XDcam camera. As you can imagine, the coverage of the event on Versus will blow this out of the water, but here's a fun view of the men's mogul skiing final. It got a little crazy, yikes!
In Vermont we expect to see all kinds of sights in spring. The streams run fast and ice jams let loose, birds start calling louder, after a spring flood a few weeks ago I saw a man walking a wet, muddy, icy cow along route 100, it probably fell into a high running stream.
One sight I had not expected to see was a steaming Yak. This mother yak stood in the spring sun, icicles hanging from her face and steam rising from her back. It was an amazing site. A few days later I spotted this article about Vermont Yak Company in the Boston Globe.
Enjoy, :10 seconds of a mother yak, warming up in the spring sun.
The Death Race. Where do I begin. It's a happening more than a race, to complete it or survive it is to win. You don't know when it starts (last year it began unexpectedly at check in Friday night rather than "race start" Saturday morning.) You don't know when it ends. Race directors tell participants only what's next, not what comes after next. It's physically, mentally and emotionally gruelling. The first year only 7 people ran the race, this year they have to limit the number of entrants.
But the challenge as a producer is how do you show that suffering on TV. How do you get across how hard this race really is? The answer is tell the stories of some of the participants, and be in the right place at the right time. Last year, with a crew of only 2 videographers, 1 sound man, 1 PA and 1 intern we tried to follow the constantly changing action over a 48 hour period. Below is our 13 minute edit, now being used by the event organizers as a promo..
If you can't sit through the 13 minute adventure, you can watch a light :45 second promo on Youtube that I cut from the first year of the event.
A few years after I moved to Vermont I dragged a "portable" edit system to Stratton to help produce a VNR (Video News Release) for the U.S. Open. That was in the early 90s. This year I was asked to design a new TV commercial for the Open using still photos from the Open's earliest years.
The Open has changed a lot in those years, and it's unbelievable the progress the sport of Snowboarding has made. Here's the :30 TV Spot, and a little flashback to a 1997 promo.
[design - Madmotion] [sound design - Busted Barn] [Production - Xcetera]
1997 Stratton promo video
[producer - DH Productions] [Videography - David Huot & Marion Dane Abrams] [Editing - Madmotion]
On assignment for Outside TV I made a VERY last minute call to shoot in the sunshine yesterday. On about an hour's notice I met John Egan and a few friends at Sugarbush, then rushed over to Mad River Glenn to shoot with Brian and Emily of Ember Photography.
It all happened very fast and is still a bit of a blurr, but here's a :15 second recap.
Sunday I headed out to Whiteface Mountain in New York to fill in for camera man Dave Huot on this week's Skiing Weatherman shoot. It was overcast with a few fluffy flakes of snow floating around, and moments of sunshine. Tracking shots were tricky, since the those flakes were drawn like magnets to the lens, but this one worked.
The shots will be edited into this week's "Skiing Weatherman" ski report for SnoCountry.
On March 27th I was envious of the "pause" to reassess and learn I kept hearing about. I was fortunate enough to still be working, so I committed to a more active blog. This is my chance to think out loud about podcasting, messaging, story, nature, family and life.
~ Marion Abrams