I was doing a footage search for a client yesterday and came across this gem in the archives. On a sunny day, I loved nothing more than shooting on snow. On the sleety days where I made up rules for how long I'd go without feeling my feet before heading inside or calculated the body mass to surface area ratio to determine how much more likely I was to become hypothermic than the big guys I worked with ... that was what they call "level 2" fun. The kind that builds camaraderie and leaves you with great stories and a sense of accomplishment.
Today the cameras are smaller, lighter, cheaper, more versatile and best of all take better pictures, but the basics are unchanged.
Xcetera productions and Outside Television brought us in to to show their viewers what goes into building the amazing hits at a venue like the US Snowboard Open at Stratton. We watched Snow Park Tech build the halfpipe, rail jam and slope style. Part art and part science, but more science than you'd think.
And of course we use a blend of art and science. Today's shoot used the large sensor AF 100 for shallow depth of field, the slider for dolly effects and a DSLR for time lapse.
The winter of 2012 started off with a bang. Or should I say a freeze. Two cold but beautiful weekends of on snow videography got January off to a good start. Here are a few shots. Photographer Barrie Fisher worked with Madmotion at Stowe Resort with Picabo Street and a corporate client to capture fantastic candid and action shots and provide on site prints. I snapped a couple of iPhone photos from my camera position for the live DEW Tour shows on NBC.
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!
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.
I drove down to Okemo this week to shoot a BMW & K2 promotional event. Here are a couple of my favorite car shots from the day. We tried some new mounting set ups with the Contour HD POV camera, and the rest was shot with the still pretty new HPX 370.
In this video, I talk with my co-host and amazing skier and on camera personality Doug Lewis about working with skiing and riding talent. I know, we're all talented, but talent is the term used for the professional person who is in front of the camera. I'm really more comfortable behind the camera, but I hope getting a taste of what it's like in front of the camera will make me a better director / photographer.
These tips apply whether you are getting shots of your kids sledding, or friends hucking big air. This clip includes an intro from Outside TV's Outside Today host Julia Dimon.
It's that time of year. Many of you want to get videos of your kids skiing, sledding or snowboarding. Or shoot your buddies skiing the trees, hitting the rails, or flying out of the halfpipe. I'll be shooting the Dew Tour at Killington for NBC, but many of you might want to grab a few shots of the event to share with your buddies.
Here's a minute and a half of insight into getting better results when your faced with winter weather. This is one of a series of 7 "Video Secrets" tips we produced for Outside TV. You may recognize my co-host Doug Lewis, a two time winter Olympian, and now host of Universal Sports World Cup ski coverage.
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