Monday, 14 April 2014

Ski Marathon Commercial

I just heard one loud snap in my right knee and that was it. No more snowboarding, running or biking for 8 weeks...

The Engadin Ski Marathon is one of the biggest Cross-Country ski marathons in the world as 13000 athletes sweat it out yearly. The organization decided to have a complete face lift with logo, website and all, along with a 60 sec commercial to market the sport from a fresh, young perspective. I was fortunate to be selected to write a story and with the script idea, I won the pitch. 

The storyboard was structured around 50% of pre-event filming that had to match the action as a "day in the life". Two different camera systems were chosen for the shoot. To keep up with the fast moving action, a Red Epic on a turbo charged snowmobile and a Cineflex helicopter were used to capture the impressive numbers from the sky. This combination worked very well, although it was kind of hard to match the beautiful open lens rushes coming from the Epic to the flat Cineflex pictures. And why do they put a zoom function on the Cineflex system.... You have the Helicopter to Zoom! Zoom during capturing is one of those terrible things that should never have been permitted in moving pictures. Our eye cannot zoom, so how do you justify it in a film without putting the emphasis on the camera.

I was astonished to see how fast the skiers were moving. If you make a simple setup to film our talent, Nadia Damaso or Mischa Van der Valk, you need to speed for 20 minutes to catch up again. At one stage, just as we caught up with Nadia, something completely not planned occurred. Our snowmobile caught an edge on the soft deep powder snow and we fell down a steep hill onto a frozen lake. The impact was so sudden and unexpected that in a twisted abnormal body position, I just heard one loud snap in my right knee and that was it. No more snowboarding, running or biking for 8 weeks. Fast reaction saved me from the snowmobile falling on me. That thing is heavy and it would have been a lot worse. Somehow the USD 60,000.- worth camera system did not even touch the snow. Adrenaline helped us up and out of the dilemma. We finished the race got the shot, but with consequences.

The film is now done and very happy with the outcome. Hope you guys like it. Music composed by Roland Frei at NJP Studios.