Moving The Vision Thing to this new site had me reviewing some old posts… and that brought me to Sherpas Cinema and one of my favorite web videos, featuring skier extraordinaire JP Auclair.
Since it was so much fun for me to watch it again, I’m going to repost it, along with one other from the Sherpas team.
I love the camera framing and editing in the JP Auclair Street Segment. The editing moves your eye deliciously through the space, always making you wonder what will happen next… as the images build from little peeks of action to pay off with wider “wow” shots. And the pace of the edits keeps the energy moving from the opening analogy of birds taking flight ’til the last little visual chuckle as JP boards the Uphill bus. Notice that many of the shots are tight with very subtle or gentle movement, so that the action sweeps through the frame. When the camera does move, as in a tracking shot following JP as he glides downhill, it has much more impact. The big moments release the energy bound up in all those super tight visuals.
I also love how many shots are soft focus. So the center of interest is “in” focus while the action is “out” of focus. That adds to the romance or mystery of JP’s antics. The camera framing is often set to give you just a whiff of the action, which adds to your delight as little pieces of movement build to those wide shots when JP jumps or twirls or flips in the air. The nice variety of angles serve to ramp up the visual interest, too.
To add to all that great filmmaking is the crazy premise of skiing through the town… it just makes you want to run outside and try it yourself. It’s insanely great.
Into the Mind, to be released as a feature film next year, is about how the universe loves heroic skier dudes. Or something like that. I really don’t know what it’s about, except it has something to do with the Himalayas and Tibetan prayer wheels and the circle of life or how there are all these big mountains out there just waiting for someone to ski them. So anyway, here’s the trailer, which clearly implies that skiers are the coolest people in the universe. Or maybe just the least risk adverse…
So I know some people will find this no less than “awesome,” while others will see it as a big yawn. But either way, think about what it takes to shoot this stuff. Or do the stunts. Or how you would feel if it was you who just hurled yourself down the mountain wondering if you would ever live to tell the tale, and the response was, “gee, that was great, can we do another take?”