Saturday, March 08, 2008
Muffy and the Bird
We met near the Snowbird Tram at 8:00 AM, Thursday morning. Jeff and Muffy agreed to be our talent and I was glad to have them join our production. Muffy had just been given clearance to ski, having spent the last few months recovering from a cooking injury. We met Dr. Jeff and Stephanie and loaded all of our equipment onto the first scheduled Tram. It was a beautiful morning, cold but clear.
The Tram carried our team up to the top of the mountain. I brought my mono-ski, thinking I might join the shoot. I quickly decided against it as I haven't skied for nearly three years, following a cooking accident of my own. Actually, I had some back surgery, which took me off the slopes for quite a while. The surgery completely changed my toreso flexion, making my lower back completely ridgid. This change in body mechanics completely altered the way I do everything. I didn't think that today was the best time to hit the slopes and but my new mechanics to the test. I wanted the crew to focus on shooting, first and foremost. So, I ended up hanging out in the ski patrol shack for the duration of the shoot.
It was hard to take myself out of the production, but without alternate access to the slope, there was no way for me to be with the crew while they shot. This was especially difficult given the fact that Muffy and Jeff are two of my closest friends. While putting this production together, it was imperative that both of them be a part, in some way.
Prior to everyone's departure, I went over some rough storyboards with Dr. Jeff. Shooting skiing consists of three types of shots:
1. Profile shot of the skier coming down the hill. This is typically accomplished with a locked-down shot. The camera pans as the skier comes down the hill, keeping a consistent focal distance the entire shot.
2. Front shot as the skier comes towards the camera. Typically, as the skier draws near, the camera zooms out with the action.
3. Tracking shot. The cameraman skies with the skier.
We only had three hours to shoot, since Muffy and Jeff had a prior appointment. The goal was to shoot as much as possible given the small window of production time.
At noon, when Jeff and Stephanie returned, the three of us reviewed the footage. I was happy with the shots. Jeff and I both agreed that we needed another day for pick-ups, but overall I think Jeff got some amazing footage.
Stephanie helped Jeff during the shoot and I'm glad she was there. She's a fantastic skier. Unfortunately, due to the lack of time and prior planning, we weren't able to bring our photographer, Sue, along for the ride. Therefore, we didn't get many photos. Hopefully next time we'll get more.
Our goal is to shoot on March 20th or 21st, weather permitting. One more day of shooting should give us everything we need in the way of alpine skiing.
We are also making special arrangements to film from the tram.
More to come!