In October of 2014, Flyonix were approached by the team at Family Creative to aid in the creation of their latest feature film based on the UK snowboard scene. The idea was simple, get together the best in English snowboarders, travel to some of the best locations around the world, and shoot an amazing video!
“We will follow our riders current day challenges, whether thats competing, looking for the latest urban spots or leaving their family behind to trek up a mountain. Riders include…
Jamies Nicholls, Billy Morgan, Jenny Jones tbc, Aimee Fuller, Dom Harington, James Stentiford, Sascha Hamm, Tyler Chorlton, Mark Kent, Andy Nudds, Sparrow Knox, Ollie Dutton, Jonny Pickup, Seb Kern, Nate Kern, Angus Leith, Cody Hierons, Gaz Andrews, Scott Penman, Katie Ormerod, Jj Jones, Si Cudlip, Rowan Coultas, Will Smith tbc, Si Belson tbc and few more!”
Family creative launched a Kickstarter campaign (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/fmlycrtv/this-is-our-kingdom) which was successfully funded on the 5th of January, and since then its been all guns blazing to get accommodation, travel and camera kit sorted.
On our side of things, we are suppling the Drone and steady cam (DJI Ronin) plus a GH4 and lenses and the full wireless video links for the trip, such as the Paralinx Tomahawk and the new Paralinx Triton, alongside a couple of SmallHD directors monitors.
Our biggest challenge was to get all of this kit up and down the mountains, day after day. So we decided to go for a couple of Overboard Waterproof duffel bags, and line them out some foam to protect the kit. We then had to find a clever way of carrying the drone, which turned out to be removing the gimbal and folding it down, and then strapping it to the back of the Overboard bags.
Picture of DJI ronin with RED Dragon 6K
“We want to capture these riders in way they have never been captured before – filming the amazing ability of these riders in an innovative and exciting way. We will only be shooting in 4k to make sure the end product looks the best we can make it (What is 4K?) We are partnered up with FLYONIX and they will be providing us with kit to use and will also be getting involved with the project themselves! “
Day 1 (Documented by Charlie)
Our first day in Morzine was sunshine and blue skies and a chance to find our feet on the snow and meet the crew from Family Creative. We found ourselves in the mountain town of Avoriaz in the late afternoon where we were finally able to put the multi-rota to the test and catch some really great sunset shots across the mountains.
The next 2 days however saw us grounded in a serious dump of snow across the region so we packed up the DJI Ronin and GH4 and set out into the forest to a park called The Stash. Despite the relentless snow, we managed to get some great rushes thanks to local boy, Stewart Monk From Reel Fun Media (http://www.reelfunmedia.com), who rode alongside some of the pro-borders to get some awesome footage off the jumps. There will definitely be more of that when the weather behaves itself again!
An early start on Friday with Stewart Monk using the Ronin again, got the first lines along ‘Star Wars’, with a 10-strong group of UK riders enjoying the fresh powder from the night before.
Today, the sun returned long enough for us to get out and film some epic establishing shots in the valley between Les Prodains and Morzine using the multi-rota – the mountains and superb light making our job pretty easy!
Now, we find ourselves preparing for a long and cold evening in the forest to get some night footage of the pro-borders doing tricks in the Stash. This is a bit of an unknown for both us and the rest of the crew, so it should make for some interesting results!
Alex, Andi and Dave (in that order) from family creative.
Last night we were extremely privileged to be part of a very rare night-time excursion into The Stash at Avoriaz to film Morzines resident UK riders on some of the features. Using only their wit, a generator with a few lights and the occasional addition of spotlights from a working Snowcat, they were able to pull some incredible moves, all captured by the team at Family Creative and us, using the multi-rota for some awesome aerial and establishing shots. We even had the use of a hut with a log burning stove as our base, so despite the relentless snowfall, the excursion was a resounding success.
As if the evening couldn’t get better, Flyonix had the joy of getting to and from location in a Snowcat, as the pros could all get about the mountain on their boards – I’m pretty sure this has been Rupert’s personal highlight from the whole trip!
Day off today, (where I’ll attempt some more time on the slopes to see if I can stay upright for more than a few minutes), and with any luck the weather will clear for our last couple of days so we can get some great tracking shots of the guys in action!
Getting ready to set off up the mountains, drone in tow!
DJI Ronin and Panasonic GH4 taking some punishment in the snow.
The DJI Ronin looking a bit chilly.
Sunday ended with another late night session, this time filming some of the rail riders in town. We set off to a location near the ice rink in the centre of Morzine where the guys were building a kicker next to a hand rail and despite the low light, we got some nice tracking shots. A 3am finish (and some very cold hands and feet) prompted the arrangement of another session the following evening which concentrated on a jump under the footbridge by the Super-Morzine ski lift. Again, armed with shovels, the guys set about preparing the run-up, everyone mucking in and helping shape the distance and height (a real advantage with this type of board sport). We were able to achieve some nice wide shots that took in the bridge, pulling back to reveal the riders as they travelled through the jump, and some nice establishers of the bridge itself. We had low light again but the result was ace and in all a great opportunity to see that side of the snowboarding scene.
During the day on Monday we got another window of good weather so we had plenty of time to get some aerial shots of the town before the night session. However, saving the best till last for our final day, Rupert and the team went on an epic trek up the Pointe De Mossette for some awesome views of the Portes du Soleil before traversing through the back-country with Dom Harington and Kevin Gitsham for some tricks off a kicker they built that morning.
It’s with heavy hearts that we leave the mountains, but with some really exciting footage and loads of amazing memories, not only of the incredible filming opportunities, but also the place and the people. Our home at The Mountain lodge chalet ‘Les 4 Vents’ (http://www.themountainlodgecompany.com/winter/les-4-vents/) has been the perfect base to work and hosts Richard and Karen and the staff here have been so welcoming and helpful, not to mention patient!
And finally, it’s been an absolute pleasure working with Dave Kennedy, Andi Hampton and Alex Crane from Family Creative and we’ve met more awesome people than we can shake a stick at out here, so roll on the edit and film release in the autumn!
Preparing for another late night shoot.
Panorama of the alps.