On scene


— When in doubt about how to affix your helmet cam to your helmet, filmmaker Michael Martin suggests using both Velcro and duct tape.

His Alpine Enrichment Program seminar at Colorado Mountain College last week provided great, helpful hints on how to create independent action-sport films and how to make them look more professional.

Rule number one is to shoot as much film as possible.

"If you have more than one camera, give it to your friend," he said. "Even if they've never handled a camera before - hand them a camera."

I got similar advice from my film production teachers in college. They told us to watch as many movies as possible. I reiterate those words of wisdom as much as possible when people see my gigantic home movie collection so they don't think I'm a big dork.

People should know that filmmaking can be a dangerous endeavor when shooting ski movies.

"As a cameraman, every now and then, you put yourself at risk," Martin said. "You will maybe climb up a tree and jump down a cliff" to get a profile shot.

One of the biggest challenges I could foresee would be coaching the athletes and controlling their "Kodak courage," so that they last for the season and not just through that one gnarly jump.

Although ski movies are always fast paced and exciting, they entail a large amount of waiting-around time - and even worse - hearing the question, "Do you mind hiking that again?"

The reality of the amount of editing time and gigabytes required can be daunting, as well. Martin typically shoots about 22 hours of film and spends about 40 hours cataloguing his shots. (This doesn't include editing time.) Martin also said a typical film takes up 200 gigabytes of space. Yikes.

Martin said all you need to create an action-sport film is a video camera, a computer and something that can burn a DVD. But it is preferable to edit on Final Cut Pro (which retails for about $1,000) and on a Macintosh computer (which retails at several thousand) and a video camera : you get the idea.

So if you just want to watch someone else's hard work pay off without getting cold toes and lugging around heavy equipment, attend the Banff Radical Reels Tour on Wednesday at the Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel. The eight action-sport films beginning showing at 7 p.m. and the cost is $15.

- Allison Plean


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