Snow Guardians a Collaborative+Film project

Did you see those Redrock Rigs? That video is like gear porn. (Cool idea for a film too.)

We  stumbled across Snow Guardians while browsing the latest issue of  Videography magazine. We love the concept of the film (from it’s website)…

We have combined a group of cinematographers, photographers, editors and VFX gurus to use the latest HD DSLR, and large senor digital HD cameras to shoot a documentary on Ski Patrol and Search & Rescue in Montana. Get ready for an immensely visual documentary on the life and work of Ski Patrol at several Montana Ski Resorts as well as the Search and Rescue teams that respond to winter emergencies in the backcountry.

We are working to prove that you do not need a large production company to create an amazing broadcast film using the latest HD digital cameras from RED, Canon, and Panasonic. During the shoot we will take this new breed of digital film cameras far outside the comforts of the studio.

In addition to the documentary, a separate behind the scenes film with be shot in parallel. The behind the scenes capture will be integrated into daily filming and will be used to highlight the abilities of a new breed of small, digital broadcast cameras, HDDSLR and digital encoding technologies. Weekly blog updates will be posted on a production website, allowing followers to track the progress and learn from the behind the scenes content.

…but the part of the article that caught our eye was this:

We had two [MX] REDs, which are great because you can shoot at 4K at up to 120fps and you have a RAW codec that gives you a lot of room to push the look around during color grading. We shot most of the interviews with Panasonic AG-AF100s. We did a lot of work with multiple Canon EOS 5D,7D and 1D Mk IVs, which are so small and light and give that shallow depth of field. We used those for some interview work, too, and we did a little bit of 60fps shooting with the 7D for slow motion. We brought 18 of the really tiny GoPro cameras, which were great for mounting to a helmet, a ski patroller’s chest, a rescue dog or a snowmobile.

How did they get all those cameras? If you watched the video above, then you know the answer is at least in part related to sponsorships (which is an excellent model for securing a equipment that we will be looking into in the future).

There was also  a social media element to getting production off the ground. Co-Producer Tyler Ginter started tweeting about the idea for the film, and then magically a crew came together over twitter (follow that link for the twitter account of the whole crew).

The idea that a high production value, adventure style documentary can be produced by pulling a crew together over social media and shot using smaller, relatively inexpensive digital cameras is one that resonates with us. It inspires, and makes us optimistic for our future long-form projects. After all, it’s not so different from the way we coordinate our network of freelancers now. We will certainly be following the progress of this film and encourage you to do so as well.

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