You’ve splashed out on a dream trip and are floating daily through perfect powder… or not. Whatever the conditions, why not impress your mates by making an envy-inducing mountain movie? Callum Jelley reveals the tricks for ski film success
1. Take your camera every time. The day you thought you wouldn’t use it will be the day you miss the best shot.
2. Most action cameras have a fixed wide-angle lens. If you have a point-and-shoot/compact camera try it out too as later you will be happy to have a different angle to cut to.
Try simple shots on your point-and-shoot to bring out the details, fastening up boots, snapping into bindings, pole-whacking cornices; all these little details add an element of story to your film.
And if you can, put it on a rock or tripod (’mini gorilla pods’ are light, small and easy to throw in a bag) as it’s tough to keep hand-held shots steady.
3. To make it dynamic you need to get a wide range of shots – POV is not enough. Get some stationary shots, some follow shots, pole-mounted, helmet forward and backward, chest mounted. Go wild. The more weird and wonderful angles you get, the more fun it will be to edit and watch later.
4. Batteries: always carry a spare, because you are bound to forget to turn off your camera and it will run out just before you hit that sick three-stage pillow line. Keep it inside your jacket to stop the cold affecting its power.
5. Don’t leave your camera running all the time. Editing is a long process to begin with so give yourself a chance. Think out what you want to film and get that footage – that way you have an idea of the finished product before you start.
Memory is also expensive, from cards to hard drives, and you’ll use a lot shooting high-definition film.
6. Laptop: every night download what you have and empty the card for the next day. Call it ‘day one’ or something obvious so you know where to look when editing.
Check your footage and figure out what more you need to get, or anything you want to re-shoot.
7. Get weird – have fun shooting. If it’s fun to do it’ll come across as that on film. Think up storylines or original ways to capture your favourite lap of the mountain.
Creativity is key and, in my opinion, the weirder the better. Look at Wes Anderson, as weird as they come, but he’s many people’s favourite film-maker right now.
8. Cut your film to music, unless you like the sound of air rushing past a microphone. Music choice is key: a good beat will help when you edit. Cutting on a music beat will make the cuts flow.
Credit the artist and if you make money from your film, so should the artist.