You’re sitting in your room, watching yet another brilliant snowboarding movie, thinking to yourself “I wanna do that. I mean, how hard can it be, right?" Film a bit, edit a bit and BOOM - you’re on your way to fame and glory. Nike and Burton are knocking on your door to give you Pro Models, scantily clad girls are knocking to give you some of their lovin' and Red Bull has set you up with 3D cameras and helicopters. Nope, sorry!
There is a reason why there are so few prestigious movie production companies like the Pirates or Absinthe. Shooting a movie is hard work, especially when you’re new to the game, and by the end of it you’re likely to have thought about 101 different ways of killing yourself and everyone around you.
Here are a couple of aspects about filming a whole snowboard movie you might have never properly thought through. After all, this isn’t just a tiny edit only your grandma thinks is fantastic.
Get good riders without losing all your friends
It’s a very noble of you to think about getting all your friends involved. You’ve been homies and out snowboarding with them since forever, you have the absolute bestest of times when going away together, but are they really any good? Is it going to take them 300+ tries to finally win the fight against the rail? Is it more likely that they’ll land in the hospital rather than that really awesome trick?
Nobody is going to want to see countless slams, mediocre, or just plain bad shredding, no matter how elaborate the rest of your movie may seem. So if your friends don’t happen to be too good at snowboarding, are you ready to ditch them and search for someone else?
They’re possibly not going to take it too well, so you might as well prepare for some good old high school bullying. And will you actually find someone who’s down to film with you? Apart from yourself, everyone seems to be busy all the time, so you should start your quest early and have some treats in store to attract people’s attention.
Lose the haters - search for an original spot
No matter if you’re hunting for street spots or planning on backcountry madness, searching for the right spot will take a while and is a pain in the ass. You spend countless hours alone in your car, crusing the streets trying to picture good shots. Chances are, another film crew has already been there and peed on it.
If you’re lucky enough to have found something, that won’t get the haters to spit out the inevitable “NAH-AH, THIS AIN’T A NEW SPOT, SUCKERS!" then you should be sure to show up there early. Believe it or not, the second it’s been dumping, everyone’ll be out there filming and you might end up bumping into another crew. There’s nothing more annoying, than having to discuss who gets to stay and who’ll be the whiny bitch leaving the spot with his tail tucked between his legs or being called out for copying someone’s spot.
Get up freakishly early
Winter days are short, the sun won’t come up properly until eight in the morning and is going to have disappeared by four in the afternoon. Getting to the spot, setting up your equipment, testing out the features and waiting for your turn will make time fly. This means that you will have to get up early in the morning, whether you like it or not.
Been out boozing until four? Got your half-naked megababe lying next to you? Does your warm and cosy bed seem like the only place you ever wanted to be at right now? Well, you’re in for a reality check, because the filming schedule doesn’t give a shit.
You will have to drag your sad, suffering body out of bed and into the cold, harsh light of the day at an unreasonably early time anyways. Your roommates, humping partners and your bruised body will not be happy about your tired ass bumping into every obstacle of your apartment at six in the morning.
Fight furious security guards
Chances are, not everyone will be happy about you shredding everything from rails to playgrounds and statues. People will get mad eventually because they’re afraid you’ll break something or someone. In this case you need to Speedy Gonzales your way out of the uncomfortable situation of someone freaking the fuck out, because their mother never properly taught them how to cope with heavy feelings.
But how long will it take you to pack up all your stuff, throw it and your mates into the car and push the gas pedal until your wheels are squeaking? Probably longer than for your angry opponent to punch you in the face. The other option you have is to debate your way out of it.
But have you ever been in a discussion with someone who’s irrationally furious? People in that state of mind tend to be stupid. You will very soon regret your decision to rather be a lazy fuck and spend your afternoons blazing it up in the school bathrooms than attending debate club.
Release your inner Adolf
Bottom line is, you will be the kindergartner for a bunch of chaotic, unreliable and unpredictable riders. When will you shoot? Where? What equipment will you need? What will the weather be like? No one apart from yourself will give a rat’s ass about this kind of stuff. After all, it’s your precious little project, so you better get your shit together.
When will the riders have time? Are they actually going to show up or rather booze the night away and oversleep? This is where you have to step it up and show off your leader skills. Stop caring about what your mates might think of you when you tell them to get the fuck up and out there.
To them you’ll be Satan’s douchey little brother for a bit and they might call you Bud Keene, but once you take a first glimpse at the stacked footage you shot, everything between you and them will be lollipops and rainbows again.
Go down on your knees and beg for sponsors
If this is your first movie, you definitely won’t get around this. Why would anyone shove money up your ass, if they can’t be sure, that the result of this won’t be the movie version of crappy Snowboarding Stock Photos? You will have to talk to a lot of people who won’t trust you with this and thus laugh into your face: “You want money from us? HAHA, nope!"
Maybe you still remember how you talked your first girlfriend into going to second base with you or your best friend to steal beer for you? Yeah, that won’t help cause industry folks are a bit harder to crack than stupid teenagers. Think of a strategy beforehand and maybe even squeeze in some white lies.
But don’t go there with last night’s hangover and at least try to get somewhat of a serious appearance on. Maybe you’re lucky and contrary to you, your opponent actually is still tipsy enough from last night to agree on a little support.
Get equipment without going bankrupt
Car, bungee, sled, camera, lights, lunch – those are the obvious things that need to be taken care of. Unfortunately not everyone is a spoiled brat who can go and max out daddy’s platinum credit card, so you will have to resort to what you can get.
Emptying out someone’s fridge is fairly easy compared to pursuing someone to lend you and your scruffy friends their fancy van or expensive light equipment. You know better than everyone else, that, yes, there is the tiny possibility of you breaking it. Either gain enough trust to make people confide you with important things or dive into the illegality and do dodgy business.
(Though, don’t take the second option, life on the other side of the law isn’t as glamorous as the A$AP Rocky songs might suggest. You’ll realise once you're sharing your 2 square meter prison cell with a fat, farting loser called Walter, who used to own his own business - a crystal meth lab.)
Ditch your social life to spend hours and hours editing footage
While everyone else is happily partying away and enjoying the warm weather outside, you'll be holed up in your apartment, staring at the computer screen, trying not to lose your mind. Go for a swim, light up a bonfire, do shots, hook up - your friends' lives are going to be more cliché than all of the American Pie movies combined, but you won’t get to experience any of it.
The premiere is getting closer and you don’t even have half of the movie finished yet. Going through endless hours of footage, watching the same few seconds over and over to adjust the music to it, stuffing yourself with junk food because you don’t have the nerve to cook, getting square eyes from staring into the laptop – prepare for all this and your slowly dying social skills.
As you can see, shooting a movie is hard work, but if you're willing to throw yourself into it and aren't completely talent-less, the result will make up for the never ending stress beforehand.
Watching your finished movie and being able to say "I MADE THIS, GODDAMNIT!" might just be one of the best feelings in the world.