I was pleasantly surprised watching 'The Golden Age' to be eagerly awaiting each new segment, despite it being a predominantly park movie. That is partly testament to the fact that each rider brings something different to the table in terms of style and trick selection. But to me, the real star of the show is the filming and storytelling of Gavin Rudy. You'll have to watch the film to see what I mean but to me it's pretty special. I spoke to Gavin earlier about coming up with the idea behind the film and the process of making it. He was super honest about his take on the film and even occasionally its failings To me it makes a really interesting read and you can also check out his story boards from the making of the movie as a further behind the scenes glimpse.
What's up Gavin, Tell me a bit about coming up with the story? Did you have it in mind throughout filming the movie?
Well, I wanted a storyline in the movie to engage the audience more, and make it a bit more relatable to people who might not be as heavily invested in the ski community. Not to mention, a park movie is pretty repetitive, so I needed something to break it up and add some variety. Finally, and most primarily, I wanted a way to really introduce all of the skiers. The actual plot idea for a grandfather recounting his memories popped into my head last year during winter break. It's not an especially unique concept but I believe we took it in the right direction and executed it well. I knew I wanted to have a story and plan for the movie before then, rather than to shoot all season and throw everything together as I'd done in previous years, but hadn't had an idea of what exactly I wanted to do before then. I took that idea and wrote up a script and some storyboards over the next two months and we shot a lot of the rider-specific story bits (group, introduction, and transition shots) throughout the winter. Then we shot the storyline with the grandfather and grandson in the spring. So yeah, I had the story in mind throughout filming the whole thing. I wanted the story to guide the film rather than be an afterthought. I felt like it would flow better that way, and it did.
How did you find the actors? Was it really different to shoot that kind of scene to shooting skiing?
I went about finding the actors by pretty much just asking around among ski friends in Summit county. The grandfather actor was the grandfather of Andrew Karoly, a kid who was on the same ski team as a lot of the guys in the film have been on. I asked him if he thought his grandpa would fit the role I'd thought up, and he figured he would. We got really lucky there, because Bob, the grandpa, totally nailed the part. The grandson, Jack, was actually Kai George's mom's piano student. It wasn't too hard to shoot the story scenes, but I think that's partially because I wrote a script and storyboards and put a lot of thought into it before shooting it. Also, the actors were really easy to work with. I don't have any experience directing a story, or shooting it, but I think it came out pretty well. In reflection, I need to work on my lighting and angles a little bit to add some more depth/separation. Some of the dialogue could also have been written better, I think parts of the script sound a little bit funny.
Is there anything about the film you want to get off your chest while you have the chance?
Obviously I want to thank everyone who's helped me along the way, and the sponsors. Those people and sponsors are all mentioned in the credits of the movie and on the movie page, go check them out! I've said this before and I want to say it again. To anyone eager to make movies or videos: I really firmly believe that it's not about your equipment, it's about what story you're trying to tell. Add some depth to your productions, engage your viewers by making it interesting and telling a story you think needs to be told. People, sometimes even major production companies who do this for a living, get really caught up with the aesthetics of a video and that gets in the way of the skiing and the heart. People watch videos to watch the skiing and to connect with the people featured in the videos. Don't let fancy drones and slow motion get in the way of that. Just remember that it's about the skiing and it's about the people. If you can remember that, you'll be just fine. I don't say that like I think I'm an expert here, but that's the conclusion I've come to personally after reflecting on my own work and what's inspired me.
What comes next for you?
Well, I don't want to make another park movie. I'll make park edits still, but I want to branch out and make a different movie. I'm not going to go in depth about any of this, because it's all very far off, but I hope that the next movie I share with you all takes place outside of the park.
A taste of things to come?