"What happens when two world-class big mountain skiers drop in to a terrain park? The North Face Athletes Angel Collinson and Hadley Hammer learn first hand what it’s like to start over and grapple with the building blocks of freestyle skiing with Tom Wallisch and Nick Martini."
This North Face assignment may seem a strange departure from the winter norm for Stept, though they have been making commercials for brands alongside their winter movie for a couple of years now. So we asked Nick Martini for a little more info on what was going on over at Stept:
"After the release of “Ten and Two” last year, the Stept crew needed a little break from producing our annual ski film. Over the past twelve months we have been focusing on creating branded content both in and outside of the ski world. We still work with a lot of the brands that used to help fund our ski film, and it has been great to switch it up a bit. We have another five or six videos coming out this fall that I am excited to share.
Working on short form pieces is great because we are constantly creating something new. Each video is like making a short movie. It has characters, locations, and a beginning, middle, and end. This also leads to a lot of creative freedom. We can do something out of the box for a short edit and we don’t need to worry about applying it to an entire film like we used to.
When The North Face reached out to us with the story about Angel and Hadley going to summer camp I was definitely skeptical. We are used to filming in the park with the best riders in the world and these girls had never even slid a box before! The cool thing is that in the big mountain scene, Angel and Hadley are truly some of the best, so the story is interesting. I think it humanizes the “pro-skier” and shows that everyone can try something new and get out of the their comfort zone.
The whole time we were in Hood they just wanted to have fun and didn’t put too much pressure on themselves which I think really helped. On day one, when they tried their first box it was awesome to see how scared they were. Luckily they are used to fear and quickly began to push themselves. The whole squad was up there including Wallisch and Hornbeck, and everyone was getting a kick out of the shoot, especially Angel and Hadley. They kept commenting, “I can’t believe we have all these cameras up here, this is embarrassing!”
Telling a story that isn’t based on action is a good challenge for any filmmaker. Even after the shoot I couldn’t help thinking, “How is this thing going to come together?”. After many hours of writing voice over and sitting in an editing booth I think we came up with something fun to watch. I am interested to hear what the core community thinks about the piece. I hope if nothing else the video inspires big mountain skiers, and girls skiers everywhere, to get out there and try something new, take a risk, and just have some fun."
Now check out some behind the scenes photos of the shoot, and let us and Stept know what you think of the piece!