Making of

Discover Splitboarding

We are currently finishing small doc series about splitboarding. Not only it is a great tool to get out there just for fun but in the recent years split has been tremendous help for my work. I could not imagine myself hiking up in deep snow without some sort of aid on my feet. Snowshoes are great help but it is nothing compared to the help I get from splitboard.

I already carry a heavy back bag full of cameras, lenses, avalanche kit, food and water, why would I want to carry my board while hiking up? It makes no sense. Your board is the device to get up! Split it, make skis, get a little help from poles and up you go. Only thing extra are the skins and those are coming along under your skis, most of the time.


Episode 1


Episode 2
 

Behind the scenes. Miikka Hast setting up his skis in Aittakuru, Pyhätunturi. I decided to get a lightweight kit for this day that I knew we were going to hike (or skin) a lot. I was cursing through the day with that small and crappy tripod. After getting used to a heavier Gitzo carbon legs/Sachtler FSB combo those crappy Manfrotto heads and flimsy legs just dont cut it.

Behind the scenes. Miikka Hast setting up his skis in Aittakuru, Pyhätunturi. I decided to get a lightweight kit for our first real day of shooting. I knew we were going to hike (or skin) a lot, but going lightweight has its limitations. I was cursing through the day with that small head and lousy old legs. After getting used to a heavier Gitzo carbon legs/Sachtler FSB combo those crappy Manfrotto heads and flimsy legs just dont cut it. Better than nothing though.

Split_pyha2016_teemul_226

We got really lucky with the weather this day. Everything else before this, including our trip to Japan, did not go as planned. In january before we really got the project started in Finland, working title was “The Impossible Project”

Split_pyha2016_teemul_137

Some extra footage we captured for one of our sponsors in the early morning magical light. We only got five to six hours of sunlight but it is more like constant golden hour. Crazy colours for the whole day!

miikkapow

Same day, framegrab from the afternoon. No magic tricks with the colours. Blue, yellow and pink. Thats about it.

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We have fluffy powder and steep runs in Finland too! Miikka from Splitlines enjoying what Pyhätunturi has to offer.

Thank you goes out to:
Protest
Jones snowboards
Karakoram
EpicTV!

JaPOV!

Quick little video for Epic TV. Antti Autti slashing some Japan awesomeness, endless powder of Niigata. Shot almost entirely on Sony Actioncams. POV and followcam combined, mixed with few wider shots of the lines, kickers and powder turns.

We wanted to give the viewer real feeling of riding pow in Japan. I decided to use mainly POV cams and cut some of the normal stuff in the edit as well but only short glimpses, just to show the surroundings. After using Sony Actioncams for a while now I can say it is a joy to use! It outperforms Gopros in many ways, maybe not in absolute image quality but using it is much more enjoyable than dealing with Gopros.

Few pros over the Gopro: It has built in thread for mounting. I HATE those plastic shitty things that Gopro uses. And yes, they come in aluminum flavors as well but I hate the whole concept of multiple joints, screws, threads and extra little pieces like 1/4 mount that get lost, I already lost two. The one in Actioncam is built in the plastic casing. Actioncam comes with wrist-display thingy to see what you are shooting, also an App available. You can mount it on the side of the head easily, instead on the top or forehead, it doesn´t look so stupid that way. It has button lock feature so that you can manually lock all button presses, no more accidental recordings of the insides of your camera bag!!! And the biggest thing, battery lasts for a long time! Gopro may have an edge with higher quality images but difference is not that big and all the other benefits makes Actioncam much more appealing and more user friendly. I am yet to try it with faster cards that will upgrade to XAVC S-filetype and better quality. I get those for our next trip and see if it really makes better files as it should obviously.

action

Remote and Actioncam HDR-AS100V attached to a Manfrotto 492 Ballhead & 386B Nano Clamp. No extras needed! On the right is view of the Hold-switch that should be in every action camera! That switch and ability to attach straight to universal 1/4 screws makes this thing more Pro than Gopro.

Approach&Attack movie

Our two year project Approach&Attack finally got online on november 11th.

We ended up shooting two years in various locations around the world for this movie. Two years because we wanted to have a chance to go back to some of the locations like Minamiuonuma in Japan and Wanaka in New Zealand. Antti´s idea for the movie was to have local knowledge and help as we were searching terrain and snow. We managed to find awesome people to help us on our way and in the end we made good friends with the guys you see in the final edit.

Name itself came along the way, we were figuring out different scenarios of what we are doing and how we do it. Someone, I think it was Antti came up with an idea that there must be an Approach to a problem, country, terrain, snow or whatever it is you are doing. While making this movie we approached with hiking, snowshoes, splitboards or in some cases helicopter or snowcat. After the approach you see the terrain and snow, you imagine what can be done with it, how can you utilize it to make the best out of it. And then you Attack it, I remember it was Takumi Nagai or Yuta Kiyohara in previous year we were in Japan who said “attack the jump” and that was the perfect way to describe how we were doing things in the backcountry. And if you did not already see or realize it there is A&A in the name of the movie and that comes from Antti Autti!

Antti getting ready for next part of the 4 hour hike to Postdalsfjellet in Tamok.

Antti getting ready for  some serious Approach; next part of the 4 hour hike to Postdalsfjell in Tamok.

Unknown Attackers in Sjufjellet, Tamok. Can you spot them, they look like ants!

Unknown Attackers in Sjufjellet, Tamok. Can you spot them, they look like ants!

More sophisticated (and pricey) way to Approach is with helicopter. In New Zealand this is a necessity. We did not want to overdo it but sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and enjoy the ride!

More sophisticated (and pricey) way to Approach is with helicopter. In New Zealand this is a necessity. We did not want to overdo it but sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and enjoy the ride!

Our guide, friend and moviestar Takumi Nagai Attacking the deep snow of Hakkaisan!

Our guide, friend and moviestar Takumi Nagai Attacking the deep snow of Hakkaisan!

Miikka Hast stalefishing this gap in the middle of foggy Whitewater. Some guy came from the woods and in his own words he was "Searching for the cold pocket"! Actually it was raining and foggy and we were at the top of treeline.

Miikka Hast stalefishing this gap in the middle of foggy Whitewater. While we were shooting some random guy came from the misty woods and in his own words he was; “searching for that cold pocket”! Actually it was raining and foggy and we were at the top of treeline.

Antti attacking jump with a method in Whitewater, Canada.

Antti Attacking jump with a classic method in Whitewater, Canada.

One more Approach from Whitewater, this time with good snow!

One more Approach from Whitewater, this time with good snow!

Teaser #2

We have released second teaser for our Approach&Attack project with Antti Autti. It contains footage from two seasons we have been shooting so far and soon its time to start editing the actual movie.

I have been playing around some music, trying to figure out the mood and organizing things. Creative thinking requires some time to get ideas, rushing to the work is not my way of doing things. We did not have strict script so making everything work together surely will take some time.

Organizing and converting footage is necessary in my workflow. I was going to use different editing program but in the end I chose the old and familiar Final Cut Pro mainly because it works seamlessly with Apple´s Color, Motion and Soundtrack Pro, all the tools I need. For FCP it´s better if all the footage is in one format so converting is necessary. This process takes some time, and storage space! Currently I have 5,5 Tb´s of footage (much more than in the previous post!), same amount of backups, other stuff like photos and older videos on 15 different drives and one Drobo, and my desk is starting to get cluttered. All in all there is roughly 35 TB of stuff lying around on those drives. Buying new hard drives makes me angry and the next thing after this project is to start looking for a better solution to file and backup all the videos and photos. There´s nothing wrong with external hard drives except you get new power supply for each and every one, and plugging 15 of them at once is just not convenient.

Hard drives clogging my desk

Hard drives clogging my desk, not much room left unless I start stacking them up like skyscrapers

Things under the table get tangled as well. On the left is Belkin remote adapter/surge protector that is cutting power all the time with no apparent reason. Crappiest piece of equipment I have bought in a while. Avoid all things Belkin.

Things under the table get tangled as well. On the left is Belkin remote adapter/surge protector that is cutting power all the time with no apparent reason. Crappiest piece of equipment I have bought in a while. I got some other bad experiences from this company as well so my recommendation is to avoid all things Belkin. I need to replace it asap.

Shooting “In The Trees”

Latest video from our Approach&Attack project focuses on, as the name implies, riding in the trees. This type of snowboarding usually means a lot of snow and since you are riding amidst the trees the visibility and contrast are better than higher altitudes and alpine terrain. We shot many days while it was snowing and actually I like it very much. Snowboarding in deep powder is possibly best thing there is and it looks really nice too, many times you can really see and feel the joy of riding in snowy forests.

In Japan there was too much of snow at times so positioning cameras and keeping them running was harder than usual. Getting from place to place takes time and splitboard or snowshoes are a must! Snow causes all kinds of problems with electronics and optics, it keeps on melting on the warm surfaces and handling with warm hands is melting snow even more. Moisture and condensation might turn out to be a big problem, especially if the sun comes out and starts to warm the lens optics causing condensation to form inside lenses.

Cameras after slash seen on video 2`42

Bag and camera after slash seen on video 2`42, never leave you bag open!

Best piece of extra equipment in these kind of conditions is towel. Not just lens wipe but actual hand towel, and many lens wipes, tissue and whatever you can imagine to keep your stuff clean and dry. Plastic bags are great for the worst snowstorms. I´m not a big fan of rain covers that are made for cameras, they are usually too tight and get in the way of basic handling, just an average sized clear plastic bag does the job if needed.

Zip lock bag with an opening for lens teared on its corner covering my B angle cam in Canada

Zip lock bag with an opening for lens teared on its corner covering my B angle cam in Canada

Choosing cameras with proper weather sealing is essential. I am not overprotective when it comes to gear. They are just tools and most of the time goes for planning, thinking and actual shooting, not covering cameras and keeping them sparkling clean all the time. Wipe it with towel and clean lens with cloth as needed. Covering yourself is also important if not even more important than covering your gear. You don´t want to quit your day in short just because you got soaked. Investing in good clothing with Gore-tex fabrics pays back for sure!

Playing the waiting game. Photo: Ed Blomfield from Whitelines

Playing the waiting game inside a huge glide crack. Photo: Ed Blomfield from Whitelines

Time to get it all dry! On the Onsen floor with electronic heater of course!

Time to get it all dry. On the Onsen floor with electronic heater of course! Bag and half of the stuff belongs to monsieur Matt Georges

We are starting the new season in few days. First off to snowy paradise called Japan, more on that later!

Neste Oil commercial Making Of -video

Here is something I have been working on for quite some time now.

Ad was shot in early May at Tamok, northern Norway. Not much powder around anymore but we managed to find good locations to shoot the whole thing in just couple of days. Crew got seriously lucky with two days of clear skies and no wind which was crucial for using the drone helicopter in aerial shots. Choosing locations was easier than usual since Antti, guide Jarkko Henttonen and me already had knowledge of the terrain and light around Tamok area. Sure we had some hiking to do but eventually everyone was feeling fine doing it. Two hours to get up there, no big deal!

There is a lot of light around in early may and that helped a lot to get all the shots in just two days. We could start up at 6am, hike up, shoot, be back for lunch and then start making driving shots in the valley until it got dark around 8pm. Tamok is quiet valley with superb scenery and there is no need to worry about cablecars, buildings or other people getting in the shot.

And here is the final ad, good work Pablo and Skypixel!

http://anttisworld.com/

http://www.pulp.fi/

http://pablo.fi/

http://www.skypixel.fi/

New Teaser with techical difficulties

Our latest movie project Approach&Attack is halfway through and its time to release first real teaser.

Project itself is going smoothly at the moment but as always some troubles occur in post-production. Even with a short video like this there is lots of data to transfer, convert and encode so something usually goes wrong. I have roughly 1,5TB of raw footage so there is obviously lots of things to go wrong. Converting them all is not reasonable nor necessary but still a lot of files needs to be treated for editing process. Some go through Compressor but mostly I convert with MPEG streamclip.

Even this 3 minute teaser had enough problems to make my editing software Final Cut Pro choke at times. Random crashes have taught me to Cmd-S often enough. All this is making me of thinking about switching my preferred NLE to something else than Final Cut. Maybe FCP X or back to old days with Premiere which I have heard only good things lately … Any suggestions? Maybe I need to try them out and see myself!

"General Error" What kind of explanatory pop-up is that? I have learned what causes this but I hate the solution so I just go around it...

“General Error” What kind of explanatory pop-up is that? I have learned what causes this but I hate the solution so I just go around it…

Edited on 21st oct 2014:

I am in the progress of editing our new movie and still having this issue. If someone is interested I found one sort of solution. I exported all the clips with FCP´s Media Manager to a new folder on another drive. Then tried to export that sequence with no luck. I found that original sequence I sent to Color was Prores422, Color rendered everything out as ProresHQ. I changed my seguence setting in FCP back to Prores422, re-rendered and exported straight out with no problem. No transcoding, but I bet that happened when I changed my sequence settings. Anyhow, it worked! Seems better than just exporting with Quicktime conversion. That brings out new problems but thats another post!

Super lightweight video crane

I got an idea one day of combining my tripod, videohead and monopod to make up a simple video crane. I can not hike around lugging crane in my backbag so I have never felt need for one. I have found ways to overcome or just decided to get different types of shots. Some overhead shots, raises and long sideways movements are just not possible without it so this got me thinking of making one from the stuff I always carry around.

After getting initial idea of such thing I was trying to figure out how to attach monopod to videohead and remembered that I bought Manfrotto Nano Clamp last year, and it just lies in my backbag for occasional use when clamping cameras onto trees or something. Super small, yet sturdy clamp was like made for this. Attaching triangular shaped Manfrotto 390 monopod to it was easy.

This whole setup is made from things that I always carry in my backpack while filming so there is no extra weight to get it to work. No need for building, no need for any tricks, just combine the different camera supports and you get working crane in couple of minutes. It works best for overhead types of things or when you have to move your camera hanging outside from a ledge or cliff example. Much easier than trying to hold your camera on a monopod by your hands only.

The setup has some flaws, first of all it is not truly a crane or jib since the camera is fixed in position with regular ballhead, there are no joints for camera to swivel, pan or anything. It is not steady on small or flimsy tripods, I used Gitzo Systematic series 4 tripod and with that using crane was easy, I doubt my Gitzo traveler can hold it. Clamp attachment to Manfrotto videohead is done by just screwing it into quick release plate, this can move if you are not holding the monopod while turning. I think I can figure out a better solution to some of its flaws but right now I am happily using this little trick to combine different elements into a whole new thing that allows me to shoot different types of shots.

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Crane in use, this time from up to downwards movement. Better to use both hands, one on the handle and other on the monopod.

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Attachment to plate and head. This is weak spot but it can handle DSLR with fixed lens no problem.

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Head on my monopod is Manfrotto 492, really sturdy and small ballhead easily enough for Nikon D800 and 16mm Zenitar Fisheye.

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Combine these things and you get fully working crane!

New videos online

Check out Miikka Hast in brand new Onboard cover. Rami Hanafi shot the cover while we were filming at Tamok, Norway last year. Miikkas straightline ended up in the beginning of Tamok sequence in Relate To It -movie. That was just one of those days that everything worked like a charm. We had tons of footage for our movie and Rami got some banger shots that are now starting to show up in snowboarding magazines.

Another video is from the legendary Wappulounas. Every year finnish snowboarding scene gathers up to have some fun and enjoy laid-back contest with superb obstacles, quality snowboarding, good music and after-parties that you never forget (another option is that you forget them instantly!) Northlight Pictures teamed up with Bro Productions to make this video. Enjoy, and see you next year in Wappulounas!

If you want to see some more of Wappulounas check out these quick day-by-day 2012 edits from anttisworld by us:

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Crew III and behind the scenes of a photograph

Man behind the whole Relate To It -project Antti Autti shares his thoughts about the project.

Antti at Tamok. This was my favorite shot of the year. We were in Tamok right up in the treeline, it was snowing really hard, weather was getting warmer and snow turned to slush. Everything was wet and my videocamera got fogged from inside and stopped working. Then same thing happened to DSLR, not only lenses were fogged but the sensor seemed to be as well. I could not shoot with them anymore. I turned to Super8, got the quick shot that ended up in the film and in my pocket was an old Olympus XA 35mm point-and-shoot loaded with x-process Lomo film that I used for this shot. Not a bad day after all! Photo can be seen at Cafe Kauppayhtiö exhibition.

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