Approach&Attack

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!

Approach&Attack premiere next week

Editing process is almost over. I started one month ago and have been sitting on my computer 8-12 hours a day ever since. Some adjustments, grading, titling and other stuff to do but next week our two year project will see the light of the day. Premiere takes place in our home town Rovaniemi at Korundi concert hall on 25th of october, 19.00.

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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.

Random photos

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Alvaro Vogel somewhere in the Hokkaido roadside steeps.

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Canadian trees from Monashee Powder Snowcats

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Photographer Rami Hanafi enjoying Kiwi powder with Alpine Helicopters, Wanaka

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Photographer Jani Kärppä and B-cam videographer Matti Ollila in Kagura, Japan

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!

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!

Kiwi style!

06_NZ13_heli1_TeemuLahtinen 43I have been privileged to come to New Zealand for three years in a row now and this country never stops amazing me! Sceneries are jaw-dropping, people are friendly and there is always things to do even when the weather is not on your side. Wanaka, Queenstown and Arrowtown are fun to chill out on a day off the slopes or when backcountry is inaccessible. There is always an option to go cruising quality park and pipes shaped to perfection in Cardrona or longer runs in Treblecone. And yes, there is sweet mini-pipe or more like an old school pipe in Cardies!

Filming in NZ requires good planning and good group to work with. Big thanks to Southern Lakes HeliskiAlpine Helicopters and Triple Point Expeditions! Everything has to work when you try to get things done in the right way. Scouting for locations is expensive if you have to go out finding spots with a helicopter. Guides make our life a lot easier with their knowledge about terrain and the conditions. Being here for third time also helps out since we have some knowledge of what is out there. Having a map or two will not hurt either.

Antti and Tucker from Triple Point Expeditions planning

Antti and Tucker from Triple Point Expeditions planning days ahead

Flying to our destination with Alpine Helicopters

Flying to our destination with Alpine Helicopters

Dealing with the weather takes a lot of patience and willpower to get you through those grey days. And not only grey days, day after snowstorm in the mountains usually means dealing with high risk of avalanches. It is not just glory and endless powder, mostly time goes by just wishing it was, but then comes those days that just makes it all worth to come filming in NZ. It would be such a bummer to leave without the shots that you came here for, so playing the waiting game is essential. We have had five days of heli in three weeks now and we consider ourselves lucky!

Antti slashing through small avalanches

Antti slashing through small avalanches

We have still one more week to make this trip even better, if the weather allows we might be flying but after two full days its time to relax and recharge batteries. Take a beer or two, chill out in the city and then what? Shotover jet on the river? Bungee or cliffjump? Skating the pools or Dream ramp? Frisbee golf in superb sceneries? Kayaking again? As one snowboarder once said there is infinite potential and that is so true in New Zealand. If we have time we go for everything!

Down days with Rami Hanafi on a kayak.

Down days with Rami Hanafi on a kayak.

Tailsliding the Dream ramp. Antti behind the camera this time!

Tailsliding the Dream ramp. Antti behind the lens this time!

Universe_NZ_photoTeemulahtinen 6NZ4_heli3_photoTeemulahtinen 46NZ4_heli3_photoTeemulahtinen 4NZ_arrow_photoTeemulahtinen 45Kiwi Style is common phrase down here but last year fellow snowboarder, the Frenchie Sylvain Bourbousson gave it a new meaning; People are driving their cars like crazy in here. If you are pedestrian on crosswalk they will not stop to wait for you, they try to run over, it´s crazy and Kiwi style!

 

Sunrise in southern hemi

Cardrona, New Zealand. Early morning session filming for Approach&Attack

Cardrona, New Zealand. Early morning session filming for Approach&Attack

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