Asssssssspen. Where the beer flows like wine. Where the women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano. When stop two of Grit Visual’s “Quest For The Best” was taking us to the home of the X-Games, we were pretty excited. Little did we know what we had in store for the couple of days we’d be there.
Long before arriving in town, we were warmly accommodated to by Aspen’s marketing department. They were thrilled to have us shoot there, and that made pre-production a breeze. After some initial talks with terrain park supervisor Greg Boyd, we were fairly certain we had a few solid athletes lined up. The one we were most excited about was 19 year old local and 2014 X-Games half-pipe bronze medalist Alex Ferreira. We knew having at least him would make for a really solid video. Our athlete liaison was local shredder Tae Westcott. Talking mostly through text, he assured us that him and some buds would meet us in the lodge at Buttermilk (home of X-Games) the following morning. So, we sat back the remainder of the day and cried with the rest of Colorado as the Broncos got demolished in the Superbowl.
As we strolled into the lodge the next morning, we were greeted by Tae, Alex, and a whole crew of other locals. More than enough athletes, and on time?! What was going on? We soon discovered this was the crew known to many as the “A-Town Army” or “ATA” for short. A bunch of semi-pros who grew up in Aspen and are as good as it gets. It was time to get to work.
With overcast skies in the forecast, we wanted to get Alex’s half pipe segment filmed first. As Greg’s staff graciously supplied sled laps for Alex, we nailed shot after shot of him throwing down in Buttermilk’s world famous super pipe. While we were doing this, the rest of the crew was warming up in the X-Games slope style course (which was closed to everyone but us). Once we’d finished in the pipe, a simple 180 degree rotation of our cameras had us pointed at some of the biggest jumps we’d seen all season. The skiers were ready, the snowmobiles were ready, and we began what was to be an awesome session. For the next few hours we filmed the whole crew getting rowdy on the big boy course. We wrapped the day up filming in Buttermilk’s endless rail garden, and then retired for the day. The next morning we had a sunrise shoot scheduled at Snowmass. The weather wasn’t looking good, but we had our fingers crossed.
When we walked out to the car before dawn, it was snowing…we’re talking full cloud cover, dumping snow. A little discouraged but still hoping for the best, we left downtown Aspen to head toward Snowmass. We met the skiers and some ski patrollers at the bottom of the lift and were soon riding up in the early light of dawn. As we rode up, the cold bite in the air started waking everyone up. When we arrived at the top of the lift, we were greeted by the sun peeking through the clouds, illuminating the snowflakes that were still falling. The sky continued to part to create an amazingly beautiful scene. Knowing this wouldn’t last, we took out the cameras and set to work.
When we arrived at the jump line in the terrain park, we were greeted by a few snowmobiles and the terrain park crew. After some discussion, the skiers started warming up and we were rolling. It didn’t take long for the crew to get in sync, and soon we were getting shot after shot of world class skiers throwing down under stunning golden hour light. It truly was a magical session. When it was time for a break, we all headed in for a coffee recharge. We eventually headed back out to film some rails, but the snow had started falling heavily making filming nearly impossible. We weren’t worried though, because we knew we had nailed it in the morning.
At the end of the day we said our good byes to the skiers and parted ways, as it was now time for us to head to Copper Mountain for the next shoot. We’d like to thank everyone who made our stop in Aspen run as smoothly as it did. Until next time!