In the words of Powder Magazine, Giray Dadali is “the nerd engineer younger brother of Ahmet Dadali”. This may be true, but Giray is also the most passionate, hard-working, self-critical, progressive skier that I personally know. Both sharing roots to upstate New York, Giray and I linked up three years ago when I invited him to join for the short film I produced about central Utah’s Eagle Point ski resort.
Last season, we only managed to film one day, but put together a video that quickly went viral in the ski community (due to Giray’s skiing, not my rushed video). After that, we knew that if I put the effort and time into filming and Giray put the effort into the skiing, we could make a video that really turned some heads.
We came out swinging early this season with a few solid days of shooting. We spent long hours in the backcountry. On these days, I sat freezing while Giray sweated as I made him boot pack multiple times in deep snow to get the shot. It was during these days that I began to realize how hard it is to make a diverse ski video. It’s not hard to carry your camera through the terrain park over and over, but it’s really hard lugging that stuff into the backcountry. On a given day of filming in the backcountry (especially when the weather is anything but perfect), I feel lucky to come home with one or two usable shots.
After hitting it hard early in the season, Giray tore his AC joint in early January. This put him out for a few weeks but before he was able to make a strong comeback. Not long after, however, he had a season-ending injury at Bear Mountain when he shattered his pelvis.
With Giray out for the rest of the season, it was obvious that our idea wouldn’t be able to happen. We talked on the phone a few times over the next few weeks but didn’t mention anything about the video. When Giray started to become more mobile, he brought up the idea of making an edit. After telling him we barely have any footage worthy of making a video, he told me about the other people he had spent days with filming this season. Hennie VJ, Evan Heath, Ahmet and Hornbeck, Steve Stepp, and more. Over the next few weeks I started getting random file transfers from Giray of more and more footage of him shot by other people. Slowly, I realized it would be possible for us to make a video.
With so much random footage coming in, I had to find a workflow that I could use for so many different camera codecs and resolutions. Even though most of my footage was shot at 1080p, I decided to work in a 720p timeline so that I could keep full resolution for all shots. Between me being picky about the edit and Giray being picky about what shots were being used, the editing process took several weeks. Finally last week the video was ready to be released. Within a day the video had 10,000 hits and now, a week later, it’s just under 20,000 hits. The video ran on the front page of newschoolers.com for three days, was featured on Powder Magazines website, and was features on numerous blogs and forums.
Stay tuned for next season when Giray is healed up and ready to get back at it! Thanks for reading, and thanks to all the contributing video producers that made this happen.