Before I start I would like to use this review as sort of a public tool to use to get some of my thought and feelings I had about the film across to anyone who stumbles upon this review/blog post. Also I did not write this blog post to offend anyone. If I do, then I am sorry in advance and I hope you understand these are just my opinions
Watch Fade to Winter here ... https://www.redbull.tv/film/AP-1N9BJJJJ51W12/fade-to-winter
The thing I love about Apple TV is that I am able to watch Red Bull TV on my 10 year old Loewe 720p HD television that we bought when we first arrived in Jakarta before living there with my family a couple of years. I am surprised it still kicks out a reasonably good picture for this day and age. So one evening I was in that "I want to watch a ski film" mood and I happened to fall upon watching Fade to Winter by Matchstick Productions through Red Bull TV. I had not seen the film but had had it in my watch list for a while now. The film is an ode to times of change that skiers, snowboarders and surfers alike experience.
I started watching the film and as a 3rd year Film & TV Production student here in London and one that wants to work in the ski film industry, I found that I picked up on a few things that could be of interest for my future self.
Firstly I learnt some awesome new phrases to add to my skiing, mountains and snow arsenal. One of which was the way snow, and in particular falling powder snow was described as 'big fat potato chips floating down from the sky'. I don't know why specifically this phrase stuck out in my mind but it remained me of one of Queen's famous songs and then the British documentary series 'Big Fat Gypsy Weddings'. The likelihood of you knowing of Queen's song is pretty high but if you haven't heard of or seen some of the TV series then I suggest you go and check it out because it is both a big laugh and pretty eye opening (for me at least) at the same time.
Secondly, the shotover shot through a valley between 2 rocky peaked mountains in Haines, Alaska, I think should have been longer. With the sounds and music that were playing at the ned of this segment, the shot should have at least lasted for 5 or 10 more seconds and the helicopter could have moved both up and back whilst the camera lens could have zoomed in. I think it just would have been a more "set in stone" way to end such kick ass segment.
PS in case you don't know what a shotover is, the picture and video below will tell you. Its one hello of a piece of kit for sure.
Lastly I would like to raise an enquiry as to what people think of featuring a narrator in ski and other sports films. For me, I always thought a narrators guiding words in ski movies was always going to be something that Marren Miller and his films would feature. I would think that the guys there were the best at it and if anyone were to copy them and use a narrator to guide the viewers attention, it would be weird and somewhat wrong and "breaking the law" of modern and semi modern ski films. And so when I was watching Fed to winter and the narrator would be there doing his thing I built a strong disliking to it and started to question 'What would a ski movie be like without a narrator?' or even athletes that would say what was going on in their dialogue. There may be a market for that sort of film where the audience has complete freedom as to what they think is happening and the story thats being told. Something like this would surely open up a whole lot more creative "latitude" to the visuals, sound design, effects and music.
And so yeah I will leave it at that to ensure I don't upset anyone further or fall into any legal or political "stromash".
PS below are some screen grabs of the rubber duck/s that made an appearance in the "skiers spring break" segment in the film