Matchstick Productions 'Fade to Winter'... My thoughts

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. 

Shotover2.jpg

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". 

 

Thank you,

 

 

PS below are some screen grabs of the rubber duck/s that made an appearance in the "skiers spring break" segment in the film

'All In' Film by Stellar Media

So the guys over at Stellar Media are pretty awesome. I have been following them on Instagram and Facebook for a few months now after I saw they ??? Basically they are an 'adventure content solution' that produce films such as the ones below that really get me excited and inspired because these are the sorts of films I want to be on the production team of. 

Here are the first 2 parts of the film series

I just watched them last night, Sunday 13th December 2015 I was pretty amazed. Its your typical ski porn action documentary film that uses showcases the mountains, the skiing, the ups and downs of a team trip, injury, POV shots and nature shots. Im not going to say more than that however I will end on this as I want to leave it up to you to discover your own thought on this film and leave them in the comments.

I love how the editor chose to edit the crash scene in the beginning of Part 2, with the cuts using both POV and heli shots and then I loved the fact that during this scene the sound you could hear was of from crash, recorded through the onboard mic of the POV camera, of Sam Cohen rolling down through the slough, bashing into the spines and rocks and then giving out a loud cry at the end. This really helped to make me as a viewer feel more of what Sam would have felt after a crash and fall like that.

Film Review Format

From my 'An update' video on YouTube, you will know that I want to start doing reviews of films I like in the area of the industry I am passionate about, adventure and action sports along with car commercials and other well shot films. If you haven't watched this video in question, here it is below

 Now even though I said I want to do these in a video review, I am going to change the produced format of the main longer review and the introduction video and combine them into 1, full length written review. But don't worry I still hope to do the live reaction video of films that would be the first time watching them.

I hope this is a better decision for me, but if not then I will try the reviews in video format ready for my YouTube channel. 

A bit of a heads up/teaser... The first written film review I will be producing on my blog will be that of The Shadow Campaign's 'The Warmth of Winter', which is linked above if you haven't seen it. Finally I hope to have this up by next weekend (14th & 15th November)

 

Cheers, 

Fraser