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Darcy Turenne takes first in the 72hr. Filmmaker Showdown

Squamish director and former pro-mountain biker spent months planning The Trip



The morning after she won the 2014 72hr. Filmmaker Showdown, Darcy Turenne is wrecked from staying up all weekend.

"It was such a tiring couple days," the Squamish filmmaker says.

"But it feels great! It's like a huge weight is off my shoulders, having finished the movie and made something we're all proud of."

Her winning film, The Trip, tells the story of "Shelley," a young woman dejectedly trail running through a forest when she comes across a handy bag of hallucinogens.

Shelley decides to have a taste and goes on what can only be described as a very trippy journey through a magical woodland that is inhabited by the odd hippie up a tree and forest spirits.

What is remarkable about the short, and what made it stood out among the 10 finalists, was that the film was made in just one five-minute take.

Each take took 40 minutes to set up and the third take was their first usable one, says Turenne, who is also known as a former professional freeride mountain biker.

"Then we decided to try it a few more times. It took 40 minutes to set up each one because there were a lot of things going on, like smoke machines and people in hiding places. There was a lot going on behind the camera," she says.

"We got a really good take on the fifth try and then we said, 'Just one more,' and that one had the most beautiful light, it was perfect. So many little things went right in it that we couldn't have planned."

Those little things included a feather falling from a character onto the trail right at the end of the film, as if on cue, she says.

Along with her cast, Turenne says the work of her cameraman Derek Heidt and editor Dan Barham was crucial. In fact, she planned The Trip completely around a piece of equipment Heidt sells through his company, Revered Cinema.

"The company makes motion stabilizers for cameras. I actually wrote the film around it... I knew it would be possible to do a continuous shot and have it stable and look good," she says.

"He operated the camera and holding that thing, it was so heavy I could barely pick it up. He held it with his hands extended, balancing the whole weight on his biceps. After five minutes he'd be shaking," said Turenne.

The lead actor was Bree Lunn, who is four-and-a-half months pregnant.

They didn't start shooting until a day into the competition because most of her team worked on the Friday, but they rehearsed extensively on the Saturday morning and it came together. Friday, for Turenne, ended up being the day she prepped the location near Quest University in Squamish, including where cameraman Heidt would move. Turenne said she had scouted locations for months but found the right place on Thursday.

The showdown, which took place at the conference centre April 15, is one of the key events at the World Ski and Snowboard Festival, which runs until April 20.

Oliver Popley and his team took home the people's prize with his funny short about vegetable hunting called Stalk and Peel.

The other team leaders and films were Braedan Houtman with The Recipe For Success, Christopher Smith with Above The Clouds, last year's winner Conrad Schapansky with Into The Mime, Asta and Teija Kovanan with Spring Wind, Jonny Fleet with We, Kyle Killeen with Board To Be Wild, Laura Adkin with The Road to Peyeongchang, and Dale Bailey with The Gorby Gap Rap.

WSSF has added Encore!, a chance to see all the finalists again, on Friday, April 18 at the Whistler Conference Centre. At Encore! the public will be able to vote on their favourite of the 10 films.

Doors open at 8 p.m., with films showing at 9 p.m. Tickets are $25 and available at