There's a secret to winning the 72 Hr. Filmmaker Showdown—and it's simpler than you might think.
"I think the problem with a lot of amateur filmmakers is they come in with a concept, but what they forget is they have to tell a story first," says Jordan Ettinger, one member of the Vancouver crew that took home the win this year. "The concept is only a piece of the puzzle. What we always try to focus on is making sure our ideas wrap up and make a full circle."
His group's film, H.E.N.K.—in which he plays a human-like robot who's great at everything except providing an intangible human connection—marked their third win at the World Ski and Snowboard Festival (WSSF) event, which took place Wednesday, April 11 at the Whistler Conference Centre.
Alongside Ettinger, brothers Boe and Charles Nasby took home the $7,000 prize, along with a bonus $5,000 cheque from event sponsor, Olympus for shooting on their equipment. (The group also won last year with their film Two Guys One Shirt and took the win in 2015 with Grandpa's Treasure Trail.)
"What we liked most about tonight was listening to 2,000 people laugh and enjoy our film that we really (had) no sleep (making), and (spent) all weekend filming," Charles Nasby said after the win was announced. "It's great to say it paid off."
In total, 10 finalists—who had spent three days shooting, editing and producing a three-to-five minute film—had their submissions screened. Among them was a group of students from Spring Creek Community School.
Local Ryan Kenny's film Bromeo & Kate (which offered a Shakespearean twist on the age-old rift between skiers and snowboarders) earned the People's Choice award while a Whistler Secondary School team earned prizes for best use of a prop (this year it was swimming goggles) in their film, Amanda.
PRO PHOTOGRAPHER SHOWDOWN
French skateboard photographer Fred Mortagne celebrated his 43rd birthday with a win at the Pro Photographer Showdown last Thursday, April 12 at the conference centre.
After hoisting his $10,000 prize cheque, the crowd broke out in a round of "Happy Birthday."
"Thanks to everyone for the love and support. What a good vibe and energy from the crowd," Mortagne wrote in an Instagram post after the win.
Meanwhile, California-based surf photographer Chris Burkard took home the People's Choice Award. "I was humbled and grateful to take away the People's Choice Award for the second time," he wrote afterwards in an Instagram post. "The energy, the crowd, and the other participants are what make this event one of (a) kind. I always leave blown away at the (calibre) of work that's displayed there and find myself more inspired than ever by the end of the night."
The contest featured career-spanning work from five action sports photographers from around the world, including Ashley Barker, Grant Gunderson and Roberto Alegria.
Intersection—which sends ski and snowboard film teams into the backcountry and Whistler Blackcomb terrain parks for seven days to a create a five-to-seven minute film—capped off the WSSF art offerings on Friday, April 13.
The big winner of the $10,000 was The Burrrlapz, a Fernie-based crew who struck the right mix of big tricks and humour.
Their submission opened with a man in an office calling various well-known ski and snowboard film crews in an attempt to recruit them for his Intersection team.
"When they asked me to do the intro to this film I honestly did not want to do it," Brian Anderson, who played the office worker, told the crowd after their win. "But I showed up and did it, so I'm stoked about that."
The People's Choice Award, meanwhile, went to The Cariboo Blondes, an all-female crew based out of the interior of B.C.