Whistler filmmaker and soon-to-be high school graduate Zac Moxley has taken home first place in the first GoPro GoShow at the Great Outdoors Festival over the May long weekend.
"I haven't been doing too much (filmmaking) this spring, I've just been trying to finish school up," said the 17-year-old Grade 12 student at Whistler Secondary School (WSS).
"Actually, I was at the X-Games in Aspen in January shooting for ESPN and... then straight away filming (skier) J.F. Houle in Quebec, shooting street skiing for about 20 days.
"Then I came back here and tried to do some school!"
Moxley's film, entitled May in Whistler, is a series of vignettes of the outdoor action visitors and locals love best at this time of year.
There's skiing, skateboarding, mountain biking, diving into Howe Sound, kayaking and more — all carried out by the 12 athletes he brought onboard for the shoot. The action was filmed and completed in 72 hours.
"I wanted to have a storyline to my film because that's how a movie will win, and the whole time I was shooting I was thinking that I needed one. I didn't do too much pre-production, so that wasn't the best on my part. And by the time I got to edit it, I was like 'Oh I haven't got a storyline.' No script, no intro, nothing set in stone," he said.
"It was kind of a bummer so I thought I'd make a really good edit."
The result, in which Moxley tried to shoot as much footage as the time would allow, was good enough to convince the judges.
Moxley won the grand prize of $2,500, and took the title of Whistler's first GoPro GoShow champion. The work by all the finalists were shown at the Garibaldi Lift Company on Sunday, May 18. Moxley's competition included Vince Edmonds, Chris Ricci, David Peacock, Graeme Meiklejohn and Ryan Regehr.
Moxley said the crowd for the first-ever GoPro was strongly supportive.
"It was a good vibe. It was cool that it was at the GLC and lots of people came out," he said. "All the films were great films. It was awesome to see such quality, all shot on a GoPro."
The goal of the competition, sponsored by Whistler Blackcomb, was for each three- to five-minute film to capture the essence of May in Whistler using a GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition camera to showcase experiences on snow, trails and water.
The spring was full of contests for Moxley. First he pulled together friends and classmates at WSS to make a short advertisement to discourage graduates from taking drugs or alcohol, which came second in the Dry Grad Video contest in January. The placing won the team $4,000 to go toward their graduation.
He also took part in Intersection and had his own team in the 72 Hr. Filmmaker Showdown, but his teams did not place. So this final win of the season was very sweet.
He said they were all great learning experiences.
"It was awesome, it was great. The first three events later and I finally took home a win," he said. "The learning experience of Intersection, and 72 hr. and GoPro has been amazing. It showed me an entirely new perspective on contests and heading my own team because I had been with other people in the past."