Behind the Scenes: the Last Frontier

October 18, 2013 Katie Burrell

Okay, I’ll say it, the Last Frontier Heliskiing video was SWEET. But – layman’s terms aside – there is a lot that goes into one of these four minute edits. While the incredible visuals and sounds are captivating your every thought, it’s hard to think about packing gear and setting up shots and editing for hours on end, but behind it all is a lot of sweat, blood and tears.

Setting Up A Shot With The &Quot;Actors&Quot; In The Background. Photo: Dave Silver
Setting up a shot with the “actors” in the background. Photo: Dave Silver

Grant Baldwin, is the genius behind the Last Frontier Heliskiing 2014 video. Between him and Caton Garvie, a young talent, this video came to be the killer edit that it is. I asked the guys about the “behind the scenes” of the shoot and they told me a few secrets of the trade…

What are the best parts about filming action like this? I love the camaraderie amongst the team, coming up with new ideas and pushing ourselves. Caton is super talented, keep an eye on his work.

Not The Only Guy Keeping An An Eye On It.
Not the only guy keeping an an eye on it. Photo: Caton Garvie

Can you tell when you’ve “nailed” a shot? It’s an amazing feeling, things really have to line up between the athlete and the filmer. When it does there its usually lots off yelping, happiness all around, then beers later.

What do you look for when choosing the music to accompany these visuals? I compose the music for my videos, it’s where I started in film. I like to find the right tone first. This year, I built a song around a old sample of a folk artist/miner from the 1920’s. It has the exact feel of the wilderness you experience there.

Nailed It. Photo: Dave Silver
NAILED IT. Photo: Dave Silver

Could you give a little insight into the editing process? We all have our say to what shots we all like, it’s a team effort. It’s very hard to cut shots you love!

What are the challenges of filming in a mountain environment? Keeping the lenses from fogging for one. Snowboarding with all the gear can be a challenge, I actually ride with bar bell counter weights and a small jib crane. I can’t really complain though as a helicopter takes us up!

How does Last Frontier Heliskiing terrain compare to other places? It doesn’t compare. It’s so remote and massive. It’s an adventure everyday. To come back to the lodge at the end of the day, to that kind of comfort in the middle of nowhere is surreal.

Insert &Quot;Just Another Day At The Office&Quot; Comment Here. Photo: Dave Silver
Insert “just another day at the office” comment here. Photo: Dave Silver

I also asked Caton to give some more insight into what filming at Last Frontier Heliskiing was like. He didn’t hesitate in his reply: “Last Frontier Heliskiing has to be one of the most epic destinations that my shooting has ever taken me. Being an avid snowboarder and filmmaker, I can’t think of a better place to spend the winter. For any Photographer or Videographer being surrounded by the kind of terrain that Last Frontier Heliskiing’s tenure provides, it’s like being a kid in a candy store.

The Cineflex On The Front Of The Heli! Hollywood. Photo: Caton Garvie
The Cineflex on the front of the heli! HOLLYWOOD. Photo: Caton Garvie

The epic landscape means that you’re not going to get many bad shots. We used a few different types of cameras: DSLRS, GoPros and high speed cameras. Then you have to bring it all together in post editing. There are certainly challenges when filming in a mountain environment: cold hands, snowy and wet gear, timing…a lot of factors come into play that you wouldn’t necessarily think of when watching the final product. Being 19 and somewhat new to filmmaking, it was really cool to work with Grant Baldwin who has so much knowledge and background in the film industry. I learned a lot from him.”

Fifty Shades Of Heliskiing: The Making Of Ski Porn. Photo: Dave Silver
Fifty Shades of Heliskiing: the making of ski porn. Photo: Dave Silver

So, in closing…both guys are clearly passionate about their craft. They also (may have…just a little) enjoyed the skiing life and lodge life that went on between shots. Get yourself up here to see why.