The 'Wanaka World Heli Challenge 2011' invited a small handful of camera operators to compete in a "SHOOTOUT" video event. As individual cinematographers we had 10 days to shoot and edit a 5min clip about whatever we felt told a good story. Our only boundaries were the inclusion of event footage from the 2 heli access aspects of the event. Freeride and Extreme days. Footage from the event cameras were supplied and mixed into my angle from on the mountain.

The NZ winter is pumping with plenty of snow meaning there was no time for daylight hour computer time. With deadline's looming I teamed up with Post Production guru Andrew Bamford who spent the hours logging and cutting when I couldn’t. Together we pieced together my vision in good time ready for the awards dinner tonight...

Because I was a one man band on the mountain at all times I kept my subject simple. I chose to follow good friend and fellow Kiwi, Roland Morley-Brown, AKA 'RMB', who is sponsored by Billabong. The event played out in the first 2 days of the 10 waiting period. 2 Days Heli followed by 1 day pick up shots at Snow Park NZ on some features and sunset 1/4 pipe session. A drive out the Matukituki Valley for some scenics / time-lapses / dolly pans, and then a quick Wanaka SK8 park sesh. The Surf aspect took us to the West Coast where legendary surfer Occy put on a show in what could be described as good as the coast gets, No wind and consistent 3 - 5ft feathered by light off shore winds.

The extra heli footage with the deer / mountain goat / sunset mountain shots were all shot the day before the event using our new heli rig based in Wanaka. The Cinestratus Giro Stabilised Heli Cam.

The Freeride Day showcases the acrobatic and aerial skills of the athletes. They take what they've learnt in the resorts and apply it to the backcountry, pushing the limits of what is possible in freestyle.

The Extreme Day has athletes riding big steep mountains and dropping cliffs. The goal is to see how good a rider can "flash" it down the course - riding hard, fast, in control and utilising the features of the mountain to provide a "wow" factor unlike any other in the sport.

Thanks for watching. Stay tuned for an extended 10min edit in the coming weeks.

Credits:

Client: Billabong.com and helichallenge.com

Camera Op and Director: Chris Kirkham nzgreen.tv

Post Production: Andrew Bamford

Additional Event footage: Cinestratus - R J Low, Rob Norman, Jeff Aldridge and Jason Hancox.

Equipment Used: Af102 with a selection of glass, EX1, Canon 60D, Kessler Cine Slider with stepping motor, A nice tripod a bit of audio gear, the trusty go pro and a bag of nicknacks......

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