TAHOE EXTREME I - Summer 2002


Filming Locations: Chamber's Landing - Lake Tahoe, CA & Angora Lake, CA (cliff-jumping sequences)

Length: 18 minutes, 56 seconds


Ah, TAHOE EXTREME TEAM, the first of the wakeboarding compilation videos. It was Summer 2002, and I had graduated from college and wanted to put together a high-energy sports video about one of my favorite family traditions: 4th of July. Ever since I remember, my family has been going up to Lake Tahoe on the 4th with 2 other families, the Feichtmeirs and the Knudtsens, old family friends from ours. In recent years, we have taken up wakeboarding, and even though we still aren't that good, we try to top ourselves each year with the severity and complexity of our falls. I thought this would be a good excuse to use all the crazy editing tricks that Final Cut Pro has to offer, including an exhausting amount of slow-motion and reverse-action filming. Since this was filmed on the mini-DV, the slow-mo is very 'framey', not very smooth, but I still enjoy the effect. I also wanted to put all my favorite music to sequences that made us look like Gods.

The video took about 3 months to edit, but I was working a pretty full-time job in NY at the time, so I was only able to spend weekends on it. I still like parts of it, and remember a few stories about the editing and filming process that I think are interesting. Putting together the opening 9-frame introduction of each skier almost crashed my G4. For some reason, having 9 video streams and 7 text streams taxed what my computer could do at that time, but it still works out. As of today, I have completed 2 other TAHOE EXTREME videos, and I still don't think anyone has topped Grant's near-complete backflip in terms of sheer showmanship. It is still an awesome fall, and the man should be proud. 3 years later, and Mike is still unable to get out of his wakeboard bindings. It is nice to see my friend from college, Tali, make an appearance, if only to immortalize the line, "Cry me a river, Tali." The only remark I have about my section is that it is nice to be reminded that at some point in the past five years, I did not have braces. My brother, Whitney, is still the best boarder of as all, but Colin takes the prie for having the biggest falls, a title he defends successfully throughout the years. I also like the closing sequence, its a good Simon & Garfunkel song.

So, just some good summer fun. The sound is patchy and you may get motion-sick from the camera movement, but it works. It really was about shooting as much footage as I could get, and coming up with some type of format in the editing room. The ultimate no-script, no-plan, figure-it-out-later, type of short. Amazingly, the Canon GL1 that I had on the boat is till with me, used to film wakeboarders to this day. No deep comments about this video, but it deepened my understanding of the Final Cut Pro features and taught me a bit about how to transition and smooth edits. I am quite happy to say that it did not teach me about music licensing, as if I were to pay all those performers, Sasquatch Films would not exist.


written 7/25/06