“Tight Loose” ski film is prelude to Steamboat Mountain Film Festival | SteamboatToday.com

“Tight Loose” ski film is prelude to Steamboat Mountain Film Festival

Julia Ben-Asher/For Steamboat Today

A still shot from Teton Gravity's film "Tight Loose" that will be shown Friday night at the Chief Theatre in Steamboat Springs.

— Mount Werner's new winter coat of snow arrived just in time to be a fitting backdrop to Friday's 14th annual Steamboat Mountain Film Festival, an annual kickoff to the local winter season. The show begins at 8 p.m. at The Chief Theater.

Friday's event is a prelude to the main event of the festival in November. Friday's feature is "Tight Loose," a ski film by action sports media company Teton Gravity Research. "Tight Loose" is TGR's 21st film, marking TGR's 21st year of existence, featuring 21 TGR athletes.

The company calls "Tight Loose" its highest achievement to date. The film premiered in Jackson Hole, at a 21st birthday party celebration for TGR.

And the title?

"The tighter your show, the looser you can be," the film's website explains.

"It's what the TGR boys have been living by for the past 21 years, and it's been workin'," skier Tim Durtschi said in the trailer.

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In far-off shots of graceful, tight descents and close-ups of heart-racing, tight turns and flips — plus the inevitable goofy, loose tumbles and cringe-worthy wipe-outs — skiers and snowboarders explore the planet's snowiest, freshest, steepest terrain, from Jackson Hole to Squaw Valley, California, to the Tordrillo Mountains of Alaska to British Columbia to Kashmir, India. Of course, there's also the scenes of post-ski celebrations including hot tub beers and a pinata in the shape of "21."

Featured skiers in the film include Angel Collinson, Jeremy Jones, Ian McIntosh, Lucas Debari and Hadley Hammer, among others.

Michael Martin, team and project manager of Michael Martin Productions, is organizing the festival with Surefoot. Martin's background is in action sports film; he's done content for ski industry giants such as Nordica USA, Spyder Apparel, Helly Hansen and Liberty Skis as well Steamboat Village Brokers and First Impressions of Routt County locally.

"The great thing about TGR is they do a really good job of blending ski and snowboard," Martin said. "Most companies focus on one, but with TGR, there's still a reason for friends who do different things to go see the film together."

While the moves and mountainscapes in the film will be spectacular, audience members can expect stories with depth to them, "not just ski and snowboard porn," Martin said.

A lot of new technology was used in the making of this film, including heli stabilizers and drones, according to Martin.

"To be able to separate themselves, these companies have to emphasize creativity and use the best high-end cameras for crystal-clear footage," Martin said.

Entries being accepted for upcoming film festival

Anyone who has footage of action sports and an interest in entering a film to the main event of the film festival is encouraged to submit entries through Oct. 25. Prizes will be awarded.

Local films formed the foundation of the event when Martin organized the festival in 2003 as a way to celebrate local athletics and the start of the winter season.

"It's always been local-focused," Martin said.

In the few years following, the festival adopted films with national and international settings, including films by TGR.

"There's a lot of people in Steamboat who want to see other places," Martin said.

The main event of the film festival is set for Nov. 11. Feature films include Matchstick Productions' "Ruin and Rose," a post-apocalyptic story told by children on the Skeleton Coast of southwest Africa, and female freeski team Shades of Winter's "Between." The final lineup will be solidified once all film submissions are in.

"It's Steamboat at its best," Martin said.

A raffle during Friday's event will benefit the Colorado Mountain College Backcountry Club.

If you go:

What: Teton Gravity Research’s Tight Loose film; kickoff event to the Steamboat Mountain Film Festival

When: Doors and bar open at 7:30 p.m.; film starts at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7

Where: The Chief Theater, 813 Lincoln Ave.

Michael Martin’s pro tips on shooting and editing action sports films:

  1. A shot list and rough script is a must. People will forgive all sorts of technical imperfections if you have a good story to tell. Make sure you create something that generates interest from beginning to end.
  2. Pick a “film look” and make sure it’s something you actually can pull off with the time you have. It can take hours to prepare for a shot in the snow and you might lose the light, so if you want to do something big, give yourself the time to make it happen. Otherwise, it will kill your film.
  3. Pick people you want to work with. Find a crew that is skilled, passionate, and will work in all conditions. If you have conflicts or a poor work ethic, it will reflect in the final product.
  4. Shoot everything twice and from multiple angles. Making sure you have everything in place to tell your story is an art. You don’t want to get to the editing room with crucial shots missing. Film everything, the voyage there, the action, the in-between moments. You never know when you will get bits of magic and having multiple cameras running doesn’t really cost you anything.
  5. Plan for extra time shooting and editing. Both take longer than you plan for so give yourself some time, but don’t slack off. Keep to your plan and whenever possible, work ahead. You have no idea what the weather is going to do, if that burrito you choked down is going to make you sick, or if the snow is going melt faster than anticipated. Give yourself some breathing room and keep focused.
  6. Have fun. If you are not having fun, the end result will suffer.