Day 2 – Diary of the Aspen/Snowmass Shoot – Nailing It

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chase jarvis aspen day 1

Here's the peak where today's first light morning shoot went down. Tasty.

Yesterday’s scout was epic. After waking at 3:55am Seattle time, flying Seattle >> Denver >> Aspen we arrived and hiked our asses up to 12,395 feet of elevation. Sea level to 12 grand in a few hours. Good for the heart and mind – hard on the lungs.

Our scout + the weather report (scheduled for perfect sunshine) yielded information that we must shoot our epic heli shot first thing in the morning. That was this morning. So day 2 — originally our scouting day — has now transformed into not just a shooting day, but another EPIC shooting day, complete with two ad shots, helicopters, world class athletes, first light and…a 3:30am wakeup time. Here was our schedule…

3:30am wakeup call
4:00am call time
weather is epic.
5:00am crew unit 1 (production team + athletes) takes snowcat to ski area summit – crew hikes
6:00am crew unit 2 (photog + camera support + creative director) at heli-port
7:00 the two crews unite to photograph athletes for advert #1 atop the peek from the heli
8:30 – 11:00 shoot athletes from the snow surface for backup of advert #1
11-1pm lunch (I had a burger with lettuce bun, tuna steak, small bowl of chili)
1-4pm united crew shoots ad #2
4-6pm download cards, get a beer and plan for tomorrow
6-8pm dinner with crew

Quick summary: all of the shooting today went aces – volume was up at 11. We greased the helicopter shoot right off the bat, and then worked numerous hours in the chowdery snow in Highland bowl for backup to ad #1. It was warm by the time we got to ad #2 and the snow was setting up, but we managed to find some fresh, sticky snow remaining on northwest facing slopes that completely salvaged the shot. Turned out far better than we’d thought – surprise and delight all around. We have a killer crew. Click thru the tabs at the top of this page for BTS snapshots from scout day and first thing this morning… Obviously more to come.

Oh…and on deck for tomorrow?? Remote control helicopter flying cine and still cameras overhead! Whammo.

Possible drama: weather looks to be turning to crap.

Thanks for tuning in and riding shotgun on this stuff. Good times. Follow along on Twitter, Facebook and G+. Icons on the upper right of this page.

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Darn! I’ve to go to a meeting at my son’s university appropriate when that’s taking place.

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DanielKphoto says:

Little question Chase, will we get to see the photos you’re shooting in either your portfolio or in a blog post here? I’m really curious what they look like :)

chase jarvis says:

sorry – cant see the campaign images or outtakes till the campaign launches in the autumn.

DanielKphoto says:

Aha, I see, but when the campaign launches, will the photos appear in the campaign portfolio? Would be awesome :)

Thx for replying

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SkiGuide says:

How long did it take for you to get up from snow cat drop off to the Highlands summit? ;-)

chase jarvis says:

prolly took our crew 30-40 min or so on the first scout day. i’m sure you know its a doozie of a hike

Sam says:

Please do these “Diary” series as much as possible.

DanielKphoto says:

Sounds like a great day Chase, good luck with the weather tomorrow!

I really love the diary of a shoot episodes!


Anonymous says:

So when you say hiked to 12k you mean, ride on a snowcat? Did you take the snowcat down too?

chase jarvis says:

no. snowcat to 11, hiked the last 1500 on foot, kicking steps inthe snow.

Clint says:

Can’t wait to see how it all shook out! Will there be video?

It looks like you guys have a fantastic day. I really want to start doing more behind the scenes video and blogging on my shoots. The only problem I find is that it can become a distraction to what is actually going on. Can’t wait to see your ad when it comes out.

RobyFabro says:

Wow! exciting staff…I like your schedule, not much time to blow your nose up there!
Hope the weather hold on a little bit longer!

Carrie Holbo says:

I’m a baby/kid photogrpaher but this is so fascinating!! Thanks for sharing…

Steve Adams says:

So good to hear professionals doing what the love. Looking forward to the finished products and the video.

squarepegjer says:

Good stuff! Looking forward to the rest of the coverage!

guess you can give me that hammer back…lol. better see some bts vids on this stuff.

Moritz says:

sounds like a great first day… well besides the early start but that comes with the job. fingers crossed weather stays good


This will be awesome. Just shared it with all my clients, hopefully they’ll seethe value of doing behind-the-scenes campaigns.

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Chase says:

interesting campaign – im just using the parlance of our times ;)

Mark Ellett says:

Cant wait to see the finished product man!!

Good luck i hope the weather keeps up.

keep up with the good work!


Will says:

This has turned into my daily soap. Thanks for the suspense and information. Big fan.

Chase says:

i never wanted to be a soap star, but i’ll take what i can get!

Chase, what do you use to stabilize your cameras in the choppers? And what are the remote heli’s that you are using? Thanks. Andrew

Chase says:

we’ll have more detailed info posted later about the remote heli stuff. for shooting out of a full size heli, i shoot a faster than 1250 shutter speed using still cameras to avoid high frequency camera shake and when shooting video we normally use a fancy gyro unit, or a suspension system /hand held combined with some smooth cam filtering in final cut pro.

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