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  • Entering My First Ski Film Competition

    November 28, 2023 3 min read

    Entering My First Ski Film Competition

    Entering My First Ski Film Competition

    Written by Paradise Ambassador Dustin Kephart 

    This season I decided to enter into the film competition at my home resort “Mt Hood Meadows”.

    Going into it I felt well enough prepared with my background using a camera that I could at least get top 3 let alone 1st. During the season my plan for the film fest would always change. The conditions, the people, the timing, all of that kept switching up my main idea. Afterwards, I realized that I was just shooting everywhere and trying to build a sequence on the way. As far as the condition went this season at Hood, it was unbeatable. 

    One of Dustins shots


    Typically at Mt Hood it doesn’t really get that cold. We mainly stay in the high 20’s low 30’s (fahrenheit) which tends to keep the snow very heavy and wet. This was one of the harder parts of filming in the sense that when we would get fresh snow it would be hard to show off big pow turns when the snow was heavy and wet. For a certain part of the season we did get into some unusual temperatures. Being able to ski in fresh snow when temperatures were in the low tens to negatives was a very unusual experience in the PNW. With that being said, having such cold temperatures I had to carry multiple batteries around because they couldn't withstand such cold temps. What also couldn’t stand cold temps were my hands, having to take my gloves off to shoot my hands would completely freeze up from all the wind gusts. But with that lighter blower pow it gave me the opportunity to get some of my best shots for the film. Having whoever I’m shooting with take a couple turns and their head being submerged in the pow then the skis poking out as they came up created some killer shots! One of the cooler shots I got was when I skimmed across the water on the pond skim. I had never done the pond skim before and I just got the Aloha skis in the mail so I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to use them on the pond.

    Dustin Skiing - He's as good on skis as he is behind the camera

    Having other people help me out was a huge part that this all came together. I was able to ski consistently with around 2-4 other people each time I was out so that gave me multiple opportunities to get some good shots and not just have one other person there. One of the other challenging parts of the film competition was the length I had to make the video. The video had to be under 3:00 min in order for them to accept it. The downside to that part was wanting to show more and not having to only choose the best clips to go into the video. The upside though was when it came to editing and putting all the clips together I was able to add in all the best shots so it was more entertaining. Choosing the music and audio bits was all over the place. When I first went into filming I had a song picked out and was going to shoot the film in the same rhythm that the song was but being so indecisive I kept switching it up. Luckily I was able to match the clips with the final song I chose during the editing process.

    Overall this was such a fun and thrilling experience to be a part of, being able to learn as much as I did and using that to be able to pull off a film that was able to take 1st place was great! I’m excited to take what I learned this year and apply all of it to the next season to make a bigger and better film and hopefully win other competitions as well.

    Watch Dustin's 1st place Mt. Hood Meadows film here - Titled "Another Day in Paradise": 

    About Dustin: 

    A passionate skier with a talent for photography and filmmaking, Dustin is constantly capturing beautiful scenery and action shots around Mt. Hood and the Mt. Hood Meadows. Check out his photography business here. Whether he's in the backcountry or hitting the half-pipe - Dustin always has skis on his feet! 

    Follow Dustin on Instagram: @dustinkephart

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