Kanaan Bausler, Will Geiger, Jessie West and Donovan Bell aren't the only kids filming ski stunts in the backcountry at Eaglecrest Ski Area. But their fledgling crew, Bad Larry Productions, is slowly building a good reputation.
This year they've already sold about 30 copies of their third DVD, a roughly 30-minute collection of highlights from the 2003-2004 season. This weekend, they'll unveil their latest short, a three-minute collage of mountain scenes in Southeast Alaska, Austria and Switzerland, for the Juneau Underground Motion Picture society's Winter 2005 Festival of Short Works.
"It's a little different from what we usually put up, but it's sort of the same style," said Bausler, 16, a sophomore at Juneau-Douglas High School. "We had a lot of really good shots, and we just thought it would be cool to put together this segment of scenery shots."
JUMP screens at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 27, 7 and 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 28, and 7 and 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29, at the Back Room at the Silverbow Inn. Admission is free, but some seats can still be reserved by visiting the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council, 206 N. Franklin St., or Lucid Reverie studios, in the Emporium Mall. The festival normally sells out 30 minutes ahead of time.
"Bad Larry" is the name they've given a spot on the backside of Eaglecrest where they film much of their footage.
Winter 2005 Short-FIlm Festival
Juneau Underground Motion Picture Society
When: 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 27; 7 and 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 28; and 7 and 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29.
Where: Back Room at the Silverbow Inn.
Tickets: Admission is free, but some seats still can be reserved by visiting the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council, 206 N. Franklin St., or Lucid Reverie studios, in the Emporium Mall. The festival normally sells out 30 minutes ahead of time.
"It's pretty steep, and it's just a whole different place to build different kinds of jumps," said Geiger, 14, a freshman at JDHS.
The Bad Larry collective, the four plus all the other actors in the films, began shooting four years ago with a Hi-8 Sony. They were inspired by ski movies they'd seen from the likes of Poor Boys Productions, Matchstick Productions and Teton Gravity Research. They edited on a computer at Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School, equipped with Final Cut Pro, for a course in mixed media.
Nowadays, a handful of them have digital cameras, and Bausler edits on his home Macintosh with Final Cut Pro.
"Usually we wait for a good day when the snow is right, and try to get good light and weather," Bausler said. "We film pretty much everything and take out the shots we don't want. There's probably an hour of footage for every minute of the movie."
It takes about three or four tries to nail most tricks on the mountain. Most of the films also include rail slides, in which case it can take 20-30 tries to execute the trick. Geiger recently learned how to pull off a cork 360, a full rotation after launching sideways off the jump.
"Finding a good place to build a jump is the hardest part," he said. "You've got to have a pretty steep landing, and a pretty steep run-in, so you can get speed and you don't get crushed in the landing."
"We usually ski around for a few days and just look at all the spots," Bausler said. "Pretty much everyone in the movie helps. We try to get our own shots, and it takes one person to ski, one person to film and a lot of people to set up the shot."
Before the recent 3-foot snowfall, the 2005 season hadn't been ideal for filming. Then the group had something to work with.
"We haven't done as much as we wanted to do, just because it takes a lot of time and we all want to ski the powder."