“That’s It, That’s All” and “The Art of Flight” are firmly entrenched in the pantheon of great action sports films. Both movies featured epic cinematography, incredible riding, tight editing, pumping soundtracks, and riveting story lines. They appealed to both hardcore snowboarders and people who had no interest in the sport because they were drawn in by their majestic quality. “The Art of Flight” came out more than two-and-a-half years ago, so fans of filmmaking and top-notch snowboarding were excited last week when the team behind those movies, Travis Rice and Brain Farm Digital Cinema, announced that they had just started work on a new project.
Not many details of the new film have been released, but we do know that it will take multiple years to produce, that it will feature extremely remote locations and innovative camera techniques, and everything will be shot in ultra-high-definition 4K. Rice and the director of the film, Curt Morgan, were both unreachable as they are currently deep in the Alaska backcountry nailing clips, so we caught up with new film’s producer, Chad Jackson, to hear more about the project.
“That’s It, That’s All” and “The Art of Flight” were both incredibly successful, but how difficult was it to make them? Did you ever think that Brain Farm had made its last snowboard movie?
Curt Morgan and Travis Rice have been hard at filmmaking for a lot of years. Curt got his start filmmaking with Grenade many years ago, and they both came together for their first film, “Community Project.” This film was very progressive at the time. Then they took a big leap with “That’s It, That’s All” and employed more camera technology and the best riders they thought represented the sport. This is when Curt experimented with the Cineflex system to get the amazingly stable aerial shots. It was a long road to get that one finished for sure, but it was worth the reaction it received from the fans. I saw it change the game for all action sports filmmaking. “The Art of Flight” was the next natural step for Brain Farm and Travis. Along with the amazing partnership with Red Bull Media House, a new snowboarding adventure was dreamed up. It was all about one-upping the last film with filmmaking techniques, action, and adventure. Curt, Travis, the riders and the film crew including Jared Slater, Greg Wheeler, Gabe Langlois, Stephen “Bungee” Scherba, Clark Fyans, and many others really went to the end of their sanity to get the shots. It was lots of hardship just to make a snowboard film, but when it was released we all felt like it was worth the long hours. I can’t remember one easy thing about it, and it was a long period before anyone even thought about making another. But, it was a given—everyone was planning the next one. There was no doubt, but I think there was a lot of the team wondering how they could go through it all again. Well, here we are.
What is the idea behind this film and how did it come about?
This film is the third installment in the Red Bull, Red Bull Media House, and Brain Farm partnership. It will be another great adventure designed to inspire and entertain all walks of life. You can expect a visual and action explosion for sure.
What is it like working with Travis Rice and Curt Morgan? How obsessive and dedicated are they to making epic films?
Travis Rice and Curt Morgan are both artists in their own right who push everyone around them to pull off the impossible. They have a lot of crazy ideas and most of them work. I don’t think either is afraid to fail, so this can be a real scary combination. I am not going to lie—I have had some hair go gray from these guys, but I like the challenge.
What riders, other than Travis Rice of course, are involved, and where will you be shooting?
They are all aliens. This is all I can say.
Your company, Brain Farm, is known for its innovative filming techniques. What new tricks can we look forward to on this project?
Curt and our team are tech freaks, so they are always looking for new ways to capture the action, lifestyle, and landscapes. Our crew is amazing at making this stuff happen in the backcountry. I could only imagine a union Hollywood crew (no offense to these guys) trying to pull off what our guys do. Tough bastards. Yes, there will be some new and fine-tuned techniques to enhance the experience.
When will the film be released? Will you be releasing clips as you shoot?
Red Bull Media House and Brain Farm have not set a release date yet, and we are still determining when we may release a trailer or any other clips, so stay tuned …
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What other Brain Farm projects are in the pipeline that we can we look forward to seeing soon?
We are currently working on a few film projects in action sports including a skateboarding feature with Ty Evans and PRod [Paul Rodriguez]. This will release sometime in 2015. We’re also working on a documentary called “Strong to the Finish.” It’s a great story about a guy who wants to run across Mongolia to raise awareness for the growing numbers of orphans there. In addition to that, we are producing a two-part natural history blue-chip series for National Geographic that is still not named yet. It’s all about animals and nature, so it’s outside the box. We are definitely cranking to make entertainment that inspires.
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