Park City Mountain Resort, has been ranked #1 Park in the TransWorld SNOWboarding Resort Poll three years running—a poll determined by subscribers themselves. Couple that fact with the heavy hitting Park City All-Star Team, put cameras in the right places and a top notch video is sure to follow. In it’s final editing stages, City. Park City, is almost a wrap. We caught up with Producer/Co-Director, Jim Mangan to get the scoop.
Check out the Top 10 Parks feature in the November issue of TransWorld SNOWboarding for a full rundown.
The video showcases a star-studded cast, yet the headliner is the resort itself. What were some of the special features/zones that you had set up around the mountain?
We definitely built some cool zones outside of the parks for the movie. There was the mine gap jump. Basically, this was a gap jump over the corner of the most prominent historical structure on the mountain, the Bonanza Mine Building. Then we built an eighty-foot gap/step-up and then changed it to a seventy-foot gap step-down later, which was so much fun. We built a quarterpipe in the most unbelievable setting ever. A 100 year old conveyer belt wrapped around it, along with a variety of different buildings, all from the silver mining days in Park City. Finally, we sessioned a jump built to a snowcap that was on top of this old mining shack—I think it’s a historical outhouse the miners used to relieve themselves.
City. Park City. There are heavy James Bond undertones throughout the whole flick. Where did that stem?
I was definitely a Bond fan growing up. I thought the intro in The Spy Who Loved Me would work so well to introduce riders in a snowboard flick. It just evolved from there. I wanted to do something no other snowboard movie had ever done. That was not only this kind of intro, but also a skit/parody of a James Bond Chase scene to open the movie. When I say never done in a snowboarding movie I mean in the production and what went into it. We didn’t cut any corners.
What corners didn’t you cut?
My first idea was to rent a helicopter and shoot some sick aerial views of the parks and the resort, which we ended up doing for most of the overviews. When I mentioned this to Whitey he knew of a remote control helicopter that’s used in Hollywood for various films. I thought it was sick idea, and we ended up getting it. It didn’t turn out the way we thought it would due to the fact that the owners/operators/technicians wasted a bunch of time during the day we rented it. They charged a shit load of money, but didn’t meet my expectations for the price tag, and we only had it for one day—eight hours. All in all we got some good shots with it, but we could of gotten more if these guys were on top of their game. The remote helicopter had a 35mm camera mounted inside its body. You’ll definitely know in the movie which shots it took and those came out perfect. We just could of done so much more with it if those guys were more efficient.
As far as not cutting any corners the opening scene and intro wasn’t just a couple of 16mm cameras filming these scenes. Whitey, Greg Schmitt (Director of Photography), and myself scouted out the entire mountain for the chase scene—I had an idea of where we would do it. We just had to make sure that logistically it made sense for all the camera equipment. We had an entire production crew—grips, steady cam, multiple cinematographers, and a director. We had the same kind of production for the interior cabin scene shoot—which took place in a mansion in Pasadena (California). That’s were you’ll see the sexy Russian Natasha! The exterior cabin shots are all in Park City. For the intro we rented a studio in Hollywood and filmed green screen. This allows you to change the colors of the background and create silhouettes of the riders. Then I picked the shots that we would use for the intro and sent them off to James, the motion graphics designer. He’s a ffriend who designs for one of the best graphics design companies around. He did a phenomenal job.
I’d also like to say Gabe L’Hueruex did phenomenal job editing the traditional rider’s part scenes. We did all the editing for this at my house and I learned a lot from the kid. Thanks Gabe.
Whitey came on board to help with some of the more cinematic scenes. How was working with him?
Whitey helped bring a ton of credibility and experience to the project. I explained to him the Bond elements of the movie and what I wanted to do. He loved the idea. He brought incredible ideas and directed the opening scene second to none. It turns out he’s a big James Bond fan, and always wanted to do something like this. He knows his shit.
Aside from Bond, you drew a lot of inspiration from a book, The Alchemist.
This had to be the book that really inspired me to start the project. The premise of the book is about finding your own personal legend and doing anything to make that happen. I believe one can find their personal legend a few times over in one’s lifetime. It explains how people will doubt your intentions, but once you truly commit to what ever it is you want to do, the whole world will conspire to help you make it happen. Follow your dreams!
How long had you been thinking about making this project happen.
For about three years. I was sick of thinking about it and finally decided to get off my ass and do it. It’s hard when you have so many other responsibilities. You never want to put less than 100 percent into something you’re passionate about.
And you, an employee of PCMR, took out a loan against your own house to initially fund the project.
Yeah. I took a loan out for $160,000 and got to work. I guess you could say I was definitely moonlighting on the job. At this point I had no outside funding and I just convinced myself everything would work out. I had the support of the riders, Shaun (White), Marc (Frank Montoya) , Jeremy (Jones), Scotty (Arnold), (Aaron) Biittner, and the list goes on. Knowing that they were willing to support this project gave me a lot of confidence.
How much did Shaun’s agreeing to film for the movie, have to do with it seeing the light of day?
Shaun agreeing and being stoked to do this project just made everything else click. I called Jesse (Shaun’s brother) and explained to him what I wanted Shaun to do, the unique aspects of the film, and that I was funding this project. They said they had my back and would support the project.
Tell me Jessie White going to have shots in the video.
He’ll be in the Shaun White bonus section and a couple of shots in the credits.
Tell us a little about Shaun and the Russian Actress.
Let’s just say the on screen chemistry between these two is better than Jason Biggs and Shannon Elizabeth in American Pie.
Did he lock it down?
You’ll have to ask Shaun that one … (Laughter).
What kind of budget did you have to work with, besides your house?
Once I got the movie started, I met with my boss, the owner, and the CFO from our parent company. They liked the idea and knew this movie was about the resort, its parks, and had some of the best riders in the world. They had my back and paid me back the money I’d already invested. To really answer your question it wasn’t a huge budget. We didn’t spend the kind of dollars the biggest snowboard flicks spend, but there weren’t any shortcuts. I think the misconception out there is that we had this huge budget to work with. I just maximized my resources.
Is another Park City video on the horizon?
Could be. I’m not sure yet. All the riders keep asking me the same question. Although it was a lot of work we had so much fun making this movie. I’ll let you know in a couple months. It’s vacation time baby!