Happy Hour: An advanced screening

Director Brad Kremer and pro rider/assistant to the director Scotty Wittlake sit in front of multiple monitors--a full-tech editing bay--at Kingpin Productions’ two-room office in the “good” part of Northeast Portland. Filmer Peter Tankersley is on snow at High Cascade getting portrait, lifestyle, and bonus stuff. Whitey’s in L.A. doing film transfers for a music video he just shot, so I’m not sweating him. With a little more than a month before Happy Hour is wrapped and released, we got the opportunity to find out how a movie gets put together.

When do you typically begin filming?
Brad Kremer: Usually in November--it depends on the snowfall. A lot of the rails in Salt Lake are good early season, when there’s not much to do in the mountains. Tahoe, we wait until at least mid December to do anything for real because the stuff there is in the backcountry. Since the snow stays around the rails we do there (in Tahoe) all season, it’s not a big hurry to get them.

How many filmers does Kingpin employ?
Four filmers plus Whitey, who only filmed two days this year.

With or without a tripod?
(Laughs) What do you think?

How many total hours of footage have been logged from this season?
Twenty-six of 16mm and 60 of digi--which is far, far more than we’ve ever had before.

So what does the process of logging film consist of?
Watching it over and over again. We write down all the shots: who it is, a rating for how good it is, the trick, and the time codes. Then, we transfer that info into another notebook of everyone’s sections. The first notebook has tape one, tape two, tape three; the second notebook has Jeff’s (Anderson) shots, Scotty’s (Wittlake) shots separated like that. Once all that is finished, we put it into the computer and start editing.

When does this process generally begin?
I think the first time I came up to really start editing was a month ago (late June). That was for a lot of preliminary stuff--we edited the new teaser. I went back home to Tahoe for a few days, and then came back. The movie is now--over the last, like, three days--really starting to take off. Before that, it was putting everything into the computer--which is the most tedious, boring job you’ve ever done in your life.

What time do you come in, what time do you leave? How long will you be in the office here editing?
I’ll be here from whenever I wake up, usually around nine to nine-thirty a.m. until, like last night, four-thirty a.m.--order pizza and a cold beverage, stay up all night. Aside from grabbing lunch and bringing it back here to eat, that’s all I do. It’s a solid twelve to fifteen hours a day--minimum.

And when will you finish?
When it’s done. I mean, I could be finished a week from now--very doubtful. Or it could be September 1.

Revival, Brown Trout, Sexual Chocolate, Destroyer, Brainstorm, this year--<br>Happy Hour. If it has any meaning at all, it’s more about having fun snowboarding--not some drink and party movie or a remake of Whiskey, even though the cover definitely tends to lead toward that.

Who picks the music?
It’s a collaboration between myself, Scotty, Peter, Whitey, all the riders. Some people care more about what’s in their part than others--Scotty’s very particular about what song he wants, where DCP (David Carrier-Porcheron), he’s not so concerned as long as it’s the kind of music he likes.

Scotty, what are you using?
Scotty Wittlake: I don’t have a song.

You don’t have one picked out?
I don’t have a video part. I’m serious. I was hurt all year.
Scotty’s a liar. He didn’t get as much as he wanted to, but I think people will like what he did.

Whose parts are exceptionally strong?
Standouts ... there’re so many that I could call my favorite, but one of the new additions to Kingpin for sure is Jeff Anderson. He had an incrediblle winter and absolutely killed it. Marc Frank (Montoya) ... after getting shut last year, he came back with something to prove.

Hey Brad. I was undoing some of the stuff I did, and I might have undid one too many. Did I?
Go over to edit and hit redo. It should say redo x-wrap. Scotty’s been learning the Avid editing system. Somehow, we’ve snuck it by Whitey, who hasn’t freaked out about Scotty touching the computer yet (laughs).I’ve never really been able to do anything ’til this year. (Previously) I sat in the back and watched.

Should that be off the record?
I don’t care.
Yes (laughter).

Are you pretty much sick of it by the time the movie premieres?
(Laughs) We talk about that a lot. Every shot you have wired in your head, beginning to end. Every song that you used to like, you are now annoyed with. Usually, I’m over it and so glad when it’s done. But then I go to the premiere--it’s like seeing it for the first time. Luckily, there’re other companies--Robot Food and Mack Dawg--that I can see their movies and it can be new.

When and where?
September 5 at Spreckles in San Diego.

And, um, when was the last time you had a shower?
Oh man ... probably four or five days.

I have no idea.