Wednesday, August 12, 2009

PR -- Sierra-at-Tahoe and TransWorld Snowboarding team-up


SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. - August 12, 2009 - Sierra™ Resort, Forum, Snow Park Technologies and TransWorld SNOWboarding photographer Ian Ruhter worked together on Environmental Awakening, a video and photo shoot submission for TransWorld SNOWboarding's first-ever Team Shoot Out.

The Team Shoot Out was a secret competition between four of the best teams in snowboarding hosted by four of the elite resorts in the west. The innovative project focused on creativity - but not just snowboarding creativity. "As media leaders, TransWorld challenged the invited board teams - Burton, DC, Forum and Rome - to produce the ultimate terrain park shoot and document it in video and photos to showcase the visual possibility in snowboarding," - from the TransWorld Team Shoot Out web site.

Here's a behind-the-scenes look at Sierra's segment - Environmental Awakening.

The Concept:
Photographer Ian Ruhter had the vision to create a submission that was both artistically edgy and had a powerful message to benefit the snowboard industry. Environmental Awakening is meant as a wake-up call to riders everywhere that actions have consequences. Litter, air pollution, green house gas emissions, and forest fires - they all impact the environment where we ride.

Once the concept was established, Forum brought a team of incredible riders to the table and began to conceptualize actual features. Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort and Snow Park Technologies built all of the features, turning the vision into reality. "It was awesome to be part of the Forum team and to be able to work with Sierra Resort. Sierra has one of the best park building teams in the industry and Ian's vision was a perfect match for the values of the resort. It was a great partnership all around," said Mike Bettera, SPT Senior Project Manager.

The Features and Riders:
The appliance jib was one of the first features shown in the video and symbolizes the accumulation of used equipment for which we have no disposal plan. Thirty dishwashers, laundry machines, dryers and more were stacked up to create a take-off for the riders. Most of the appliances were acquired from dumps, garage sales and used appliance stores. The back of each appliance was then drilled out and a light installed inside to create a visual effect for the shoot, which was done entirely at night. Nic Sauve is featured on the appliance jib.

The pond skim to pole jam was a rider favorite. A pond was built on the deck of a jump and an old lift tower protruded from the front of the pond so riders could skim across the pond, rail slide the old lift tower and drop to the landing. Dry ice was put inside the lift tower for effect. The litter that is in the pond was generated by the riders and crew during the week-long shoot. The whole feature was a metaphor for industrialization and the degradation of our natural environment. Daniel Ek was featured on the pond skim to pole jam.

The dry ice wall ride was one of the most visually stunning features and produced the single best image from the entire shoot. The infrastructure for the wall ride was recycled from an old park feature at Sierra Resort. The blocks of dry ice measured 1' x 2' x 4' and weighed 300 pounds each. There are 45 blocks in the wall ride, which were stacked up and then carved out to create a quarter pipe. The wall ride was lit from behind for visual effect and symbolizes the melting polar ice caps. Pat Moore, Cameron Pierce and Nic Sauve were all featured on the wall ride.

The burning trees were also a visual thriller. This particular feature hit close to home for a lot of Sierra Resort locals as a reminder of the recent Angora fire that burned close to 3,000 acres and destroyed 254 homes in South Lake Tahoe. The Sierra and SPT crew collected old christmas trees from South Lake Tahoe and staked them out on the deck of a jump. With professional forest firefighters close by, the trees were ignited. A winter storm at the resort made this shot particularly challenging for the film crew (hitting a jump through burning trees is nerve-rattling enough without high wind and blowing snow). Cameron Pierce was featured on this jump.

It was awesome to be part of the Forum team and to be able to work with Sierra Resort. Sierra has one of the best park building teams in the industry and Ian's vision was a perfect match for the values of the resort. It was a great partnership all around.

Press Contacts:

The Superpipe is one of Sierra Resort's signature terrain parks and the Forum team was excited to incorporate it into the shoot. Oil barrels were stacked along the deck of the Superpipe, filled with scrap wood, and set on fire. Dry ice and targeted lighting also helped create the visual effects. The Superpipe feature symbolized the air pollution from green house gas emissions. Pat Moore was featured in this segment.

To create Environmental Awakening, the film crew worked 16 to 24 hours per day for seven straight days. The filming and photography took place at night and the concept and builds were kept top secret to maintain the integrity of the contest.

TransWorld's vision to rethink the typical snowboard video, making it about more than just great tricks and riding, has created a new paradigm of what snowboarding videos can be. It will be interesting to see how skiers and riders respond to the new artistic standpoint - that it's about the actual image produced.

The entire Team Shoot Out video is available for download on iTunes while the photos created are featured on page 80 of the September issue of TransWorld SNOWboarding.

Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort: Keepin It Real

Recognized by Transworld Snowboarding as a "Best Value" and a "Best Vibe" resort and known for its wind-protected slopes, incredible tree skiing, family programs and parks and pipes that are among the best in the nation, Sierra Resort is a bastion of the authentic California ski experience. Easy to get to and always laid-back, Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort welcomes skiers and snowboarders to escape from everyday life and enjoy the simple pleasure of winter in the mountains. Sierra Resort and the Eldorado National Forest are partners in recreation.

The closest major resort to Sacramento, Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort is located just 12 miles west of Lake Tahoe and receives an annual average of 480 inches of snowfall. For more information, visit or call 530.659.7453.

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