"Pemby Life" Web Series—Making Of | Mountain Sledder
Mountain Sledder | On 03, Jan 2017
“Pemby Life” is a new 4-part video documentary that portrays the snowmobiling lifestyle in and around Pemberton, British Columbia.
The series—produced in collaboration with Jonathan Schramm of Dragon Factory Films—follows snowmobiling ambassador Julie-Ann Chapman as she embraces life in the winter paradise that is Pemberton aka Pemby.
Mountain Sledder touched base with the partners to find out more about the web series.
Schramm – I have wanted to do a video series for awhile, and I am stoked we are finally doing it. What I want to show are the elements of sledding that get people motivated; to get out for adventure and to be responsible and safe.
I think sledding, at least in the mountains, often gets stereotyped as action driven with little regard for safety, especially by people that don’t really know much about sledding. Actually, the majority of riders I would say are out there because they love being out in the winter backcountry in adventure. Snowmobilers are motivated by the effort it takes to be prepared both in gear and the rider skills necessary to be able to enjoy the winter environment.
I think when people begin to understand the excitement a snowmobile provides by giving you access on an endless pathway of snow in idyllic winter conditions, it becomes hard to resist wanting to be out there too. We aim to show the ‘more’ about sledding; how every aspect is a challenge but is also a fulfilling achievement that is always fun.
Chapman – Jonathan and I came up with the concept last season (unfortunately a little too late in the season), but the sponsor’s annual budgets had already been spoken for by that time. So this season I decided to make it part of my sponsorship proposal that I sent out to all the companies I have been working with over the years.
I barely scraped up the budget to make it happen, but along with the amazing support of some companies (Ski-Doo as presenting sponsor, Truckboss Decks, Skinz, Klim, CFR, Valley Chainsaw Recreational), and the passion Jonathan and I have for the sport along with the rad friendship we have; WE ARE MAKING IT HAPPEN MAN!
My hope for the project is to show everyone how fun snowmobiling seriously is. And to show things like safety to help educate people, and to bring the whole family of sledding love together!!
Chapman – My biggest difficulty is finding the time for everything (and getting stuff done properly) when all I want to do is be on snow!
Time management is precious when I’m trying to run She Shreds (accounting, social media, emails, doing the clinics and guiding, keeping all the sponsors happy etc, etc). I also have to find time to film this series, take care of my animals, have time for my babe (pro hoe) and close friends, etc. I wish I could split into 5 Julie-Anns for the winter!
Schramm – We have a working budget but it’s quite a bit lower then what we set out for—and that’s always a challenge. The support we have received is amazing and it got this project off the ground. This is a 50% funded project, 50% passion project. I look at it like I am doing something I love, which is trying to visually get people excited about what they love to do when they aren’t actually doing it themselves. I love exposing our winter world to people outside the sled world too. I am grateful that Julie Ann wanted to be involved.
On the filmmaking front I am in between drones and I was missing it during the stunning valley conditions we had during an arctic outflow weather event. But not having that tool in my kit at times just forces me to be creative in other ways when shooting.
Another challenge is that camera gear is heavy! At the beginning of every season I am forced to ask myself, “what am I thinking being a mountain sled filmmaker?” as I get reacquainted with my pack.
It’s also been really cold early on this winter. Shooting between -15 to -20°C is challenging for both the riders and the filmmaker. One afternoon with only a couple hours of sun in fantastic powder conditions I couldn’t tell if my focus assist had stopped working. Focus assist is a pretty critical aid when shooting 4K and Super 35 depth of field in the white, winter environment. It turns out when I got back to the edit suite that luckily everything was in focus and we had some great shots.
One challenge of shooting 4K is that I require a lot of external storage for the footage. External storage will cost about $500 per video. We are capturing approximately 5 hours of raw content for a 6-minute final cut.
I set out to bring something fresh to the scene with my filmmaking and at some point during the process I am forced to ask myself, how am I actually going to do this?! In the end I tell myself that you have to have fun with it and enjoy it, that is the path to a good product. I like how challenges force you to work towards the best in a situation; it’s that or they will consume you!
I look forward to Julie-Ann and myself adding to the many amazing content creators out there in the sled community. It’s great to be a part of the sled community; I am a happy sledder!
“Pemby Life” Episode 1 – CHANGE
The cinematography is stunning, and we’re excited to see what the team can produce as the story progresses in future episodes. Stay tuned for episodes 2-4 to drop throughout the season.
Julie-Ann Chapman is a well-known and respected figure in the mountain snowmobiling community. Chapman operates She Shreds Mountain Adventures, the first snowmobiling clinic to cater exclusively to women riders. Today, the company has expanded to offer riding adventures for both sexes in addition to providing avalanche education courses.
Jonathan Schramm—under the guise of Dragon Factory—has been filmmaking for 13 years, the majority of that time focused on mountain biking. His winter passion shifted from skiing to sledding around 2003 and living in Pemberton he is surrounded by many amazing sledders. Schramm collaborated on the sled film Fourcast 3. He began working with Julie-Ann Chapman on a series of videos for Toyota BC that starred Chapman and Dan Treadway.