Hybrid Films meets fund-raising goal, raises the bar
Each fall snowmachine fans are greeted with a growing number of sled films. Most feature POV action and helmeted riders pulling off risky maneuvers. A few leaders in the genre utilize large sponsorship budgets and feature advanced cinematography techniques, professional riding skill and sound scores that truly captivate the audience. Yet, local production company Hybrid Color Films feels there’s a missing element to mainstream sled films, a story that isn’t being told, and what better backdrop for a sled story than Alaska? Hybrid plans to set a new standard with their coming attraction, Winter Project, an Alaska focused snowmachine film scheduled for release in the fall of 2014, filming and editing to commence this winter.
“This isn’t going to be your everyday snowmachining film that has dudes hitting jumps with helmets on and music playing,” says Winter Project producer Travis Smith of Hybrid Color Films. “This is going to dive more into the story of the people and the history of backcountry snowmachining and freeriding in Alaska, where it’s come from and kind of where it’s gone. The end of the film is going to segue into why snowmachining here is the best, and why all the biggest names in the industry come every single spring to enjoy our mountains.”
Winter Project hatched from a natural progression as Hybrid Color Films became more involved with snowmachining with films Red Sunday and Black Sunday, and having gained notoriety for their contributions to the Alaska segment in Slednecks 14.
“We got an incredible amount of feedback from that part of the film,” said Smith.
He along with Winter Project director and Emmy award winner Kyle Aramburo discussed the idea of a bigger, better snowmachine film, developed the concepts and shared their desire with riders like Cory Davis. Other riders include the legendary Landry twins of Turnagain Hard Care, Paul Thacker, Joey Junker, Heath Frisby, Joe Parsons and others. With a feasible concept yet lacking in sponsorship, the team of idealists launched a hugely successful Kickstarter.com campaign to gain awareness and monetary support. Having surpassed their goal of a minimum $140,000, at this point it’s full steam ahead.
“Toward the end of our Kickstarter campaign I think we shocked a good portion of the industry and, I don’t know how true it is, but I almost feel like all eyes are on us now to see what we’re going to do,” said Smith, “and we’re excited to put everything we’ve got at it and do the best job that we can do.”
“This particular film is also paying tribute to the early film makers and how and why they started to film,” Smith said.
Private film collections have also been tapped into to include video from the Davis family, which showcases Iron Dog action with Scott Davis and the early racing career of Cory Davis and most likely his sister, Carly Davis.
“There’ll definitely be some never-before-seen-footage of all sorts of Alaska-type stuff, whether it be Arctic Man, Iron Dog, just snowcross racing and backcountry, stuff that never hit the editing room floor,” said Smith.
Of course, historical video will never live up to modern-day video quality no matter how creatively edited. Fortunately Hybrid Color Films plans to throw a large sum of cash at helicopter use, highly specialized aerial equipment and larger crowd riding and events for the filming they’ll do this season. Hybrid’s goal is to raise the bar on sled films. Riders have been busy conjuring up new ways to wow the spectators.
“I’m down here in Yakima with Joe Parsons and pretty much all we’ve talked about is all the stuff we want to do,” said Cory Davis. “So yeah, we’ve been dreaming up some stuff and we’ve got a little hit list of stuff we want to do, some dream ideas, stuff that’ll take a little effort that’s never been done to raise the bar.”
As much as this film will develop from the roots of snowmachining in Alaska, there’ll be no stopping the world’s best riders from showing fans just how honed their skills in the backcountry really are.
“I don’t want to oversell that it’s going to be just a documentary,” said Davis. “My goal as a rider is to film the sickest stuff I’ve ever done. But mainly showing the human element, I guess, is our biggest seller.”
If anyone can sell the public on the greatness of this film, it’s Davis.
“I just want to wow people, man,” he said. “I’m ready to bring some of that X Games flare to a movie and do our own thing and show ’em what we can do in the backcountry.”
Fans of that sort of intensity can watch for the DVDs to be released in October or November of 2014 assuming there’s enough snow to complete filming this season.
Anyone interested in supporting the Winter Project, and scoring a T-shirt or reserved copy of the DVD in the process, can do so by visiting www.winterproject.net. Corporate sponsors will need to contact Hybrid Color Films directly through that website or by sending email to email@example.com. According to Smith, Hybrid isn’t short of ideas to put additional funding to use.
“There’s a lot of cool things we’d like to do and also a lot of the sweat equity in this is being absorbed by Hybrid Color,” Smith said, “so our actual fundraising goal was $215,000, but all we were asking for at Kickstarter.com was $140,000 to set a minimum for what it’s actually going to take for our hard cost to make this film.”