Filmmaker Nick Martini Reinterprets the Ski Film in New Short, “Mutiny” [w/ Interview]
I’ve been digging the stuff coming out of Nick Martini’s company, Stept Productions. When they dropped the trailer for their upcoming latest, “Mutiny,” I reached out to Nick to find out a little more about his transition from badass freestyle skier to equally badass filmmaker.
1) Why did you start making films?
My brother and I grew up ski racing on the east coast. Once we started our freestyle exploits it always seemed natural to have a camera capturing the action. As our skiing progressed so did our film work. Our childhood hobby managed to transition into our passion and our business.
2) Could you give any advice to those who are trying to break into the action sports film genre?
Focus on great stories. With the introduction of affordable video cameras everyone and their father can go capture great action shots. The story behind those shots is what grabs the viewer and can make your videos stand out.
3) What type of film are you trying to make? What are you trying to make people walk away from your work thinking?
Our new film “Mutiny” is supposed to be an original interpretation of a “ski film”. Resembling a documentary format, the film follows a group of skiers living in Boulder, CO. Residing in a college town in your early 20’s isn’t typically conducive to professional athletics. Our lifestyle plays a big part of the story, and we hope people walk away feeling enlightened, but at the same time uncomfortable about what they have learned.
4) How much does being the athlete and subject of films at one time effect your filmmaking process and connection with your stars?
When shooting sports I think it is key to have some experience in the activity. Athletes have special insights to their sport that third parties can never understand. Capturing those subtleties allows the core viewers to really connect with the film.
5) If you could make any other type of film, besides skiing/action sports, what would it be?
It would be fun to find someone that no one had ever been in contact with. I would make a movie about that guy. I have always been a big documentary fan, but at the same time I would love to work on shorter commercial spots in the future.
6) What’s your favorite season?
I have always loved winter, but considering I work most of winter and I am just learning how to surf…. Summer may be tied…
7) Who are your biggest influences in filmmaking?
The friends we work with on our movies are my biggest inspiration. There are so many young talented kids who are hungry to do something new. The amount of energy shared by our crew is a catalyst for creativity.
Who are your ski heroes?
Doug Coombs and Scot Schmidt
9) What are you shooting with these days? Gear wise. What’s in your basic can’t-leave-home-without-it kit?
For the ski film the Canon 5D and 7D prove to be the most reliable and adaptable. For outside work we use a variety of higher end cameras. Our go-to piece of gear is our Steadicam, which creates stable shots in almost any condition.
10) What’s the single best day you’ve had this year?
We went back home for a two-month shoot in Boston and we received a big dump of snow in early January. After finishing up a great morning shoot, I spent the afternoon in the heli getting shots of the snow-covered city. Ripping around the skyscrapers and grazing over Fenway park is an unforgettable memory.
Check out more of Nick and Stept Productions’ work:
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