How to Shoot a Cinematic Snowboard Video on your Phone

We spoke to the talented creators at WRKSHRT to learn more about how they shot Introducing Town Hill with Alex Yoder using their iphones. Cinematic snowboard

Karakoram Bio Photo
Previous Post Next Post

How to Shoot a Cinematic Snowboard Video on your Phone

The filmmaking magicians behind WRKSHRT share how they shot this cinematic snowboard edit using only iPhone and Moment Gear.

We get lots of questions about how to shoot ski and snowboard video on a phone. So when our friends at WRKSHRT and Karakoram came to us with the idea of shooting an edit entirely on mobile, we were all ears. A lot of people get intimidated by the idea of large rigs and expensive gear associated with high quality snowsports films, and shooting in winter conditions makes taking fancy equipment even more daunting.

So we were absolutely blown away by what these guys created using just their iPhones and some Moment gear. They were also kind enough to share some of their secrets with us.

This short film proves that you don’t need helicopters, energy drinks, fancy ski resorts, or really much at all to make a cool edit with your friends. Just brew up some coffee, grab your phone rig, head to the local town hill, and film every step of the way. It definitely helps if your friend is Alex Yoder, one of the smoothest riders in the game. So take a break from reading, turn the sound up, and watch the video in fullscreen. It’s so good!

How It Was Made

We were so impressed by what Wade and Dave made that we needed to hear more about how they shot it, what gear they used, and how everyday people could use their smartphones to create the same caliber of video. So we reached out and recorded a quick Facetime conversation to get some answers. Obviously these guys are pro filmmakers and are very good at what they do, but they had some awesome tips and tricks we can all learn from. Give this video a watch for some simple tactics you can apply to your own shooting this winter.

Editing Tips from WRKSHRT

  • Shoot Anamorphic. We haven’t shot much Anamorphic because they’re typically way out of our price range. You don’t often get much depth-of-field on an iPhone, so being able to get that wider screen and the added depth of field from that 1.33x magnification.
  • Get your settings dialed. We shot in flat profile through the Moment App. Locked the framerate at 24 fps which is our standard, that classic 1/48th shutter speed. Locking White Balance is a huge thing for keeping a consistent feel during editing. Phones are notorious for changing white balance mid-video, which is especially noticeable when shooting on snow.
  • White balance. WB for winter snow: 5500 in Daylight. It doesn’t matter if it looks weird in certain situations, as long as the entire video is consistent, I can fix things in post instead of having to make color changes on every frame to get a consistent look.
  • Use ND filters for shooting 24 fps in daylight.
  • Use a gimbal camera setup for action shooting doing tracking shots. Gimbals help a lot for fast moving action like a follow cam on a snowboard where you need to smooth out the bumps and vibrations.
  • Go handheld for slower lifestyle shots. Shooting unstabilized handheld can help make the shots feel more natural to the viewer. The kitchen scene in the beginning was all shot handheld to give it that “verite vibe” that we’re always after.
  • Always err on the side of underexposing the snow to preserve shadow details. ND filters are a must! Lock in exposure and white balance.
  • Manual focus in the Moment App is rad. The iPhone’s autofocus is also really good.
  • Simple compositions win. Let the story speak for itself and shoot more than just the main action shots.

Downsides of shooting mobile:

  • A cold winter day drains phone battery shooting 4K for an extended period of time. When your phone dies, you can’t swap batteries like a camera, and you use the port for external audio so you have to be strategic about charging. We ended up using Yoder’s phone, too!
  • Because the rig is so light, it’s hard to be stable handheld. Getting files off multiple phones in short time is tricky.
Unstabilized Rig3

Storyline and shooting snowboard films

“We were sitting around that morning, it was a big powder day. We all grew up in Jackson and honestly hanging out and having a normal day and we thought, ‘Hey why don’t we not bother with Jackson Hole, let’s keep it humble and ride the town hill, Snow King after work.’ It’s so mellow to head up there on a pow day. You can literally walk! And there’s no one around, wide open scenes, simple compositions and storyline. We sought out scenes that had good natural depth of field to augment the depth of field that’s possible on an iPhone.”

WRKSHRT1

Gear Used


Yoder’s Kit

Unstabilized Rig2

About the Creators

WRKSHRT is a small, adaptive, and globally mobile production company. We are thoughtful storytellers, shaped by a wide spectrum of experiences that have taught us to be authentic and efficient in all of our projects, regardless of scale, subject matter, or budget.


Check out their Vimeo here.

WRKSHRT2

Alex Yoder

Alex Yoder is a professional snowboarder, environmentalist, filmmaker and entrepreneur from Jackson, Wyoming. He's a perpetual traveler who enjoys arts of all kinds and seeks to better understand the connectedness of the natural world in order to actively engage in solutions to our environmental crisis.

Alex Yoder Bio Photo

Karakoram

Karakoram is a small, rider-owned collective of snowboarders dedicated to building and innovating high performance snowboard and splitboard gear. Proud to manufacture all of their bindings at their factory/headquarters in Washington state, Karakoram is on a mission to engineer the best-turning bindings in snowboarding.


Follow Karakoram on IG.

how to shoot a cinematic snowboard video on your phone

Photo of Yoder riding Karakoram shot by Alex Pashley.

Get the gear to shoot cinematic snowboard video on your phone.

Are you on the list? You don’t want to miss our weekly email with fresh, inspiring content.

Suggested Posts