DPS presents "The Shadow Campaign"/photo/2014/1014/pizza_20140827valleNevado_SantiagoGuzman.jpg
DPS Skis has done things their own way with simple graphics, lightweight materials and moving their entire ski production to Utah. With DPS Cinematic, the company is now entering the crowded webisode game.
DPS partnered with Ben Sturgulewski, formerly of Sweetgrass Productions, the makers of "Valhalla," which won the 2014 Powder Award for film of the year. Sturgulewski leads the charge with "The Shadow Campaign," four short films DPS believes are worthy of film festivals.
XGames.com sat down with Zack Giffin, a skier in the series and host of the TV show "Tiny House Nation" to chat creative vision, South American powder and building small houses.
XGames.com: There are many series on the Internet. What sets this one apart? Zack Giffin: This is another take on a web series. What sets it apart is we're working with Ben Sturgulewski, who in my opinion is very much an artist. Everything he does comes out with this special touch he puts on it.
The premise is a focus on location. A lot of videos look at people, special trips ... this one is about locations that have relevant meaning to the company.
Why is working with Ben so special? I have a long history of working with Ben on "Valhalla." They had a set script and were doing something unique. After working with him for two years and seeing the outcome, I have such faith in what he does. I take a backseat and leave most of the decisions up to him.
A lot of times as an athlete, it feels like the workload can be disproportionate. The photographers kind of sit at the bottom and you do all the hiking and risk taking. With Ben, he mirrors or maybe exceeds our own workload. That feels good to know he's out there pushing himself to get the angles. He's waking up as early or earlier and being this really cool motivating force behind the agenda.
The first episode being released is about Valle Nevado. Tell me about that trip. The trip was epic for me. I've been working on this TV show about tiny houses and it's been taking up almost all my time and cutting into my powder turns. When I went to South America, it was the first time I'd been back on skis in a good chunk of months. The night I got there it snowed almost three feet. Murphy's law doesn't usually work that way, but I felt fortunate to get those epic conditions.
I see there is a Baker episode lined up? The conditions lined up well. Baker is my home mountain and a place I try not to do a huge amount of filming because I like to have that time there to myself. We had amazing conditions and it was fun to have people there that I enjoy skiing with.
After working on the Tiny House show, are there any changes you'd want to make to your own? I'm working on the 12th house in New Jersey. We've made 11 of them. Every one you build there's something you'd want to change about it in the next one. That's what's been fun about this project. I get that chance the next week.
Even before I started the show, there were additions I would have like to have made to the Tiny House. The loft in my house is fairly tight. It works, but now that I've built a few, I know how to expand that loft. Maybe integrate the outdoors a little more with a barbecue area.