In less than a week CK9 Studios will drop its Over Time short film featuring skiing phenom Sammy Carlson. Here’s a sneak peak of its sickness plus an interview with the creators.
While CK9 might sound like the name of the Navy Seals’ elite and ferocious bomb-sniffing canine crew, it’s in fact a small Nelson, British Columbia-based studio house made up of long-time buds Clay Mitchell and Simon Shave. Their latest project, a seven-minute film that features Sammy Carlson, will drop on October 22 but already the world’s taking note. It’s just been nominated for “Best Short Film” at both the High Five festival in France and the iF3 festival in Montreal.
Sammy C needs no introduction but for those who’ve been living in a quinzee for the past decade, here’s a quick rundown. Originally from Hood River, Oregon, Sammy now divides his time between his winter home in Revelstoke, B.C. and various surf beaches along the Oregon Coast. He’s considered one of the top X Games freeskiers of all time but is best known for his flowy, effortless style in the backcountry. Every filmmaker wants a chance to work with this guy so how did a small outfit out of Nelson get the gig? We caught up with them to ask.
How long have you guys known each other and how long have you known Sammy C?
We’ve been friends since junior high, probably to our mother’s dismay. We’ve known Sammy personally a few years, but we’ve been impressed by his style for a decade.
How’d you get into the film biz?
We dropped our debut ski film, appropriately titled Passion, in grade 10 (back in 2001). There is only one known copy on VHS. We’ve been trying to get the old team back together ever since. Thankfully, Clay went to film school and dedicated ten years to the industry, including big Hollywood productions and an integral stint working with the masters at Sherpas Cinema. When Simon got the call to start CK9 Studios it was an easy answer. Dare to dream.
What’s the inspiration for Over Time?
Our goal with this film was to stay true to the roots and keep it about the skiing. To let beautiful visuals and cinematography highlight Sammy’s distinct style. Our motivation for the title Over Time and our sub-theme about time is really about inspiring people to make the most of every day.
There’s a quote at the beginning of the trailer. Where’s it from?
The quote, “What you are, and what you become, depends on how you use your time” points to a universal human truth. We wanted to remind anyone, skier or not, that your actions dictate who you are. We used sparse narration on time throughout the piece to add some introspection. The narration comes from a preacher in the Bahamas, Dr. Myles Munroe.
A full winter of filming disseminated into 7 minutes. Impressive! How long did it take you to create it?
We’re not actually sure how much footage we captured between two cameras and a drone, but it was substantial. It was a pretty thin year for pow in B.C., but we made the effort to get out and film everyday we could. Everyday was sandwiched between sled rides in the dark. Needless to say the editing took a long time to distill down.
What was one of the most fun moments from filming?
We had lots of highlights. Great hospitality with Stellar Heliskiing, Eagle Pass Heliski, and Mustang Powder. Not to mention epic sled days.
What was the biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge was the unseasonably low snowfall. It wasn’t the best year for our breakaway ski film, but on the plus side we had a lot of bluebird days.
You were nominated for best short at the High Five festival in France. Describe your reactions when you got that call.
High Five was our world debut and to get nominated for best short was a great honour. You get so close to a project that you can’t tell if its good or not anymore, so that nomination was validating.
What does CK9 stand for?
CK9 pays homage to our inland surf gang, the Seadawgs, a landlocked crew who would make an annual pilgrimage to find knee-slapping waves. To the dismay of our wives, the dream still lives on.