Extreme Film and Expedition School Program
(in the Everest Region, Nepal)
Focus on filming winter sports - Skiing - Snowboarding- Mountaineering skills- English As Second Language
Emphasis: Having Fun through Eco Sensitive extreme sports filming/ awareness in fragile winter/spring mountain environment.
Duration: 25 days: 2 days in Kathmandu prior to start of expedition, 18 days expedition (1 week course and 11 days trekking to reach Everest Base Camp and back), 3 days after expedition in Kathmandu (review and critique)
Prerequisites: Upper intermediate skiers/snowboarders; telemark & alpine in relatively good cardiovascular (hiking shape)
Age requirements: 19-35 year old unless with special arrangement by guardian
Result: - Students learn to produce short 3-6 minute film on Mini DV Video format -Diploma
Equipment list, Each student brings:
- Own Mini DV camera, laptop computer with Editing Software (optional)
- Ski , snowboard, telemark gear with backcountry touring capability if possible, i.e. touring bindings/skins /snowshoes-
- Appropriate clothing, backpack
- Avalanche gear: peeps, shovel, probe, helmet
- Proof of Canadian medical insurance or foreign equivalent.
note : backcountry and avalanche gear available for rental . Enquire in advance
Format: Students would pair up with two to three students per filming group, sharing directing, shooting, producing, sound, action talent & editing tasks on each film produced per group. Students wishing to concentrate solely on honing action talent skills solely welcomed as well. The program is geared for English as second language students as well. Peter’s films have already been used for tutoring at University of British Columbia.
The prospective emerging adventure filmmaker will go through the following stages:
1. INTRODUCTION / FILM THEORY: Brief theory and general history of film and video aesthetics. Every filmmaker must understand the basics of film and how the process began. The way filmmaking began and evolved in many ways emulates the way each of us as a filmmaker tones these skills.
2. CONCEPTION: This process would initiate a brief outline or conceptualize a story idea. Research would be stressed as to the feasibility of the original film idea. A target market would be developed as to where the film is going: ie film festivals, television broadcast, feature film documentary, dramatic feature film, industrials, travelogue, music video or the internet. (see marketing / distribution below)
The course would be divided into three categories:
A. Dramatic production (often fictional or re-enactment)
C. Commercial/industrial. An art film may incorporate all three aspects into a special presentation.
3. PREPRODUCTION: Acting on the model chosen from one of the above categories, You would begin the arduous tasks of learning about the various processes involved in preparatory work. This would include:
Casting: The filmmaker would begin choosing his subjects for his or her film whether it be action models, actors or a combination of the talent
Format: The format of work would be chosen by the individual filmmaker. i.e. DV, Hi 8, Super 8, 16mm or combination of formats. Constraints may be placed here by the College as to the format available by equipment provided by the college. A filmmaker may be also allowed to bring and use their own camera and format in a careful study of each case by case scenario. Perhaps a lesser fee would be charged for students who bring and use their own cameras. The school could in turn provide some basic maintenance for the school's as well as a student's own equipment.
Crew: Although each student would be encouraged to produce/write and direct their own film, they would also be taught to work in various departments in other student's films i.e.: camera, editing, sound,grip, lighting, set design. Two to three students would be placed into small teams, each producing a film. All departments would be tailored especially for each outdoor production. For example besides directing their own film, each student could also have to participate in other skills with their fellow pupils.
Shooting schedule: A day by day schedule would be planned and developed by each team for each individual film from conception, through pre-production and through production and post. (editing).
4. PRODUCTION: Here the students would be introduced and walked through the actual filmmaking process, often deemed as the most exciting part of the course. After scripting, choosing their crews and talent, each student would embark shooting, on the project of choice. The subjects would vary of course with the seasons as for example in the subject of the highly popular extreme sports subjects when weather and mother Nature would play the decisive role. Each project would be supervised and " dailies " from each student film would be screened in a communal atmosphere with input and suggestions welcomed by other students as well as overseen by the instructor.
5. POSTPRODUCTION: The postproduction process would actually begin during production as each student would learn the vital organizational skills involved in:
Script breakdown:Matching the elements in the script to the production process
Cataloging : Coding, organizing all relevant shots to facilitate post later.
The assembly : The first rough edit or assembly, sometimes several hours in length before the chiseling process of the rough cut.
The rough cut: The final rough, locked rough cut of the finished picture, with rough sound and voice over.
The voice over: (useful but not necessary) as reality tv or The soundtrack: Composed and/or canned music and sound effects
The online or final cut: This would be done simultaneously with the final soundtrack.
Special effects/credits: Sometimes special effects such as maps, graphs, charts, slow motion, time lapse etc. would be encouraged to add to the motion picture.
6. DISTRIBUTION: Various aspects of distribution would be discussed, including:
Brodcast and cable Television
Film festival : i.e. as in Banff Mountain Film, Telluride Mountain Film, Festival of Maritime and Exploration films( Toulon, France etc.)
Sponsored or inhouse distribution: i.e. Industrial films, travelogues or films done specifically for a client with certain amount of copies distributed internally within an organization.
The internet : The newest and perhaps fastest growing of the distribution mediums would be discussed with models such as www.popcast.com, www.itv.net,www.atomfilms.com, www.Isyndicate.com. Since attention spans on the web would be shorter, a different strategy maybe designed as to production specifically for the web. E Commerce would be yet another element in selling VHS copies of respective films.
Using distributors or self distribution: The pros and cons of each would be discussed.
7. MARKETING: You may have a great film, but it's of little use unless people see it. An intensive marketing strategy would thus be encouraged defining further your market. (Or your market may have changed from your original vision due to budgetary or other constraints i.e. such as acts of the gods, lack of $, the law, the weather, etc.). Various marketing strategies using different mediums would be encouraged: including but not limited to cross promotion in:
Print media : Articles in papers, magazines, coffee table book, on-line magazines would be encouraged to promote the film. B. TV & Radio : Magazine shows, music videos, the use and production of shorts and teasers to help promote the film. Film Festivals , Premieres, Public showings and Film tours :Students would be instructed as to what festivals are best for their respective films. The internet : The internet would be highlighted as one of the most relevant tools for marketing one's film. Techniques in multi media would be discussed including basic web design, on-line magazines and other tools in creating a life around the film. i.e. The Blair Witch Project. Using distributors or self distribution: The pros and cons of each would be discussed.
7cont. E. GUERILLA MARKETING : You are a small time filmmaker and there are other non orthodox ways in letting the public know about your project : balloons, graffiti (just kidding) , parties etc.
8. FUNDRAISING: This is perhaps the hardest and most work intensive section of the filmmaking process. It may not sound like fun but unless someone hands you a budget and commissions a film, there are various methods of obtaining the crucial funds.
Matching funds /government agencies In Canada: Telefilm, BC Film,Rogers Telefund, Tax Credits etc.
Co-production deals: Facilities as contra deals.
Foundations and grands: These vary from country to country.
Private investors: This field can be volatile but there is such a thing as "good will" investors who are happy becoming part of a project as i.e. Associate Producers in return for a lower % of return for their investment.
Itinerary: Day 1
Kathmandu / Lukla / Phakding (2652m)
Early morning transfer to the airport to fly to Lukla which highlights the snowline of the Himalayan Range in the north and the rugged landing at the Lukla airport which is said to be one of the most spectacular flights in the world. After lunch, the trek is a very easy one and ultimately descends to the river at Phakding (2652m).
Namche Bazaar (3447 m).
It is a pleasant walk for the first half of the day as one passes through agricultural countryside, small wayside villages and a monastery.
After lunch, trek up to the checkpost and enter into the Sagarmatha National Park. Near half waypoint, we enjoy our first views of Mt. Everest (8848m), Nuptse (7879m) and Lhotse (8383m) - the big three.
Acclimatization Day in Namche
As per the study on high altitude sickness, it has been found that most of the people suffer or show signs of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) from the altitude of 14,000 ft. Thus it is highly recommended to have a rest day to acclimatize at this altitude before starting an ascent.
Day 4 – Day 11
Extreme Film and Expedition Program
We crisscross the standard trail and take divesions visiting the best spots for skiing and snowboarding at Dole (3940m), Macherma (4410m), Fanga (4440 m) and Dingboche (4350m). We also visit locations like Gokyo Ri. Finally arrive at Lobuche (4931m)
On a clear day Mt. Everest can be seen looming behind Nuptse. Arrive at the ridge above Gorakshep and then descend to Gorakshep,
Day trip to Everest Base Camp. The trip to base camp, while fascinating, is not spectacular as the ascent of Kala Pattar because there is no view of Everest itself from the base camp. Mt. Lhotse and Mt. Nuptse, which loom over the Base Camp, shades the view of Everest.
Day trip to Kalapatthar and Skiing back
Early in the morning, take the left-hand side trail and head straight up the hill to KalaPattar (5545m) for views of Mt. Everest. The giants of the earth are all around Pumori (7145m), Everest (8848m), China's peak Changtse (7553m), Nuptse (7855m), Lhotse(8516m), Ama Dablam and many others. Ski or snowboard back to Gorakshep and walk to Periche.
Having been consistently at high altitude above 4200m most trekkers welcome the thought of returning to warmer, softer climbs and the days walk to Thyangboche is a delightful way of doing so.
The decent to the Imja Khola and the small village of Phunki (3250m) with its water powered Prayer Wheels takes about one and half hour. After lunch start the trek towards Namche by following the path round the eastern flanks of the hills. At the rear is the beautiful west face of the Thamserku (6608m) and Kang Taiga (6685m)
A very long days walk can also be made to Lukla but it is recommended to take an extra day to get there.
From Phakding, it is a surprising hard uphill climb to Lukla, which should take about 3 hours. It is a delightful ending to the trip as one enters into this busy village of Lukla.
Early morning, Early morning, fly from Lukla to Kathmandu on a twin Otter. Upon arrival, meet and transfer to the Hotel.
Nepal has no skiing resorts and hence any skiing or snowboarding in Nepal has to be backcountry and exploratory. The snowline in popular routes is far too high to allow for long periods required to develop a good ski industry. Also the remoteness of the locations means difficulty in transportation. But these conditions are best suited for those who are beyond just holiday skiers and love the excitement and thrill that backcountry skiing and snowboarding offers. Also this trip allows you to ski at the top of the world, higher than any ski slopes in most of the ski destinations.
This trip combines the best of backcountry snow in peak winter when the snowline is lower and also includes a visit to the legendary Everest Base Camp, arguable the most renown trek in Nepal and probably the whole world.
As all ski locations are over 4000+m, safety will be of prime concern and all precautions will be taken to avoid altitude sickness through appropriate acclimatization at lower altitudes.
The route lies in the highest wildlife reserve in the world, the Sagarmatha National Park. It covers an area of 1,148 sq. km. of Himalayan ecological zone. The park altitudes range from 2,845m at Monju to the top of the world, UNESCO listed the park as a World Heritage Site in 1979 for its unique natural, cultural and landscape characteristics.
A trek in this region takes one to the foothills of the mightiest of the mountains in the world. Enroute, one traverses through rhododendron and pine forests, rivers, Sherpa villages and Buddhist Monasteries from temperate to snow line regions. The Himalayas are best seen on this trek as one traces the main route through the Khumbu region from the Sherpa town of Namche Bazaar. Trekkers get a close view of the world's greatest mountains, Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Thamserku, Tawache and others.
The most famous among the Himalayan people are the Sherpas, who inhabit the Everest Region. Because of their impeccable mountaineering skills, they are an indispensable part of mountain expeditions as leaders, guides and porters. As an individual or in groups, they have set records of many 'firsts' in the mountaineering world. Due to their close affinity to Tibet, in trade, tradition and tongue, the Tibetan influence in their living style is quite distinct. The Sherpa people follow the Nying-mapa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. The famous Tyangboche and other monasteries are the common gathering place to celebrate religious festivals such as Dumje and Mani Rimdu.
Interesting extensions to a trip to this region can be cultural walks in the Kathmandu Valley, a two day rafting trip on the Bhote Kosi, or a three day Chitwan Wildlife Reserve Rhino safari.
USD .- 3190 per person.(From Kathmandu). Flight to Kathmandu is not included.
December 04 Dec 04 (from Kathmandu)
04 Jan 05 (from Kathmandu)
Contact Peter at email@example.com for more information.