kids skiing and snowboarding

Media Moguls

The Fresh Tracks Film Camp helps budding filmmakers turn footage from mini adventure cad into videos worth watching.

If you have been living under a rock for a while, you might be surprised to see how many people are shooting video every day while skiing and riding. Although mini adventure cams are ubiquitous, the quantity of footage gathered does not necessarily translate into a lot of quality videos that you’d want to take the time to watch.

Enter the Fresh Tracks Film Camp, a joint venture started last winter between Sugarbush and Champlain College’s respected Emergent Media Center to engage budding young filmmakers. (These potential filmmakers have a good example in 1982 Champlain graduate Tom Day, who has worked for Warren Miller Entertainment for more than a decade and is now the director of photography.)

The group spent three days together, learning shooting skills (including how to work safely with athlete models on the slopes) and digital editing techniques, while getting early lift rides, hiking for new settings and angles, and staying warm on some very cold midwinter days. 

The course was designed and led by Professor Kevin Murakami, a multimedia specialist at the Emergent Media Center, and by 

Sugarbush’s chief recreation officer, John Egan, who also happens to be a world-famous ski model (having starred in seventeen Warren Miller movies) and filmmaker. (As Sugarbush’s main photographer, I got to contribute to the on-hill sessions too.)

Everybody shot with a GoPro camera and edited their footage with the same Adobe program. At the end of the three-day camp, the students presented their finished work on the big screen at an evening reception in Gate House Lodge.

Samantha Murphy was one of the course participants. “I had a blast,” she said, “from getting first chair to learning how to make my videos into a movie. I also had the advantage of being the only girl to show those boys who’s boss. [Murakami, Egan, and Atkinson] showed us how to get the perfect shot from the model perspective, the perfect shot from the videographer’s perspective, and how to put this jumble of footage into a smooth sequence.”

Egan added, “From the technical aspect of shooting and editing, to working on both sides of the camera, the students came alive. It was inspiring to see how strongly they responded to the opportunities of what they can do and become in this rapidly evolving field.” 

Murakami, too, was inspired by the opportunities created by the camp. “The beauty of this class, from my perspective, was the fact that students learned the software with video footage they had shot with their newfound ‘eyes,’ and that the synergy combining behind-the-camera efforts with new computer software fueled their creativity and expanded their horizons.” 

Be sure to check out the Fresh Tracks Film Camp participant videos (you can find them at—they include great footage of deep runs in Paradise Woods and on ripping smooth Valley House groomers with up-and-comers like Murphy, Micah Ranallo, and Ethan Akins. You just may be watching the next Warren Miller.

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