Locals make must-"si" ski film
There is always that child on the playground who has to make sure mom is watching before he makes his next move.Mommy, watch!, hell say before he goes down the slide or swings across the monkey bars. Then, when finished, he looks for assurance that attention was paid.Mommy, mommy, did you see me? Did you see me? he says, and then the cycle begins again.Well, local filmmakers Dana Mackie and Sheenon Sarich are trying to capture that same youthful craving for consideration in their new ski-action picture Jusimi.Its kind of a made-up word, said Mackie, who produced the film and co-edited it with Sarich. Youll hear it a lot (on the ski slopes after someone does something amazing or incredible). It sounds like Did you see me?Mackie and Sarich, who met skiing on the hill at Squaw, have combined their talents for the first time on film with skiing action from Alaska (Chugach Mountains in Valdez), Chimney (Squaw Valley), Snowbird, Alta and Mt. Superior in Utah, and Glory Bowl on Teton Pass in Wyoming. This (film covers) our last two years of adventure, Mackie said. Featuring aerial bursts and downhill descents on some of the worlds most famous ski destinations, the films skiers beckon to viewers: Did you see me?Jusimi has already been released on DVD as of Oct. 11, but it will premier at Squaw Valleys Bar One on Oct. 28, with a Halloween costume party theme.For Mackie, 33, Jusimi is the third film she has produced. She adds to a filmmaking rsum that includes Emperoress, an all womens action sports film, and the all-snowboarding film Common Thread. A graduate of University of Nevada, Reno in physical education, Mackie discovered an avenue for self-expression through her job with a local Tahoe film company.I worked for Standard Films (in Kings Beach) for five years, and pretty much learned everything I know from those guys, Mackie said. Like any artist, Mackie is in touch with the main subject of Jusimi: Downhill skiing. Born and raised in Yosemite, she has lived in Truckee since 1993 and has skied mostly at Squaw for the past 10 years. Downhill ski racing has always been her passion, and she participated in the 1985 Junior Olympics, competing against the likes of Picabo Street. Mackie wants to convey the excitement of downhill skiing to viewers through her film.It makes you want to go skiing, Mackie said. Im just into the creativity of making film. Thats what I do; Ive ski raced all my life, and Ive been in the industry.Sarich, 28, has lived in Truckee nine years and studied graphic design at Sierra Nevada College. Sarich has been skiing since age 5 and has always lived in hotbeds for downhill skiing: He grew up in Virginia and went to high school in Colorado. For him, Jusimi is the first film he has created that will sell, and its the creation process that he honors.You do it because its an expression of what you do, and I guess were both drawn toward making films, Sarich said. The whole process of making it, we enjoy it, and if we dont make films were stuck doing something else.
This is Mackies third film, but its the first in which she didnt buy footage from anyone. She and Sarich filmed and edited all the action, unlike her other two movies. Music is also a major part of the film, taking viewers through a mixture of tunes like hip-hop, punk rock, reggae and country that set the mood for the action on the screen.”Jusimi” features shots from 16-millimeter and VX100 Digital Sony cameras, as well as a helmet camera. Both Mackie and Sarich agree that modern computer technology, as long as you have the skills, has made it easier to edit a short film like Jusimi. It also allows you to produce a product in your own home.You need to be savvy with computers, Sarich said. Its not like youre cutting and splicing film and putting it together, but you have to know the programs and know how a computer works. You have to know the ins and outs of the computer to produce an outcome you feel good about.Like Mackies training at Standard Films, snowboarding and skiing photography and filmmaking is made easier because there are many people in Tahoe already doing it and doing it well.Its neat because up here you have a lot of talented people (like Scott Gaffney, Mike & Dave Hatchett, Dave Seone and Tom Day; some have premiered their own ski movies recently), and its neat to have them all in one central area, creating, Mackie said. We all work together and support each other.Sarich is motivated by those around him who are making quality products.Im more of an artist than a business man, and I think people out there are going to do art regardless (of what their motive is), he said. The more people you see doing it, the more youre going to get into it and want to express yourself in what you can do.Mackie, who said she eventually wants to produce documentaries, said there are basic steps that one must follow in the filmmaking process: Solicit sponsors, film, edit, market, music licensing and distribution. So long as you get to the distribution stage, Mackie laughs.Sarich and Mackie have other primary jobs, and they insisted that making money off the film is not the No. 1 reason for making it. Jusimi will be distributed worldwide and mainly sold on Internet.[To order Jusimi, visit online at http://www.4reelproductions.com or stop by a local ski shop in the Tahoe area.]
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