Norwegian film company Field Productions recently made its 2011 release "Being There" available on iTunes. Field's eighth annual release joins a large crop of other ski movies available for online purchase, including "The Grand Bizarre" from PBP, "Attack of La Niña" from MSP, "After Dark" from Level 1, "One for the Road" from TGR and the 2011 Seth Morrison biopic, "The Ordinary Skier."
Releases from Field Productions have steadily improved in quality since Norwegian Filip Christensen founded the company in 2002 at age 14. "Being There" earned critical acclaim after its release in 2011, winning Best European Film at the International Freeskiing Film Festival in Annecy, France.
For American ski movie buffs, Field's cast members are relatively unknown, save a few internationally known skiers like Tom Wallisch, Jon Olsson and PK Hunder. What sets Christensen's films apart from the pack, foremost, is their visual appeal. Breathtaking panoramic images from Norway's precipitous fjordlands abound in "Being There." As 2008 Freeride World Champion Henrik Windstedt says in the film, "It's so incredibly beautiful up here. It's one of the most scenic destinations I've ever seen."
That scenery makes for a fantastic kicker segment in Stranda. This is a location that the Field crew has sessioned in a couple previous movies. Aleks Aurdal got the cover of the 2009 Freeskier Photo Annual with a rodeo 5 on a glorious sunset backdrop.
This time around, not only have the tricks gotten better, but so has the execution of the shoot. Helicopter follow cams are framed so close that a couple times I jumped back in my chair, thinking that perhaps the heli was about to inadvertently collide with an airborne skier. Many shots are framed so as to emphasize that cover photo landscape. As far as park jump segments go, this is one of the few that I've seen that can be watched and appreciated by skiers and nonskiers alike. And it's all filmed with a RED camera, making it one of very few current park segments captured with the superlative picture quality of the RED cam. Simon Dumont's cubed pipe segment from "Grand Bizarre" was also filmed on a RED camera.
Overall, this film is the best release yet from Field. An even mix of park, creative urban features, and impressive big mountain skiing make it a video for most any ski film fan. With the majestic Scandinavian vistas we see throughout the film, I wish that we could all have the opportunity to be there. Since we can't, I suggest "Being There."