Words: Eliel Hindert
Last week, the Intersection video competition attracted some of the biggest names in snow media to Whistler Blackcomb. With $15,000 up for grabs, teams came from all over the globe, and even out of retirement, to take part.
After all the videos played and the lights came on, it was a team of full time students working with local Whistler carpenters and laborers, all headed by Leo Zuckerman, that won both the overall award and People's Choice Award.
Still in his second year at the University of British Columbia, Zuckerman's introduction into the film world started rather incidentally, following dissatisfaction with an engineering major and a chance acceptance to the UBC Film Program.
A lack of independence in the program led him to pursue his own path in creating unique, personally branded content such as his widely viewed Above the Dust video. That also drove him to pursue the Intersection competition as his personal final exam.
Shortly after Intersection accepted him into the competition, Zuckerman's production partner pulled out for personal reasons, taking with him nearly half the team of athletes. In quick form, the crippled team of UBC students recovered and partnered with local Whistler cinematographer, Scotty Titterington, and his connections to a deep talent pool of local athletes.
What followed over the next week was nothing short of chaotic-harmony. Putting weeks of pre-production into action by coordinating up to three production teams and 30 athletes, right in the middle of finals for UBC students.
Despite the setbacks, the mixed group of relatively unknowns came out on top. On the stage, Zuckerman raised his oversized check as he shared hugs with his crew. Studying for impending exams could wait; it was time to celebrate.