When Junkies on a Budget announced their 2012 film would feature five of Europe’s best crews, Niclas Löffler rallied a gang of jibbers to put Germany on the freeski map. The result were continental bragging rights and a spot in the new JOB flick, In Space. For this week’s New Guy, POWDER looks at the man behind the lens (and the magic), We Make Them Wonder’s cinematographer Niclas Löffler.
How did you start working with the JOB crew?
I’ve produced the Smith Optics Team DVDs for the last few years so I got to know [Smith Team skier] Nico Zacek. Last autumn, he told me about this new project called Junkies on a Budget and asked me if I want to be part of it. Of course I said yes.
What skiers did you work with and where did you shoot last season?
I worked together with Roy Kittler, Tobi Tritscher, Niklas Eriksson, Thomas Dolplads, Lukas Schäffer, and Raffale Cusini. And my man Markus Eder helped me with filming. We started shooting urban stuff in Poland. Then we moved to Kaunertal and Ötztal for night powder riding and finished our filming in Livignio for a special kicker shooting.
What were the hardest parts about putting your segments together?
If you work with a lot of different people, it’s always hard to find the dates that work for everybody, and finding the right locations for your shooting takes a while. Personally, the hardest part was the night shooting in Austria. It was super cold and we had to set up a lot of lights every night in deep powder for almost a week. So it was pretty exhausting for the whole crew, but I’m super happy with the result.
How was working on as one piece of a bigger collection of filmers different?
For me it was not a big difference. I think every filmer just concentrated on his own part. The only big difference was that you have to make a five-minute part rather than a full movie. But at the premiere it was great to see what the other crews did.
What were your travel conditions like?
We definitely got our daily dose of fast food. In the beginning its okay, but after a week you can’t see any more burgers and you are looking forward to eating normal food at home. In Poland we were lucky, because our photographer Yarrek brought us to the right places for good Polish food. We all loved it.
What is one thing you wish athletes understood about the guys behind the camera?
To set up the camera and find the right angles takes time. I think every filmer has a clear idea of how the shot has to look and it just takes some time to arrange it. We always want to get the best possible shot.
How did the crew keep things fun?
In Poland we had hard conditions. Our equipment had big problems with the low temperatures. But since we know each other well, we know how to keep things fun. And as long as you have Roy [Kittler] and Markus [Eder] on the same trip with you, there will definitely be a lot of fun.
Do you think JOB will do a project like this again?
I’m sure this project will happen again over the next few years. I think the concept is great and I’m really proud that We Make Them Wonder was part of the first edition.