After a five year hiatus, DC has released a new snowboard film this year, “Must Be Nice,”featuring a cohesive group of team of riders shredding around the globe last season and living the good life. The film, which DC says reflects what the sport means to the brand, chronicles the 2012 season and features the likes of team riders Devun Walsh, Iikka Backstrom, Lauri Heiskari, Torstein Horgmo, Aaron Biitner, Ryan Tiene, and Anto Chamberland. “‘Must Be Nice’ is a celebration about having fun snowboarding with your friends in the mountains and in the streets,” says the DC crew.
We caught up with Action Sports Marketing Director Brian Cassaro and Producer Justin Smith to get the behind-the-scenes scoop on the new flick. Check out the trailer and hear what went into the production and promotion of “Must Be Nice.”
JS: It was a really fun movie to make. Such an awesome group of people to work with. We didn’t have a big budget, so we had to get creative. The feel is a little more like an old school snowboarding movie, but the riding is very progressive and I think people will like that. It’s fast paced and has a good soundtrack. Filming all the intros was a blast, the bar management really let us destroy the place. We definitely took some inspiration from watching the old Whiskey films from the 90s.
Why haven’t you produced a movie in the past five years?
BC: Honestly we’ve been wanting to do movie for the last few years. Mtn Lab 1 and Mtn Lab 1.5 were focused on the facility and the team, which made for a compelling, fun story. The team has evolved, making it one of the most diverse and interesting of its kind in the industry— everyone is so close and they truly function as a team, so we felt the time was right. We made it our priority for the 2011/2012 season and unfortunately, we picked the worst snow year possible—but we made it happen!
What went into the filming of this movie? What was the production timeline like?
JS: We filmed the entire 2011/2012 season. We just started when the snow hit the ground this year and went through the whole season.
BC: We wrapped everything up like three weeks ago. The goal was to get the movie launched by early October and working within the guidelines of iTunes, so it had to be complete my mid September.
JS: The last week of editing we pulled a couple all night-ers. Nick Olsen, Anthony Vitale, and I stayed up until sunrise, drinking beers getting it done. Luckily, there’s no shortage of beer in the office.
What was the biggest obstacle you overcame in making this film?
JC: The biggest hurdle was the snow. We didn’t have the ability to go to a lot of places but it ended up working out because we made our base camp in Whistler and they had a phenomenal season.
How did the film get it’s name?
JS: I think it came from throughout the entire filming people asking the guys, “What do you do for a living? And they’d say ‘snowboard’ or professional ‘snowboarder,’ and the response was always, ‘ Must be nice.”
BC: That, and it has been a term the team has thrown around at and with each other, for the past couple of seasons. When it was suggested, we all loved it and it stuck.
It really was the team — Torstein, Devun, Iikka, Lauri, AB and Tiene—who were the driving force behind the film. The creative vision came from BT and Justin, but the team was involved in steering the direction of the intros, and their parts.
You did a special promotion for the film on your Facebook page to download it for free for a limited time. Did this boost traffic and downloads?
BC: We had a 12 hour viewing window on iTunes, where people could watch it for free before buying it. It was hosted on our Snowboarding FB page, people had to go there and like our page. We also had a snowboard giveaway around the movie, and a pretty aggressive banner campaign with all magazines. So Itunes is the vehicle to sell the movie, but our promotion was primarily done online and through our social media reach.
Over the 12 hour period on iTunes, the film got close to 50,000 views, which we thought was great. No one in snowboarding had launched a movie like this, so we were pretty excited to do something new, and more importantly, get so many eyeballs on our brand.
BC: The timing was good because we knew Torstein was going to put out his lifestyle project, Horgasm – A Love Story, as well— which comes out pretty soon—so it was like a two–headed monster. With Torstein topping the exposure-meter and both projects launching, we have some marketing firepower to support the brand and the athletes. Im very happy with how it all fell into place.
How involved were the athletes?
JS: We were meeting with them all season long with intros and they were super involved with how the final product was going to look. The final days of editing they were in the office working on their parts.
How else will you be promoting the film, and what do you have in store for premieres, etc?
BC: Just going the digital route for now, but we are talking about doing another live premiere in a few weeks. There have been some regional tours and showings within key retailers. But other than that, it’s primarily digital.
Do you think that’s the way things are moving in general for video production? How do you measure the ROI on a project like this?
BC: For us personally, we feel the best way to the expose the brand and the athletes is to create unique and compelling content around the team. I think people are consuming video in so many different ways, it’s kind of the wild west—no one knows what people are going to do, whether they rip it from their friends or buy it in a shop. We don’t have control of it once it’s in DVD form. Digitally there is encryption, but at the end of the day it’s definitely a new wave of video consumption and we are trying to stay ahead of that. Digital seems to work for us, especially with the help we got from our people at iTunes. At the end of the day, we can measure the ROI by the number of views we get and by the way our retailers respond to it. Retailers have responded very positively.