Behind the Passion
The Peter Jamison Interview
A young lad, still in his teens, Peter Jamison was living the carefree mountain biker’s dream. Camping out at a bike park and riding as much as he could, Jamison had a passion for mountain biking, freeride specifically. Jamison also happened to be pretty damn good with a camera and after tiring of the few “behind the scenes” videos available, he was motivated. “I was trying to understand what it was really like to be a freeride athlete,” Jamison says. The light bulb moment came while watching up and coming freeriders Nic Hilton and Reed Boggs attemping flat drop backflips for the first time. As he watched their hard work, determination and struggles play out first hand, he knew the story had to be told.
We asked Peter a few questions about the project and where he hopes to go in the future. Read on to learn a little bit more about the man behind the Passion.
The Loam Wolf: What was your biggest hurtle or challenge while filming Passion?
Peter Jamison: The biggest hurtle was that I essentially had no budget. I spent $200 for a subscription to the ‘Art List,’ which covered the music and then I managed to plan all of my other shooting around other client work so that I could minimize travel costs. For example, if I was in Utah for client work with one of the athletes in the film, in the middle of day while waiting for light I would shoot interviews, b-roll, etc.
On another note, an additional challenge was self-doubt. Working on a movie everyday for the better portion of a year took its toll on me mentally. “Is it up to par?”, “Will people enjoy it?”, “Should I even post it?” These were questions I would ask myself on tough days. Thankfully, I kept this project a secret until very recently, just before the release, so that I wouldn’t have the stress of people asking me about it.
TLW: Do you think you’ll take on another feature video like this? If so, care to share the idea?
PJ: YES! I want to do a few more full length pieces. I would really like to do another full length doc, but rather than having multiple ‘chapters’ with individual stories that go hand in hand like I do in ‘Passion’, it would be neat to follow one longer story throughout an entire film. I would also like to do a feature video that is not story based and strictly gnarly riding footage.
TLW: What was the most surprising thing you learned during the project?
PJ: The most surprising thing that I learned during the project would have to be that telling a story with an indefinite ending is so difficult. Going into the film I had no idea that Nicholi would win the Triple Crown. It just happened and as the year progressed I had to figure out how to best tell his story.
TLW: What segment was the most fun to film?
PJ: All in all, the most fun and also stressful segment to film was David Lieb’s. During my February vacation of senior year in High School I flew to Cleveland to meet up with David and film both a riding edit and his movie segment. But, due to his work schedule and me having to finish school we only had three days to shoot. It was hectic to say the least, but we worked as hard as humanly possible and got everything done. Thankfully, David’s best friend Nick Fix was with us and made us laugh the entire time. So much went wrong those three days (including the hotel not having hot water), but Nick kept the spirit high.
TLW: Which was the most challenging?
PJ: The most challenging segment to film was certainly Nicholi’s. We started shooting in January, with his first session after not riding for a few months, and kept the story going through Crankworx Whistler when he won the Triple Crown. What was difficult about this was that neither of us knew what the end of the story was. When planning the film, I intended his segment to showcase the training and mentality of a top slopestyle athlete, so I tried my best to capture that whenever we filmed together. However, as the year progressed the story quickly began to shift and I had to adapt how I was treating the story. Thankfully everything came together in Whistler and the segment ended up amazing.
TLW: From a viewer’s perspective, what segment is the most entertaining to watch?
PJ: I guess we will find out when the film drops on the 20th!
TLW: List out your standard camera gear?
PJ: Throughout the filming of ‘Passion’ I shot mostly with a Sony FS5, however, there is some footage throughout shot on a Canon C100 and a Sony FS700. On that camera I would typically have the Sony 18-105 F4 for all of the ‘documentary’ style footage and then for riding footage I would use either a Canon 70-200 2.8 IS II or a Zeiss Distagon 28mm F2. Lastly, for all of the interviews I used the Canon 50mm 1.8 STM.
TLW: Do you have a favorite camera/lens set up?
PJ: My favorite set up varies per project, but for this film I was loving the FS5 with the 18-105. While the lens is somewhat cheap and not the sharpest, the stabilizer and focal range make it so great to use.
TLW: Do you have any advice for up and coming camera hounds?
PJ: Make as much content as humanly possibly. If you want to be a professional photographer, do a ‘365 Project’ and shoot photos every day. Or if you want to make videos, pledge to make a video every week for a year. I did a ‘365’ project when I was 15 and the weekly video gig when I was 16.
TLW: What do you love most about current MTB media?
PJ: What I love most about current MTB media is how much media there actually is! So many people are making rad videos and producing amazing still images, it is insane!
TLW: What are you tired of seeing?
PJ: I am growing tired of seeing bangers posted up immediately on the gram. It would be cool to see some of the up and coming riders saving their footage, even if they were to just make a 2-3 minute iPhone edit. A piece like that would be more memorable than just one IG post.
TLW: If you could pick one athlete and location to film, what would it be?
PJ: I am totally down to work with any athlete, I just want to film in New Zealand so bad! Shooting there with a RED would be nice too…
It’s hard to believe this kid just graduated high school and is already making films like this! We may even take his advice and start working on some of those challenges of our own. Thanks for taking the time Peter and we’re excited to see what you drop on us next.
Give him a follow at @peterjamisonmedia.
To learn more about the project and how it came to be, visit Passionfilmmtb.com.
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