The Shoot That Almost Got Away.

The Shoot That Almost Got Away.

Pros Go Off the Planet at Red Bull Shoot

This article originally appeared in the October 2010 issue of Freeskier Magazine. For more from this issue make sure to pick up a copy at your local newsstand.

Words & Photos: Chris O'Connell

The Red Bull “Off The Planet” shoot was the most visually spectacular ski or snowboard shoot I have been a part of in my 15 years of being a professional photographer. But it almost didn’t happen. The idea seemed simple: Eness Agency would bring projection equipment over from Oz, set up a 20-foot helium-filled sphere in the gap with the earth projected onto it, and project moon rocks onto the jump. And skiers would jump over the world. Easy right?

We arrived to a perfect 65-foot table with the middle cut into a big channel to give room for the globe. Everything appeared perfect. The problems came when the Eness crew tried to inflate the sphere with helium. The size of the floating sphere didn’t bode well with the Sierra Mountain winds and the orb almost blew away. Then came projector problems: none of the projectors worked. The second day’s shoot was called off and it looked like this massive project was never going to happen.

On night three, while we were enjoying a couple beers and sake at sushi dinner, we got the call at 10 p.m. saying that Eness had figured out the problems with the projectors and we were a go. When the Eness crew flipped the switch and turned on the projectors at about midnight, the sight was awe-inspiring. As promised, there was a rotating earth and moon rocks projected on the jump, but the fun didn’t end there. A 3D laser light show ensued with birds flocking across the jump onto the sphere, exploding lights and even goldfish and jellyfish were swimming around. The potential was limitless. The session ensued and we were able to get some of the most interesting video and still shots of skiers and snowboarders that I have ever seen.

For more of the October Issue of Freeskier. Click the Cover!

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