Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Adventure Film Making - Mountain Biking

Why do I like Saint Mike's? 

Departments and clubs come together in unique ways and, in the case of Adventure Film, ways that will allow you to go out on adventure trips for the lab portion of the class! Thank you, Media Studies and Wilderness Program!

Last week, I went sea-kayaking. This past Friday, I went mountain biking. As Professor Hyde said, "You grew up in Truckee and haven't gone mountain-biking?!" A) I only half grew-up in Tahoe, but more importantly B) I was always more about skiing and gymnastics. This Friday was the first time I'd been really mountain-biking and it was so much fun.

It was a gorgeous day in VT!
We headed out to Catamount Family Center in Williston, Vt. about 20 minutes away from school. I got to drive the snazzy school van because I'm school van certified van driver for the alpine ski team and followed Hyde and Sultze in Hyde's pick-up truck. I should have know Hyde had a truck. You'll understand when you meet him.

The goal of these labs is to educate the class on different outdoor activities and encourage our creativity when it comes to adventure film. If there is one thing I know, it is extremely hard to photograph and video an activity you don't fully understand. (You should have seen me photographing Field Hockey this past weekend for Defender. It was tough figuring out what the "peak moments" were.) Essentially, it's 3 hours of riding and then stopping and chatting about camera angles, unique attributes and challenges of the environment you'd be filming in, and getting over fears or discomforts. The other great part? Quality time with your professors. How many other schools are there where you go mountain biking with the professor teaching your senior seminar? (Tips for first-years: Always refer to your professors as "Professor (insert last name here)." In the case of the MJD department, you'll probably be on a first name basis with your professors by sophomore year. I still can't bring myself to call my advisor, David, but maybe I'll get there someday.) Not only did Professor Hyde lead the trip, but Professor Sultze accompanied us, playing "sweeper" in the event that anyone crashed and needed to be picked up.

That's Dominique and Michelle up top and
Professor Sultze riding on the bump track below.
The most interesting part of mountain biking for me was deciding what paths to take around rocks and stumps as well as when to stand up vs. sit on the seat. Of course, all the while you have to remember to switch gears so you can, in fact, peddle up the hills. Oh, AND all the while I'm supposed to be thinking about angles for shots. It was an educational experience though. I can see how much dedication it takes to get unique and quality shots in a sport like mountain biking were you are dealing with dim lighting and trees blocking your view. (Those may be Vermont mountain biking problems more specifically.)

The day ended with a rousing conversation about how I thought Hyde and Sultze were the two most intimidating professors in the departments when I started at St. Mike's. What I found out is that all the intimidating stories I'd heard from the upperclassmen were untrue. I'm not saying their classes aren't challenging. They will definitely push you. However, the professors are always available to help students and offer assistance. In fact, I'm meeting with Hyde tomorrow morning (along with Liz, my senior sem partner and student-blogger) to chat about potential senior project topics.

That's me! (Courtesy of Professor Hyde's helmet cam)
Bottom line: Take Adventure Film Making if you are looking for a completely unique St. Mike's experience. Remember, you don't have to be an MJD major to take this course! Just be ready to test yourself and be creative.

Keep your eyes peeled for my next post about my first SMC Defender lab!

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