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WhiteOut Films

WhiteOut Films

The idea of forming a new local snowmobile movie came up while in the garage wrenching in anticipation of the 2013 sledding season.  This idea was conceptualized by the founders; Mike Normore and Nick Tucker who shortly thereafter approached some friends which included Andrew Pike, Riley Chaulk, Tyler Rowbottom, Mark Weir, and myself (Richard Johnson).  We got together and decided that this was something worth giving a shot, so with that we set our goal of promoting the local snowmobile scene in our province.  We knew that the backcountry here had a tremendous amount of potential that was being overlooked by many groups from afar and we wanted to change that, we wanted to show that there is more to Newfoundland than meets the eye.

Quickly after the ball started rolling, we realized there is a lot more work than we had anticipated in putting together the professional package we hoped to achieve. It was decided that all aspects of the group would be kept as professional as possible, even if it made things more difficult.  Realizing this goal involved much more than just piecing together riding clips filmed on cell phones, we had to upgrade our riding and cameras skills while also improving the arsenal.  This is when we started approaching local businesses with our idea, most of whom immediately decided they would do what they could to help us out as they believed our idea was a great one.  The list of our supporters is very long but among the first to step up were Rugged Edge, Western Motor Sports, and Diamond Elite Powder Coating.

We knew we had a lot of learning to do, we just did not realize exactly how much.  The first season seemed to go very well, until the snow was gone and we started looking at footage more closely. We realized then not only were some clips we thought would be awesome were actually blurry, but we simply did not have enough footage of most people. This made editing the movie much tougher than anticipated.  Whiteout: The First Track was formed with the best of our abilities at the time, but we knew there was definitely room for progression. The premiere was in November of 2014 and about 100 were in attendance.

[sc name=”VertQuoteBorders” param1=”We knew we had a lot of learning to do, we just did not realize exactly how much.” ]

Mike Normore - Photo: Mike McCarthy

Once the premiere was finished all our thoughts were set on the upcoming season and what we could do to improve the movie further.  Our camera equipment was upgraded again with some nice handycams which are a great tool for filming in the backcountry due to their size, price, and capabilities.  All of us wanted to further our riding skills, and ensure we had enough footage to make an entertaining movie before the season was over.  Luckily the 2014 riding season was one for the record books in terms of snowfall accumulation.  Realizing we had to address the editing side of things we began talking to an old friend of mine who is very skilled when in this area.  Enter Evan Brake, a young man who we knew could help take our production to the next level.  Making a sled movie was always on Evans to-do list after seeing the original films from the rock which demonstrated potential, but lacked the technology to display it as well as it can be done today.

He began editing, quickly seeing how hard it would be to edit a full length film whilst keeping it entertaining, but after many late nights in front of the monitor he did it.  The movie premiered strong in November 2015 with about 330 in attendance at the Corner Brook premiere, and about 110 at the Springdale Premiere.  This enabled us to attain what we consider the best piece of filming gear used in snowmobile movies as of late, a professional quality drone.  The high turnout of these premieres proved to us that people really do want to see a local snowmobile movie and this motivated us to accomplish more than ever before.  As if the strong numbers from our premier wasn’t enough, some more awesome companies from the industry started to take notice of us.  Motorfist being the biggest supporter of these companies and their support has blown us away.  They truly are the best clothing company in the business, not only in terms of their product but who they are and the passion they have for the sport just as we do.

As the 2016/17 riding season began and we were motivated as riders to push our own envelopes further and to push our group to do as much as we could for the local scene.  The season started slow but began to have promise in the beginning of February, until this promise was quickly dismantled by a long series of strong rainfalls.  The snow is fighting us, but we still have full intentions of providing an entertaining, professional snowmobile movie this fall and can only hope Mother Nature aligns with our plans more next season!
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My name is Richard Johnson, born and raised on the west coast of NL here in Corner Brook. Been on sleds for longer than I can remember, and cannot live without them… it is my absolute favourite past time. I work in the construction industry which can be a gift or a curse depending on if your rotation falls on some prime ride time or bad bouts of weather. I am one of the riders of a local group called Whiteout Films which is a group of friends who film some riding throughout the season in an attempt to produce a high quality sled film to showcase just how great this sport is in our province. We have received a tremendous amount of support from locals and as far as Idaho with Motorfist. This support continues to grow with us which fuels our drive to push our envelopes to become better riders, but to also do all we can to support the system and help out where we can. I have only wrote one article for Sledworthy which happened to be an overview of this film group, it was something that has always had my interest in trying as I have read many SW articles over the years in front of the fire at the cabin after spending all day shredding some powder.

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