By Collin Herr, Producer, Mountain Movers
Sparks are flying through the air, a saw is tearing through steel beams, sawdust blankets the floor and the radio is blaring anything from old school rap to a jam band, it’s just another day in the Snow Park Technologies Jib Factory. After spending three months with the crew of Snow Park Technologies at their headquarters in Verdi, Nevada it is clear that a huge amount of work goes into each and every project that the company takes on but that doesn’t stop anyone from having fun as well. SPT is truly a work hard and play hard environment where once the welder is put away for the day anything from dirt bikes to guns are broken out to let off some steam which makes for great stories the following day. What else would you expect “from a bunch of snowboarders”?
Gunny runs a very tight ship at the shop and everyone knows that the stakes are high with each project but the chill snowboard vibe is not lost as the guys, up against the clock with every project, always have time for a joke and a story. Gunny will cruise into the shop to check on the progress of Tyrone, Binnell and Sean either on a skateboard or closely followed by his loyal black lab Kuma to make sure that all is on track but also to catch up with his friends. SPT is truly a family and all of the guys, many lifelong friends, absolutely love what they do as Tyrone liked to remind me of. The other point they never let me forget is that they are the best in the world at what they do and have never failed, a testament to their experience and love of the game, so to speak.
There is no way to sugar coat that working at SPT and with the guys as a Producer and Shooter was a daily balancing act. The personalities are big and nothing, not even television, can get in the way of making a deadline and ensuring that the trucks are loaded on time with features. Each day began with the guys getting mic’ed up and a download of the day’s plan which would almost always change. Interviews were picked off between welding and cutting sessions as the guys constructed monstrous features that took up the entire shop floor. Television production was fairly new to the crew and jib production was completely new to me but after a bit of a learning curve a good balance was figured out. A balance that consisted mainly of “don’t get in our way” which I happily obliged as getting in their way meant a lens ruined by sparks or a steel beam to the shin. I never knew what I would get from the crew as they worked but one thing that I came to realize and appreciate was that they are all really good guys who love what they do and eventually seemed to enjoy me, the camera guy, being around.