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Area 51 Films Wittenmeir Hangs Ten for the X-Games

Directs ESPN Package Out of Newly-Launched 72 and Sunny

Area 51 Films Charles Wittenmeir has directed a new campaign for snowboarding company Quiksilvers sponsorship of the Winter X-Games on ESPN with an unconventionally wry approach inspired by the goofy aesthetics of ?60s vintage beach movies.

The spots were conceived by the recently formed creative shop 72 and Sunny (located in El Segundo, CA and Amsterdam) and features snowboarding champs Todd Richards and Danny Kass. Using intentionally obvious rear screen projection of a mountain side, the two guys trade jibes while pretending to descend the slope. Cutaways show the pair performing real stunts.

In one spot, Richards chides the 20-year-old Kass, saying ?when I graduated high school, you were in the fourth grade, to which Kass responds, ?Then you knew my dad. In another spot, Richards flaunts the medals he wears around his neck, only to be one-upped by Kass who pulls a huge trophy out of his pants.


For Wittenmeir, the laid back humor and faux low-tech approach is meant to set the spots apart from previous X-Games ads. ?In the past, the approach has often involved heavily edited extreme sports footage over a heavy metal track, he said. ?We wanted to do something that worked against that with an attitude that used humor and brought out the personalities of the athletes in a way that hasnt been done before.

Wittenmeir shot the real snowboarding sequences at Californias Mammoth Mountain and the dialogue sequences on a sound stage. For the latter, he set up a rear projection system with a 35mm movie projector, mimicking the technique used to shoot surfing sequence in beach movies forty years ago. 

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