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Mammoth Mountain’s Mascot Woolly Returns (Interview)

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GREGG
BLANCHARD
       

You see that button on the top right corner of the page called “contribute”? Yesterday, Stephen Krcmar, Mammoth Mountain’s Social Media Manager used that link to let me know about a video series they put out just recently.

Using the beloved Mammoth mascot “Woolly” and his new friend “Bear”, they were looking for a fun way to illustrate the summer activities that a lot of Mammoth skiers and riders don’t realize exist at the mountain. Among other things, these clever videos are what they came up with.

Before we get to the interview, here are the two videos Stephen passed along:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WdAWWHPzUg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NoUWD7JneTc

SlopeFillers: Great videos, I’d love to hear more about how the idea came about to make them.
Stephen: Years ago, an employee had an idea to do a campaign using bears and the general jist of “Bears sleep all winter, so they can play all summer.” We never did anything with it and this summer we decided to use it. I offered to manage the project, wrote a script, assembled the team, shot, rewrote the script after the first day of full shooting and went from there.

SlopeFillers: Had you made videos like this before?
Stephen: Not really. Early in my college days I did some video work at the School for the Museum in Fine Arts. Years later, I returned to Boston and completed an MFA in screenwriting at Emerson College and my thesis was a screenplay. In LA, some of my friends make shorts and sometimes help them with the script. Also, I love film and video and was even a judge at a small film festival in Nevada City, California.

SlopeFillers: Who made the videos (in house or hired out) and how long did it take?
Stephen: A talented director in LA named Graham Suorsa. He was referred to us by one of his former business partners. He came up July 4th weekend and shot them in three days (1 marathon day and two half-days). He delivered new videos almost weekly after that. Our crew was only five people: Graham, myself and three actors.

SlopeFillers: What distribution methods have you used to get the videos in front of the eyes of those you hope to see on your golf course and mountain bike trails?
Stephen: We’ve utilized Twitter, Facebook, our forums and our email database. We are also embedding them on our website.

SlopeFillers: What kind of response have your seen from the videos?
Stephen: People are stoked for the most part. A lot of our customers grew up coming to Mammoth and Woolly has a soft spot in their heart. So they like seeing him. Even new customers love him. Skiing with him or hanging out with Woolly is like hanging out with a well-loved rock star. Everyone wants photos with him. The night we were shooting him at the nightclub, we even had a few Marines in dress blues approach him for photos and they even offered to buy him a beer, an offer that was repeated many times that night.

SlopeFillers: Any plans to use Wolly and Bear in similar videos this winter?
Stephen: Winter? We’re just starting to strategize for winter, but we haven’t had that discussion yet. :)



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