Tamashii in Japan, via Disposable Camera

By: admin December 21, 2015

Filmer Jasper Newton packed a super high-tech disposable camera with him on the Tamashii Project’s trip to Japan last season, and when he wasn’t busy flying his drone or shooting with a much nicer video camera, he snapped these poignant images on film to document the trip.

“Disposable cameras are extremely quick to capture an image,” says Jasper. “Getting those prints after a long trip make you feel like you captured genuine moments that an iPhone or a digital camera seem to oversee or miss. And who doesn’t like that grain and accidental film burns?”

There’s something about photos on film that continues to captivate, even in—and partially because of—an age flooded with digital media. There’s just something about having only a select few frames to work with—the resulting images seem much more intimate than a memory card full of careless digital attempts. Film forces you to choose your shots wisely, and appreciate what you end up with – film burn, grain and all.

I got to join the Tamashii crew—Jasper, Ross Reid, Andy Mahre, Shannon Mahre-Skouras, Karl Fostvedt and Anna Segal—for the last few weeks of their 2-month pilgrimage to Japan last season, and get an inside look at their innovative film project, which is now available for purchase online. Their premise was this: disconnecting from social media in an attempt to re-discover older, deeper connections with places and with each other.

Tamashii takes a surprisingly honest and well-contemplated look at the increasing role of social media and digital connections in our lives. I will admit that my communication with Jasper to link up with the crew was entirely via Facebook—maybe that’s me he’s running off to message in the scene in the film when Jasper gets to play the bad guy addicted to social media (more likely it was a girl, though). But once I was on the ground with the crew, it was quite refreshing to be together with a group that was thinking more about just being together than about tonight’s Instragram post.

Though the concept might sound cliché, if not outright hypocritical–for a film that’s being sold online and promoted through social media—Tamashii is not a superficial take on the subject matter, and anyway, it’s a film that speaks exactly to this connected online audience. Tamashii takes its time to explore its topic, delving for deeper truths about the nature of our connections, while leaving plenty of space for a copious bounty of Japan powder shots.

Even if you don’t go in for the social-media musings, this movie is worth a watch judged on its ski shots alone. Jasper and Ross serve up enough class-A dreamy deep-pow footage for three movies, while the skiers do more than their part: Andy Mahre with a veteran’s experience in front of the camera, slopestyle-skier-turned-powderhound Anna Segal stepping up her game in a serious way, and Karl Fostvedt? Well, he unleashes the Krazy Karl. Though this film is more than ski porn, it’s capable of times at beating the ski-porn movies at their own game.

I’ve got thousands of digital photos on my hard drive shot during the weeks we spent skiing together—but somehow, these select few photos from Jasper’s disposable camera seem to tell the story better, with more emotion and feeling. Maybe next time I’ll leave the camera kit at home and just pack a few disposables.