.: Ski XCOttawa.ca :: Skiing in Ottawa and Gatineau Park

xczone.tv Winter 2009 Interview
By:  Craig Storey   (2008/12/14)


Q: xczone.tv has produced dozens of skiing related DVDs, ranging from fitness to technique to serious training and even a few feature films. What has been keeping you busy lately? 

A: Wow!  We have 43 concurrent high definition digital film projects that will likely be consolidated into a dozen DVDs for release in the next year. I have put together a teaser trailer, which you can download: 


We released three DVDs this year including a prenatal strength exercise video, a yoga program and the official Gatineau Loppet DVD to help skiers pre-visualize and motivate themselves for the race. 

xczone filmed hundreds of hours of skiing last year including local races, Canada Cups, World Cups and the only complete coverage of the Canadian Ski National Champion Championships on the 2010 Olympic Course. We captured children playing and more extreme stunt skiing. We have extensive footage of all the clubs in the National Capital District training. These images are going will support three new projects:

  • Advanced Nordic Skiing showing the best technique and fastest skiers in the World.
  • A video guide for the Nordic Skiing and Biathlon Long Term Athlete Development Model (LTAD); and a
  • Motivational Club DVD
The Core Strength for Runners and skiers is half finished. Expect it this spring. 

I have been working on an instructional Trail Running DVD for two years now and it is finally post production. I hope to be able to offer it when we are on the trails again in the spring.   

We are producing the digital preshows for Fortune Cinema.  If you go to the movies, people may recognize our work. 

We continue to follow Ray Zahab’s adventures and produce material in support of joint causes.

One of the most exciting lines of business is MotionlabHD. Lise and I spent last winter and our summer traveling all over Canada running, skiing and biking the coolest trails with a steadicam.  The result is smooth point-of-view experience for training on a treadmill or bike.  Shot entirely in HD, these are highly engaging adventures.  So much so the Canadian Space Agency contracted with xczone.tv for specific astronaut training programs.  This is a whole series of DVDs in standard and BlueRay.

The best footage will also make its way into a Film Festival compilation of clean oxygen fed sport. 

There are a couple top secret projects that I will wait before revealing. 

Outside of film making, we wrote a book on skiing and have released chapters on e-book from our web site www.xczone.com/material.htm 

Our other big initiative this year was to expand our coaching through www.naturalfitnesslab.com We have focused the practice around core competencies of trail running and Nordic skiing. There are about 300 adults of which 80 have signed up for the winter program which includes 3 group training sessions per week. Then the lab will be holding adult ski clinics for all levels and abilities this year. This weekend we have an Instructor Clinic and later in January the women on Skis clinic for Cross Country Canada. 


Q:  Any racing/filming plans this season? 

A. Yes.  We are training hard and racing.  I will be racing open men at nationals. I think our children who are now competitive junior racers have inspired us to re-engage with the racing scene.  The only problem now, as you likely know too, is that most of my competition is half my age. It takes constant work to ski contemporarily while skiing is evolving.  Although, I do see old technique resurfacing from time to time.  

Most of the film work we have to do this year is pick up shots and editing existing projects.  Stuff that we are looking for this season is:    

  • Photos average skiers;
  • Kids learning to ski, playing games and doing drills;
  • Core strength exercises
  • Roller ski stunts
  • Nordix
  • Free running
  • Plenty of PoV skiing and snowshoeing and winter running.
  • And a special skunkworks project


Q: With the Olympics coming up will you be following any Canadian athletes ahead of the Games?  Will you be at the Games? 

A. I am working at the Olympics but not in a filming capacity. There are heavy restrictions on Olympic Branding. No cameras other than CTV will be allowed on site and the athletes are not available for stories.  That’s ok because I have skiing from the Olympic site that will look a lot like the Games already.  If any Olympic athlete has time, we will do a promotional film for free…


Q: You've been running community programs for years.  Have seen the numbers increase and do you think skiing and 'natural fitness' are becoming more popular? 

A. Absolutely.  When I came to Ottawa and discovered the Gatineau Park there were no adventure races, trail running events or organized groups.  I ran alone most of the time.  Eventually I had to organized trail and adventure races instead of running in them. Now it is amazing. A critical mass of runners has developed. Adventure and ultra running has taken off. There can be as many as 80 people show up to one of our crazy trail runs.  My next project is to promote parcour, freerunning and winter trail runs. 

Interesting Reading. . .
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