Director Eric Crosland and the
creators of “Into the Mind” and “All.I.Can” apply their wizardry as extreme
filmmakers to a commercial celebrating those who take on winter’s greatest

Los Angeles— The majesty
and the brutality of winter is captured in awe-inspiring fashion in a new
national ad campaign for RAM Trucks. Directed by Eric Crosland of Sherpas
Cinema for The Richards Group, High
is an homage to avalanche techs and highway crews who work to keep
mountain roads passable for all including athletes in the face of dense snow,
blinding winds and bone-chilling cold. Trucks equipped with snow plows blast
through six-foot drifts; helicopter crews use explosives to trigger massive
avalanches. “You are the right-of-way,” intones Sam Elliott in the voice-over.
“You are a 6.4 liter abominable snowman with ice in your veins.” The spot
employs the tagline, “Guts. Glory. RAM.”
Directors Rob Baker and Jimmy Bonner of The Richards Group were introduced to
the Sherpas last fall and they  immediately
began exploring ways of employing the breathtaking production techniques used
in the Sherpas’ award-winning adventure films All.I.Can and Into the Mind for
RAM. “Jimmy and I talked with Eric even before we had a script,” recalls Baker.
“We were looking to do more than create a great 30-second spot; we wanted to
create something that would cause viewers to say bad words for good reasons. We
wanted to produce content that would disrupt the category, content that people
would want to share through social media.”
“The concept
came together in a very collaborative and organic way,” adds Crosland. “Rob
Baker is an incredible writer and wrote terrific copy; that inspired me to come
back with a visual treatment.”
Eventually, they
focused on telling the story of winter road crews, avalanche techs and the
people and athletes who need access to the snow for adventure. That story offered
unique dramatic possibilities, Baker notes, and provided a way to highlight the
capabilities of RAM truck (which has a gas-powered hemi engine) and include
some of the spectacular athletic feats for which Sherpas Cinema is famous. “We hoped
to pay tribute to the everyday heroics of the people who overcome enormous
obstacles to keep roads passable so that other people can get to work or pursue
their recreational activities,” Baker says.
The production
of the commercial involved a variety of mountain locations in Canada. The avalanches
were created and shot live in British Columbia and Alberta.  Opening the commercial is an aerial image
showing a valley of clouds girdling white-capped mountain peaks. That was shot from
a helicopter equipped with a time-lapse camera. “We were in the helicopter with
a Cineflex camera mounted to the nose, moving extremely slowly in a straight
line,” Crosland recalls. “That created the illusion that the clouds are moving toward
the camera in thick, undulating waves.”
The commercial
also features shots of extreme skiers and an incredible shot of X Games Gold
medalist Heath Frisby performing a show-stopping backflip on a snowmobile while
vaulting over a snowplowing truck. Among the more memorable images is the face
of a real-life Canadian highway worker conducting traffic in blizzard and high
avalanche conditions. “He’s worked as a sign man for 40 years,” notes Crosland,
“and he actually drives a RAM truck—with a pair of coffee makers built into the
dashboard. He adds an authentic backwoods flavor to the commercial.”
“Winters in
North America can be incredibly harsh, but they are also beautiful,” Crosland adds.
“I wanted to capture the loneliness of winter. You sense the emotion of the
dead of winter in the overcast skies and a sign blowing in the wind.”
The ability of
the Sherpas to capture unique and inspiring visuals under the most challenging conditions
impressed Baker. “They’re Canadian Yetis,” he says. “They know the terrain, the
weather and how to capture the beauty of landscapes in stunning ways.”
Baker also
credited The Richards Group Executive Broadcast Producer Paul Nelson and the
production team for managing the production’s complex logistics. “Despite all
of the complications of weather and travel, they managed to get the right
trucks, the right gear and the right people where they had to be when they had
to be there,” he notes. “Those guys deserve a ton of credit for the spot’s
Crosland and Sherpas
Cinema also handled the post production work for the spot. The original score
was composed by Jacob Yoffee, who also wrote the score to the Sherpa’s feature Into the Mind. “It was inspired by
Mongolian folk songs,” Crosland notes. “It includes samples of chanting and
traditional Mongolian stringed instruments mixed with dub step and electronic
“Working with the Sherpas made us
better” concludes Baker.   “We had an enormous goal that the Sherpas pulled
off even beyond our huge expectations. Those guys crushed it every single day. We are in awe
of how good they are.”
The Sherpas Cinema are repped in the
US by Accomplice
, Jeff Snyder  and Mel Gragido, executive
Titles:              High
Client:              RAM Trucks
Agency:           The Richards Group, Dallas. Rob Baker and Jimmy Bonner,
creative directors.
Production:      Sherpas Cinema.  Eric Crosland, director; Eric Crosland, David Mossop and
Stefan Van Borbely, directors of photography, Malcolm Sangster, producer.
Editorial:         Sherpas Cinema. Eric Crosland, David
Mossop and Jay Macmillan, editors.
Music:             Jacob Yoffee
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