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By: Robert Janis

Unreal Is Optimum Word for Mountains and Mud Part IV





If you are a real enthusiast of the wild riding of ATVs in snow, over rocks, and in mountains and mud bogs, then you are familiar with the extreme riding videos called Mountains & Mud. Produced by Tahoe Films, Swan Valley, Montana, there have been three installments of the heart thumping series. Well, you better be ready for installment number four.

This could very well be wilder than the first three. ATV extreme riding is caught on video in beautiful scenery in regions of British Columbia and Alberta, Canada; and Montana, Utah, California and Texas in the U.S.

Producer and cinematographer Thomas Opre, who also is the owner of Tahoe Films, was determined that he would do number IV while still doing number III. “I decided to take the Mountain and Mud Series into a slightly new direction,” said Opre. “I mixed in four different rider features which include CMR and PSR National Champion mud racer Seth Russell, CMR and PSR National Women’s Champion Maggie Robertson, extreme rock quad crawler and ATVobsession founder Ken Hower, and mountain rider and Arctic Cat dealer Rory Roberge from British Columbia.” A total of about 30 riders participated in the project.

Roberge said of the project, “Filming is definitely a slower pace to the day than our normal riding as we have to wait to set up for each shot. However, when the camera is rolling, you certainly give it all you got. For me, it is a normal day of riding with someone there to capture all the craziness that normally goes on. It is quite exhausting as Thomas is usually on a tight schedule. So, to get all the footage for our segment, we go hard for two or three days straight from dawn to dusk.”

Ken Hower said, “Mountains and Mud IV is the third time we’ve been filmed by Thomas, and this one by far is the most incredible stuff we’ve caught on film. Visually, the Rubicon is stunning, but the sizes of the rocks are unforgiving. Thomas captures for ATV riders not only something they normally don’t see or do, but they also see the full capability of these machines as they are pushed to their absolute limit. You will see us definitely exceed the manufacturer’s limits of angle of climb and descent!”

Russell concluded, “Filming Mountains and Mud with Thomas was in a word “awesome.” He is an absolute professional at what he does.”

Opre has more than 20-years experience as a film maker. He started Tahoe Films in 1990. The original mission of the company was to produce national TV spots, dealer films and large, complicated national print photo campaigns for clients that included Bombardier, Sea-Doo and Ski-Doo, Arctic Cat, Polaris, Jeep, Ford Motorsports and more. “After moving to Montana from Florida in 1998-99, I decided to film some action stuff on my off-time,” explained Opre. “Eventually it morphed into the Extreme Velocity series of films--Sled Heads and Mountains & Mud.

He recruits his riders through word of mouth and networking among the various ATV websites and rider groups. He markets his videos on ATV forums and at YouTube.com. “Our page has more than 1 million views,” said Opre. The videos -- Mountains & Mud I, II, III and IV are available online at Tahoe Films (http://www.tahoefilms.com) and at local ATV dealerships. The videos are distributed by Impact Video and High Lifter in the U.S. and by Platinum in Canada.

The Mountains & Mud videos are the only 4x4 quad and side-by-side film series in the world, said Opre. “There are no sports quads here. We are building this genre of film from the ground up.” Mountains and Mud I, II, and III have been nominated for Extremey Awards for the Best Quad Film.

See a trailer of Mountains & Mud IV at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAs_ONTmnyA


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