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Archive for September, 2008

Watch Picker

Posted by Neil Hartmann on September 30, 2008

The Hokkaido Fashion Web was nice enough to include me in a watch feature that was featured on the web site from 9/26 Check it out here.

I choose my Nike+ sports band to introduce of course. Still having a blast with that system, in fact I have a challenge going on with 4 other people in Tokyo including designer Etsu. We are neck and neck right now at 60klm each, but there is still a month left. It is getting harder to run everyday now as the weather gets colder! I am thinking of getting a pair of cross country skis to replace the running in the winter! Will try to keep running until the end of October.

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The North Face slide show

Posted by Neil Hartmann on September 30, 2008

About a month ago I sat down and made a special slideshow for The North Face. You can now watch the slide show along with two others by Tochi Sato and Ali on the SBN web site. They have a section with digital on line catalogs from most of the major snow brands in Japan. This year the North Face decided to just present this slide show image instead of the on line catalog. The music is an original piece by my old friend from right here in Sapporo Kuniyuki. Check out the slide show here. Or go to the SBN web page for all the digital catalogs here.
A couple of frame grabs from the slide show. If your bandwidth is not so large you might have a slow connection when viewing. In a day or so I will try to put this slide show up on YouTube as well.

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New project on deck

Posted by Neil Hartmann on September 29, 2008

The rumored about, Burton AK movie has finally hit my editing desk! This weekend started working on the first rough cut of the promo movie for Burton Japan. Uemura and Takamasa came by on Saturday and again today to help with the editing process. We started with about a little more than an hour of footage and now have in down to 13 minutes. The footage was all shot on a Sony HD camera, beautiful stuff. When finished it is going to be a cool piece, will keep you posted as to where you will be able to get a copy.

Some new Volcom gear came in recently including this sweatshirt. Walked into the restaurant wearing the mask like that, staff didn’t think it was too funny. Don’t wear that sweatshirt into a bank unless you want to see the inside of a Japanese prison.

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Business cards

Posted by Neil Hartmann on September 27, 2008

After over ten years without a business card I finally caved into the global pressure and had a few hundred made for me by Etsu! Now that I have them I am looking forward to giving a few away! Had a chance yesterday, but I actually forgot to take some with me when I left the house. Will be hard to get into the habit of carrying cards again, it has been a long time!

Check out my job title! “Multi-Tool”

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More snow shots

Posted by Neil Hartmann on September 26, 2008

More snow shots in my inbox this morning! Wish I was out there checking it out myself!
First shot from Nakagawa Shinya who is out near Asahidake for his guide schooling course right now. This shot is from the area above the gondola station at the top. Quite a bit of snow there!

Next shot from Key Photo who was out in Tokachi area for a photo shoot. Amazing fall colors at the high elevation there! Great shots guys, thanks!

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A new standard

Posted by Neil Hartmann on September 25, 2008

I think we set a new standard for Sapporo snowboard movie showings two night ago!  The Car Danchi 3 premium showing at Moerenuma park inside the glass pyramid was even better than I had hoped!  Thanks to everyone who turned out, really great crowd.  A lot of people I have known over the years showed up and it was nice to feel the support from the home crowd!  The location was fantastic, the band Music Wave put on a nice performance at sunset for about 40 minutes before the movie.  Their music seemed to fit perfectly with the location.  Also thanks to Key Photo for the great slide shows before and after the movie.  That really helped set the mood along with the DJing from Sebastien!  Sold quite a few DVD’s and t-shirts and everyone seemed real happy on the way out, so I going to call it a big success!

The above shot is at the beginning of the film, the camera picking up a little light left in the sky just afte 6 pm.

A closer view and below the crowd. Thanks to Imamu Noguchi for designing such a nice park and pyramid before he passed away, r.i.p.

Already looking forward to next years showing, hopefully we can use this spot again.  If you don’t want to wait until next year, you can check out the Icon 6 premier coming up at the same location on 10/11!  Thank again for coming!

Now for another announcement! Car Danchi 3 will be showing together with Icon 6 on 10/13 in Furano! This was just decided a few days ago, thanks to Kenya-san for the invitation! So if you are living out that way or further easy come and join us for an evening of powder and freeriding both snowboard and ski! Check the image below for more details!

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First snow!

Posted by Neil Hartmann on September 25, 2008

I am getting reports of Hokkaido’s first snow of the season!  Including this great photo of Yotei from Ideapark in Niseko!  Thanks Eriko!  

This came on the night of the Car Danchi 3 showing at Moerenuma park 9/23 so I am taking that as a good sign for this winter!

More about the event later!

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Osaka style.

Posted by Neil Hartmann on September 23, 2008

Back in Sapporo after a crazy week of events and action on the main island!  After a few days chilling with the family it was back to Tokyo for the premier of Burton’s new movie, “It’s always snowing somewhere”.  I hosted the premier at the Burton store in Harajuku for an invitation crowd of about 120 people.  Special guests were Tadashi and Kazu two of Japans greatest snowboarders.

After a few drinks and a little sleep it was time to get on the bullet train and head to Osaka!  I snapped this picture of a typical Japanese “Danchi” on the way.

Continuing to practice my bullet train shots.  

Shinsaibashi area in Osaka.  Do you think they could pack a few more signs or stores on this street?

The Burton store in Osaka was to host for the second showing of the movie.  Great store they have in Osaka, two huge floors, tons of stuff.  They sell Al Merrick surf boards there as well.  Worth a trip to check it if you are in the area.  There are a lot of classic photos on display as well as some very old snowboards.  Apparently they are replicas and not the real thing… but cool to see.

Time for lunch in Osaka.  Went to the famous Hokkyokusei in Shinsaibashi.  This is the birth place of the Omrice or Rice Omelette.  

Mino eating some chicken with his Omrice.

We did a showing of Car Danchi at Osaka’s biggest sports store Spotaka right on the Dotonbori river. They has an amazing location.  We were set to do the showing on the roof where this photo was taken.  Check out the view!  This is said to be one of the dirtest rivers in Japan, but when the city’s baseball team wins the league title all the fans come down here to jump in the river to celebrate!  I was right there when it happened 5 years ago after 40 years of no wins.  It was an amazing night!

Anyway it rained on the 21st for a few hours and that forced us to hold the showing of the movie on the first floor of the building.  Probably worked out for the best as a lot of people were coming in and watching the movie, people who probably would not have made it to the roof.  So thanks to the Spotaka crew for a nice set up, hopefully we can make it back next year for another showing!

Thanks to everyone who came out to the events in Osaka, both Burton and Car Danchi.  The Osaka hospitality was awesome as usual!  Lots of good food, drink and talk.  When do you people sleep?

Posted in Car Danchi, Events, Stores and Shops | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Russian trip goes online!

Posted by Neil Hartmann on September 20, 2008

The trip to Russia that I did late July is now available online for viewing! and Detz did a great job with this one.  Lots of stuff to look at.  The main story focuses on Paul Mittleman, a designer for Stussy. The article itself is in both English and Japanese.  Plus there are three slide shows separate from the main story.  Two are my photos from the trip and one is Paul’s view of Russia.  His photos are great and be sure to read the captions he put on each photo!  They are classic!  Was a real pleasure to meet Paul on that trip and I think you will enjoy his views of Russia.

Go to the feature page of and find this image to enter the story.

Here is a shot from my slide show of the trip. We rode the subways a lot in Moscow and I love the amazing architecture.  Every station was different, some with art paintings, some with statues, some with simple modern design.  This station was great with all the round lights above and the curved railing.  I could have spent a few days just wandering around the subways shooting underground!

The following shots are actually from Hiroshi or maybe Paul’s camera.  This museum was super strict about “no photos.”  There was an overweight middle-aged ex KGB lady walking around making sure nobody was taking photos.  I walked in with my huge Nikon D2x around my neck and was immediately marked!  Hiroshi and Paul were snapping off pictures with their small Ricoh GR’s trying to be subtle.  Even with the small cameras they got caught and the fat lady started screaming and yelling in Russian.  That didn’t stop those guys, they just went to another display section and kept on shooting!  After that Museum I realized every pro needs a small-sized pocket camera in the arsenal.

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Premium Preview announcement!

Posted by Neil Hartmann on September 18, 2008

I sent out this official announcement about the Car Danchi movie showing on the 23rd.  Thought I would post again here on the blog.

Any Snowboarding/Winter lovers out there?  Looking for a little preseason inspiration?  Come join me and the Car Danchi crew for an evening of winter entertainment!  A special one time only showing of the new release from One Films, “Car Danchi 3″ will be held on 9/23 (Tuesday holiday) at Moerenuma Park.  Produced right here in Hokkaido, the Car Danchi series features some of Japan’s best powder freeriding footage and winter lifestyle commentary.  Come and watch the movie for free on the big screen inside the famous glass pyramid designed by one of Japans legendary artists Isamu Noguchi.

Live performance from “Music Wave,” musicians featured on the soundtrack to the movie, starts at 5:00 pm followed by the movie showing at 6:00 pm.  We will also be selling limited copies of the Car Danchi series at discounted prices as well as the ultra limited Car Danchi 3 T-shirts.  Buy a T-shirt and receive a free pair of Volcom sunglasses!

Come spend the day at one of Hokkaido’s best parks and help celebrate the beginning of the snow season.  Hope to see you all there and remember winter is more fun if you play in the snow!

For a map to the park visit the following web site.

Now check out the new sound system that is going to be blasting the day of the event.  Decided to buy instead of renting one this time.  So look for top quality sound at all future showings and events by One Films.  I picked up 800 watts of Yamaha power, and look forward to testing it out!!

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