Night Fury



Night Fury is a fictional snowboard short film, shot almost entirely at night, in Japan’s Niseko Back country.

Burton’s Nick Brown and Connor Harding join up with Red Bull rider Jacob Koia in a battle against the elements and evil.
The Evil snow phantom has lured them in with his back country traps, built to excite the three riders and take their mind off the ever present danger.
Directed and Produced by Heath Patterson
Shot by Heath Patterson and Ben Ryan
Edited by Heath Patterson
Intro track: ‘8th of November’ by Goldwave
from Brightmind catalogue
Main track: ‘Demon’ by Shapeshifter’s DJ SAMBORA
Sound Effects: Mike Koenig
Motion Graphics: Lindsay Horner ( )
Shadow Puppet Intro: Heath Patterson, Jess Bell, and the voice of Kenji Fukushima

Sponsors Include








I’m looking at doing something a bit different from my recent work, steering away from the documentary style film edit, toward something with a story line. This February Myself, Ben Ryan, Nick Brown, Jake Koia, Connor Harding and Billy Hayman are heading to Japan to film an all night snowboarding film with a slightly fictional storyline.

I’ve always enjoyed being outside at night, wether it be hunting, fishing, skating or snowboarding, it’s always felt better to be out and amongst it at that time of the day.

Last year we filmed an entire episode of Japan Journals at night. There was lot of hard work involved to get the shots and a really tight budget which limited how much lighting  we could take out with us.  Myself and professional snowboarder, Nick Brown have been discussing what we would do if we were to try it again.







I started to think about involving a storyline, it needed to be something captivating and different but not so different that friends/sponsors would think I’d lost my shit. Then I started to think about what was memorable when I was a kid, what videos, video parts were the ones that stuck in my mind?

A skateboarding fim by Birdhouse called ‘THE END’’ immediately came to mind.


Steve Berra’s part as most of the skater’s parts in the video don’t end so well. Some of them are killed or knocked out, they get blown up, and catch on fire.  It’s an older film and I couldn’t really remember much of the skating in it but I did remember the intro/outro’s and themes.


Another case of adding something else to the action sports is the intro sequence to Lakia’s ‘Fully Flared’.   In this case its very obvious that we’re all just big kids, but how good does that look, seeing something blow up around a character or involve fire or some other substance that’s not typically seen in these situations.

With these examples and out destination in mind it gives you a little idea of what I’m about to get into.

My friend Ben Ryan is coming onboard as second camera and to help me make this film unique.  My other friend Chris Thompson and Ben are the guys behind SYRP. Chris has been working on some new motion control devices, and other helpful tools to add some interesting ideas and angles to the film.

Thanks to Paul, Jay and the others at Burton for backing the project and all the help along the way.

Brendon at Redbull

Djan and the crew at Rhythm Snow sports, Niseko

Ben and Chris at SYRP

and our guy on the ground in Japan, Rob Thompson.

We beging filming ‘NIGHTFURY’ on the 1st of February



We arrived into Tokyo on the 1st of March and it was all go.  There’s no way to escape the masses once you’re here, we were re-awakened by the craziness, starting off with the train ride to Ikebukuro.


_Z2A8337Jake after the long haul


We opted for the easy way out this time and got on the bullet train, I had 3 large bags, a camera bag and computer bag and was carrying over 70kg’s of luggage. The others were also carrying their fair share of weight and bags, making the JR line too much work with it’s clogged carriages of sleeping face mask wearing Tokyo commuters.

_Z2A8344Luggage for days


We got straight into it. Shinjuku, Shibuya, and Harajuku were the locations we had in mind, and we were testing out the new body mount that Chris from SYRP and myself had put together. I had an idea of what I wanted, and It came together pretty well. It’s been good working with mates, they are keen to help and have really got involved.



Nick strapped up with the doodle cam

Ben and myself have been busy time lapsing and shooting the night in Tokyo as that will play a part in the intro also. Late nights and long days take it out of you but I feel we got everything we needed and more.


Shinjuku from up high


Humanoid Robots, these things are the old versions apparently, fully mobile, with advanced recognition functions


Jake checking out some robot anatomy

_Z2A0459View of the base of the Tokyo Sky tree, tallest building in the world.

_Z2A0472Connor and Jake hard at work, while the SYRP  Genie powers on in the back ground.




So we’ve been filming the past few nights for Night Fury.

Luggin 80 kg’s of lighting, a generator, 290m of extension cables, light stands etc into the Niseko Backcountry can be hard, but once again the crew worked well together. It took roughly 2 hours to setup on the first night, but the outcome was worth it and we soon had an idea of what we could and couldn’t shoot in terms of light._Z2A0509Browna rigging the lighting system in our Homac parking lot workshop




I hoped that the lighting would be able to light up a large area, what I got on the first night, while only plugging in 9 of the 10 lights, was far better than I’d imagined. After all I had never seen the the lights we were using till we got to Niseko.


_Z2A0620Our first pillow session


The light’s were using are 200w LED flood lights. I was sceptical at first. What it came down to was that we could run ten 200w LED’s on one 2500w generator. The other option was we’d have to buy a generator for every two 1000w metal Halide lights, not an option I was keen on.

_Z2A0567Connor and Browna, after the long haul in


Roadside Riding is pretty good in Niseko. The mountain passes in and around the Niseko area have a lot of  features for us to hit, the area has good natural lines and jump spots, the vertical isn’t much as they’re not mountains, but there is an assortment of various types of back country features.

_Z2A0632Jake eyeing up our next landing, another Niseko roadside feature



Jake, aka Danny Brown, prior to takeoff.





We’ve been amongst the night for a while now.

Energy is depleting and motivation is dying, but we’re almost there. It feels like we never rest.

There is something very different about filming and living at night, the most obvious factor is the lack of sun and daylight. We see natural light for about 2 hours everyday and most of that time we’re hustling to get up to the next location before dark. It’s a constant struggle and the work has taken it’s toll on the riders.

Billy Hayman Blew his shoulder out on his first run before filming at Hirafu ski resort.

Jake has most likely broken his knee and rolled his ankle



Connor is the most recent victim to ‘Night Fury’.  He was in search of a fresh landing off one of our jumps two nights ago, and found it, just before ploughing into a tree. He came off lucky with a seriously swollen thigh. He’s very lucky he didn’t brake his Femur or worse.


Connor speeding toward the tree


The view from the top of Connor’s tree jump


So it’s just Nick Brown and myself left now. We’ve had Nick Hyne and Mahi Mains come along on some of the recent shoots so that Browna has someone to ride with. Mahi and Nick are bringing a bit more energy to the shoots, and it’s been fun to film with them.


Mahi Mains is getting amongst the darkness


Browna’s still ticking along. The sole focus is to get the riding shots we need now. The story has been filmed, and is looking pretty good. Killing the riders off has been the most fun we’ve had so far. We’ve been using the cable cam a little and some other ideas to produce a real feel to the horror that is’ Night Fury’.


Browna don’t scare easily



Browna’s face says it all,  5 Mush at midnight, time for Red Bull





Yote and the sun. A good time for 7/11 snacks/dinner

We made it!  Well, Nick Brown and myself made it without serious injuries. Browna got lucky a few times and I have frostbite about a cm of my big toe but will get that sorted once back in New Zealand.


Browna, the last of the 4, heading nowhere to look at nothing. This is how it starts most nights when the snow conditions turn bad.


Browna broke the jump

Black Diamond Tours showed us a few locations around Niseko. I wish the snow had been better in the last week so we could have checked out their newer locations, they’ve really got it dialled in and around Niseko. One of the zones we were taken to had a few good jump spots, so we spent a couple of nights up there. Things got a little sketchy toward the end. After it snowed over a metre in 2 nights, everything began to release. Not the sort of thing you want to be worrying about at 2am with limited visibility.


Been on trail of some Foxes, they’re not co-operating.


All Dead