Adventures in Lockdown

Philipp Klein Herrero soars to new heights by shredding imaginary mountains

Stop Motion Ski Movie

Philipp Klein Herrero inspired a movement of stop motion adventures from home.

Philipp Klein Herrero would love to relax, but his active mind won’t allow it. “Let me put it this way,” he says. “I love relaxing and doing nothing at all, but I never have time to do that.” The skier/CrossFit enthusiast/filmmaker/photographer/guitar player/sales planner is always coming up with a new project or finessing an old one. While it doesn’t allow much time to lay around, it certainly comes in handy during a pandemic. 

Klein Herrero’s stop motion project, Freeride Skiing at Home, recreates his favorite sport with a few white sheets and a lot of imagination. The film was a hit at Ottawa Adventure Film Festival (OAFF)’s first From the Couch event. It was a natural choice to kick off a screening that, under different circumstances, would have happened in a theatre. 

Viewers from all walks of life could appreciate the spirit of the film: Making the most out of canceled plans. 

The video was something Klein Herrero created after having to miss a family ski trip, something he looks forward to every year. 

stop motion ski film

@coral_travel24 gets in on the #inspiredbyphilippklein hashtag.

“I was about to jump on the bus. I had all the bags packed, all the cameras were loaded, everything was ready,” he says. “I could have jumped on that bus. But I was seeing that the situation was getting crazier and crazier by the minute, so I decided not to leave… The problem was that I’m pretty much obsessed about skiing, and mountains, and adventure.”

While he had never done stop motion animation before, sports and photography have always gone hand in hand for Klein Herrero. And he needed something to fill the mountainous void in his schedule.

“I think what defines me most would be just not being scared to try things,” he says. “Whenever I see something I think I could like, I try it. And then I get obsessed with it and I don’t stop until I think I get good enough at it.” 

The goal with Freeride Skiing at Home, Klein Herrero says, was to channel his disappointment into something joyful. “I wanted to share a happy message with my friends and my family because they were all far away.”

The film got a lot of attention, inspiring others to innovate and do their favorite activities at home.

“For me, one of the greatest things about my work was that pretty soon after people started doing the same kind of video,” he says. “And it was really fun because they started a hashtag on Instagram: #inspiredbyphilippklein.”

Stop Motion Ski Film

@annarenard hikes from home

The hashtag has almost 200 spirited entries to date, from hiking at home to deep-sea diving. One creative rock climber even scales the front of her house. Klein Herrero is flattered and excited by the response.

“[It is] really amazing, really inspiring to see that something I came up with that was in my head ended up making other people do something, spending their time and having a laugh… Because that’s where my idea came from.”

It’s projects like this that helped the team at OAFF push forward. When a man can ski on his living room floor, hosting an online film festival seems like a cakewalk.

Watching Klein Herrero become a viral inspiration with his first attempt at an art form, one can’t help but feel a little self-conscious about all those reruns of The Office. But, with the pandemic stretching farther into the future than we expected, maybe it the time for small and joyful projects. This was never about going viral, it was about making the most out of the time and resources available in unfamiliar circumstances.

Stop Motion Ski Movie

@mattheww00 creatively re-makes his office from home.

For the everyday slog of it all, here’s a guide to keeping busy with Philipp Klein Herrero:

Go-To Meal: Cereal Bowls. “I started doing these big bowls with cereals and yogurt and fruit and everything inside it. It became the highlight of my morning… and since then I haven’t stopped.”

Go-To Workout: Online CrossFit classes. “It changed everything. It’s not the same training alone with no one looking… if you slack off there’s a coach that says ‘come on Philipp!’ And that helps a lot.”

Go-To Music: Philipp saves music for introspective activities, like editing photos or doing project management at his day job. “I listen to a lot of music… [my] favorite band is Pink Floyd which is maybe a little old.”

Enjoy Philipp’s short film below: