Anyone slightly bored with ski movies that show endless stunning (at least at first) footage, while lacking any sort of compelling story? I see a few hands raised. Indeed, more than a few.
Appearing to take note of such trends on the part of their (maturing?) audience, the new-school ski film industry is including more compelling humanity in their flicks. There was always a “story that was missing. It is important to have the athletes talking,” says Matchstick Productions tour manager Steve Wight, in describing their latest film, “The Hit List.”
“The East Coast-based Meatheads aren’t known for putting together films with lots of brainpower, their stuff tends toward more raw ski bum focus, i.e., beers and boards. But their film Epoch really shows a new and more respectful side of the Meatheads…an epic tale that encompasses a tremendous amount of influential ski history,” one reviewer wrote about Meathead Production’s film “Epoch.”
And then, Tangerine Dream:
This story is about the origins of the Teton Gravity Research cash generation machine, “founded by documenting outlaw athletes and the ragged lifestyle that has kept this posse’s dream and way of life alive. This vagabond story will take you through the lifestyle of skiing and the passion that continues to change the face of the sport” reads the promo copy for Teton Gravity Research’s Tangerine Dream.
Of course, a mob of ski flick wannabes is still out there with their cams pointed in every direction like a bunch of city breed elk hunters on their first hunt, shooting people turning (or not turning) then stringing clips together and adding who-knows-what music. But they’re now only part of the mix.
Nice to see a little variation on the theme. In my view, it’s tougher to write and tell a good story than it is to ski it — though something visual helps. Shakespeare had that one figured out. Props to those who bear up to the challenge.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.