Good things come to those who wait. We've been waiting for winter since summer ended and are so glad she's here. Early morning corduroy, skiing with friends, trying new tricks, and enjoying the outdoors are just the tip of the why-we-ski iceberg. I had the chance to tag along for a portion of the filming for this video and we had as much fun as it looks.
Skier: Corey Seemann Video: Michael Jezak
Stoked for winter? I am too. And what better way to sustain that stoke for the 65 days until Opening Day at Big Sky Resort than to catch as many ski and snowboard movies as possible this fall. Here's a look at my fall of 2014 favorites:
1) Matchstick Productions' Days of My Youth
Big Sky Resort will be at Days of My Youth premiere in Missoula Oct. 3 and Big Sky Oct. 18. Come say hi!
2) Jeremy Jones' Higher
Jeremy Jones has been blazing a snowboard documentary trail for five years now as he explores the limits of what big mountain freeride snowboarding means in Deeper (2010), Further (2012), and Higher (2014). Check out Higher in Bozeman on Oct. 9 and Missoula on Oct. 10.
3) Teton Gravity Research's Almost Ablaze
TGR continues to impress with film from athletes Angel Collinson, Dana Flahr, Ian McIntosh, and Sage Cattabriga Alosa. See it with Big Sky Resort Sept. 26 in Big Sky.
4) Warren Miller's No Turning Back
Anything Warren Miller produces hits close to home as he resides in Big Sky so much of the year. Just hearing that iconic voice of ski movies makes me want to ski. This year it's no different. Check out No Turning Back in Helena Oct. 24, Missoula Oct. 25, and Bozeman Oct. 26.
"Where are all the female skiers?" This is not a slam on the Big Sky Shootout (or on any female skiers, including myself), but a reminder that I am not just an observer in this community, I'm also a participant. With only one female skier on screen (Hannah Holst, who absolutely killed it with those ‘80s eyes and ripping turns), why didn't more of us ladies make movies for the first annual Big Sky Shootout? For me I think it was the time constraints, or my fear of the editing room, but mostly I didn't make a film because it did not even occur to me to make one. This stalwart mentality to age-old customs of female creative insecurity is inexcusable. Female or not, perhaps you're also kicking yourself over not making a film. Needless to say, I have nothing but respect for the four films, filmmakers, and riders as they put everything out there for us to mock, cheer, and vote for, and that takes guts. Lone Peak Cinema's first annual Big Sky Shootout sponsored by Big Sky Resort was so much fun to attend. The sense of camaraderie in the sold out theater enhanced each films' storytelling ability as they were our stories shown to us from our peers (except perhaps winning film "Higher Love," which I hope is no one's story). For those who didn't get a ticket in time or just want to watch great ski films again, here they are in order from fourth place to first. Revel in the guts, glory, and gooberish stories shot in seven days and edited in two.
4th Place: "Natural Born Doobies"
**This video contains explicit content (profanity)
3rd Place: "No Name Movie"
**The music in this video contains explicit content (profanity)
2nd Place: "Fra-Breeze"
1st Place: "Higher Love"
Love the Big Sky Terrain Parks? I do too, even if I can't hit many features. Here are a few facts and tidbits from our own terrain park expert, Nate Bell, Big Sky Resort's Terrain Park Manager:
How long have you worked at Big Sky Resort?
How many parks do we have now?
Eight terrain parks total. Three large, three medium, and two small parks.
What new features are you most excited to a) build and b) hit?
We just finished a new feature called a lollipop that has become a huge hit in Zero Gravity Terrain Park. I'm most excited to hit The Ambush Jump Line on the far left of Ambush below Ramcharger Lift. They are decent sized and really fun.
The Lollipop now in Zero Gravity Terrain Park.
What can last year's terrain park fans expect differently out of this year's parks?
A new look to all of our features and a massive feature count of more than 100.
Can we expect to see any pro or semi-pro athletes in the parks this year?
They are always around you just have to keep an eye out for them. Two days ago our park crew spotted Nicolas Müller a Swiss pro snowboarder lapping Zero Gravity.
If any athlete could come, who should come and why?
The Traveling Circus crew, because they travel the entire country but rarely to Montana.
What's your favorite feature and your favorite park?
The 42' up-down rail in Zero Gravity Terrain Park.
Check out the Smokin' Aces: Ace of Hearts Slopestyle competition on Saturday, March 8, starting around noon at the Zero Gravity Terrain Park.
As a new batch of ski and snowboard movies make their way across the country here's a glimpse of what's new, what's bound to be entertaining, and what to check out in the coming months even if they don't come to a tour stop nearby:
1) Into the Mind by Sherpas Cinema. This little-film-company-that-could releases its third feature film this fall, Into the Mind. Winning Powder Magazine's 2012 movie of the year with All.I.Can, Sherpas is one to watch for years to come. Bringing fresh stories, fresh lines, and beautiful cinematography, Into the Mind will blow yours away. Following an unnamed skier as he pursues the toughest terrain and as the viewer tackles the terrain of his psyche. Going into the mind of a skier isn't easy, but Into the Mind takes us there for better or worse.
2) McConkey by RedBull Media House and Matchstick Productions. If you're not a crier, you'll probably still cry. This movie left me in tears after seeing it at the Tribeca Film Festival in April. McConkeymovie.com calls it a "heartfelt examination of the legacy one athlete left to the progression of his sports." Although I agree with that tagline, it is so much more than that. Growing up watching Shane McConkey shred and just "ski down there and jump off of something" made this movie so much more personal than just an athlete leaving something behind. He has made us laugh, laugh harder, and now cry. Don't miss this one.
Valhalla as the film portrays and a drawing of the mythological Valhalla.
3) Valhalla by Sweetgrass Productions. Valhalla hails from Norse mythology. It is the majestic hall in Asgard ruled by Odin, the Allfather of the gods, synonymous with war, battle, victory, and death. He is the father of Thor. The movie's title derives from Norse mythology and the movie itself might make one think it's as bizarre as this mythological place, Valhalla. Following a man searching for his own Valhalla, the film promises to be vivid.
4) Way of Life by Teton Gravity Research. Skiing and snowboarding is more than a hobby, it's a way of life. Although this is the basic idea behind TGR's latest stoke flick, it's due to be much more than basic. Capturing a lifestyle of a culture by searching for how snow shapes a mountain and a person makes for a fascinating ski film subject. Plus, TGR just never disappoints.
5) Ticket to Ride by Warren Miller. Perhaps Miller unintentionally made shout outs to The Beatles (his 64th film, "Ticket to Ride" and legendary lines much like the mop tops themselves), but this Miller machine takes us to so many new places visually like The Beatles did aurally. See Kazakhstan, Iceland, and more exotic ski locations through that epic Warren Miller lens, including one of his, and my, favorite places: Montana.
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