It’s that time of year,when ski and snowboard films hit big and small screens, showcasing the highlights of last season and whetting our appetites for powder days to come. While film companies have become more numerous than penguins on parade thanks to the joys of cheap digital videography and the ability to hawk their wares on the web, there remains no substitute for filming in the best locations with the best athlete. That’s why when it comes to getting stoked for the season, we turn to the veterans, the guys who have been doing this for years and who turn out consistently fantastic imagery, action and excitement. Because, after all, isn’t that really what going to a ski film before the lifts are running is all about?
Ruin and Rose
For this most recent effort, Matchstick founders Murray Wais and Steve Winter partnered with writer/director Ben Sturgulewski to produce a haunting take on global warming juxtaposed with intense skiing action. Winter landscapes across the planet contrast seamlessly with a curated story of environmental apocalypse, made even more poignant by the recent depressing news of global warming and the rapidly heating planet. It’s a jarring and thought provoking contrast, which may not appeal to ski film purists despite the high-quality athletic action. See the teaser here.
The Fourth Phase
This highly-acclaimed release from legendary rider Travis Rice was four years in the making. It is an ambitious project that focuses on the storm systems of the North Pacific, with Rice and a team of pros that included Mikkel Bang, Pat Moore, Mark Landvik, Eric Jackson, traversing the mountain ranges that encircle the northern Pacific Ocean, while also migrating alongside seasonal weather patterns to Japan, Russia, and western North America. Watch the teaser here.
Jackson Hole film production company Teton Gravity Research (TGR) celebrates 21 years of action sports movies with their latest production. The crew travels from India to Alaska, discovering spine walls, massive jumps and showcasing the full-throttle action that has become a hallmark of TGR’s productions, But the film’s highlight is the team’s 21-year athlete roster coming together for a reunion-style group shred of the Palisades at Squaw Valley. Get the preview here.
Here, There & Everywhere
While the late Warren Miller may no longer be with us, the show goes on. Relatively tame by the standards of Travis Rice or TGR, and burdened by commercialism (the company’s pay-to-play model results in plenty of product and resort plugs), there’s still something special about the yearly Warren Miller production. Accessible with an all-ages vibe and a touch of that corny humor that Warren was always good for, it’s that same corniness that keeps the vibe light again in their 2016 release, making the film’s obvious marketing foibles tolerable. Watch the trailer here.