tahoe.com brings us this look back at Scott Gaffney’s ski flick, 1999.
Tahoe World: Tell me about the making of “1999” and what that year was like. Scott Gaffney: The movie was a pretty low-budget flick; we didn’t have much in the way of sponsors… It cost me roughly $10,000 that’s without paying myself at all â?” and we really didn’t have any sponsors.
TW: How old were you when you made the film? And where were you in your filmmaking career at that point? SG: I was 30. And I had worked a year for Matchstick Productions, but then I wanted to make my own movie again. I had done a couple of movies did a movie with the DesLauriers brothers for a year, then worked with Matchstick, and then just wanted to do my own flick. TW: What was the inspiration for “1999”? SG: I just thought the industry kind of needed a fun movie, kind of a localized movie… a you-and-your-friends movie not obligated to have a real “pro” feel to it, but just have fun with it. TW: The film seems to poke fun at the “extreme” ski scene of the day… SG: Yeah, we were making fun of a lot of things. The whole opening sequence is a spoof of the year before the [Matchstick Productions] movie I worked on which had an opening where Seth Morrison is talking on radios about his line. And we just figured we’d spoof it. Anything was fair game, even ourselves. TW: Was that risky at the time? SG: I didn’t think so. We were just hamming it up and having a good time. I didn’t think anyone would take it seriously or be offended. TW: Was it more fun to work on a film like “1999” than on your typical ski movie at the time? SG: I would say it was because we weren’t trying to look cool. We were kind of the antithesis of that. And it’s easy when you’re just trying to enjoy yourself. TW: The movie definitely has quite a cult following. Did you ever imagine that would happen? SG: Only because “Walls Of Freedom” kind of had a little following like that too. And I think there’s a place for the high-level, high-profile ski porn film and that’s what I work on now but I think there’s a place for a movie like [“1999”] too. And I’d kind of like to go back to making a movie similar to that; because people can watch it just for pure entertainment rather than to see the sickest stuff possible. TW: What is your favorite segment in the movie? SG: That’s really tough to say. I’d have to watch it again. I actually have to watch it again soon to figure out the drinking game we’re going to make out of it. TW: One of the most memorable segments was definitely the ex-stream skiers… Who’s idea was that? SG: That was definitely fun doing that. I believe it was my idea. It was at a time when the word “extreme” was just way overdone. We were just tired of hearing it. TW: Why name the movie “1999”? SG: It just seemed like such a monumental number. It was kind of funny because I came up with that title and then I heard there was a snowboard flick that was going to be called “1999.” And I was like, “Oh great, now I have to change it.” But then I was like, “Screw that. I’m not going to change mine.” … So there was a snowboard and a ski flick in the same year, both called “1999”. TW: Tell me a little more about living the life of a ski filmmaker for the past 15-16 years. SG: Pretty crazy. It’s pretty crazy that it’s still going. But I still consider myself a skier first and foremost, so it’s not like I’m reaching and trying to hang in there. It’s still simply what I love to do, so I’m in the best spot in the world except for this year, because I just blew four months of income by screwing up my knee. tahoe.com