I’m tired of modern ski movies. Aside from the section filmed in Trail, BC with JP Auclair in All.I.Can (which was pretty awesome and speaks to what I’ve written), I have to say that ski movies have become something of a non-event. Big lines in AK, big airs, RedBull painted helicopters and heli-ski ads for places we’ll never go to.
When I was a teenager, watching either a Greg Stump or Warren Miller film provided an opportunity for the average joe skier guy to have a little taste of what was possible on his next powder day. And my friends and I would dream about our next day on the hill and how deep it was going to be because those films got us stoked because we could identify with them. We could relate to the footage of gapers and punters slipping on ice. We could relate to the footage of Plake and Schmidt not only hucking cliffs, but actually skiing pow. Skiing stuff that we skied and dreamt of skiing.
When I imagine my perfect day skiing, it rarely involves 60ft airs on 60 degree faces in AK. My perfect day is about one thing and that’s shredding uber deep, fluffy, dry snow. That’s it. Skiing isn’t about how big you go or how steep the face is. It’s not about how tech the entrance is or how big a slide you ski cut. Skiing is just that – skiing. And those older ski movies did it well. They gave us just enough gnar to have a bit of the “maybe one day…” feeling, lots of humour and oodles of skiing that we could relate to.
Nowadays, when I see footage of big, burly lines in AK or the usual slopestyle gazillion foot terrain park triple lutz 1580, I kinda roll my eyes. While the current crop of ski and snowboard film makers have done fantastic things in regards to filming, editing and cinematography and the current crop of athletes continue to do things we thought were impossible, these modern ski films leave nothing for the imagination. They don’t show us anything that the local ski bums and office shredders of the world can relate to. I want to see people skiing where we ski. Doing what we long to do. And what do we all wish for? Snow. Not huge cliffs (for some these are an added bonus), just lots and lots of snow. Whether you’re a beginner pushing yourself for the first time off the groomer or a crusty, hard core local who sends it on a deep day, we all look for the same thing: powder.
And the modern ski movie just doesn’t get me stoked to ski anymore. I walk out of those premieres every autumn thinking to myself, “sure, that film was good…visually stunning, exposed lines, awesome skiers, massive airs…” And then I walk away yawning. Because we’ve seen it all before. The revolution happened already. Big cliffs and exposed lines are great, but after a while, they all look the same. And they become boring.
What about showing us some real skiing? Give us something we can sink our teeth into. Show us some footage of skiing locals’ lines that don’t require a $20,000 heli budget and an Arcteryx sponsorship to get to. Show us some funny tourists to laugh at and some deep tree skiing. Don’t show us what you can do, show us what WE can do.
Be safe and ski hard.