With little effort you can spend hours browsing your phone, finding an endless barrage of unknown skiers and riders throwing down tricks and wild lines across the globe. Social media for better or worse has become engrained in our culture and has also become a hot button topic in the snow sports world. If you can watch anything you want, at any conceivable time, what is the incentive to pay up for a full length ski film or worse leave the comforts of your couch to attend a premier at the local ski shop or ski resort. Now may just be the most important time ever to support independent ski and snowboard films.
Ski and snowboard films invest in the community:
Next winter when your grocery shopping you don’t want to see John Jackson or Sage Cattabriga-Alosa working the checkout counter. More athletes are beginning to use Instagram as a revenue stream, but the feature film model for athlete income is far more proven. It is hard to argue against paying any money for ski films when so much content is available for free, but our dollar has spending power in what content is created. Ski and snowboard films on every size production level, motivate riders to spend entire winters, sometime years traveling to assemble the best representation of their styles. Teton Gravity Research for instance is continually funding some of the best athletes of our time, and capturing some amazing moments along the way, something Instagram has yet to do.
Instagram prioritizes quantity over quality:
In the recent past, we looked forward to the small batch of ski and snowboard films debuting each fall. The extreme regularity of which videos and pictures are posted to Instagram, rewards those that create more content quickly, not always those with better quality. Searching through the trash mound that is Instagram ski edits in particular, is a tedious way to find the few brief gems, so why not devote 30 minutes or an hour to watch some well produced content.
Ski films are more creatively limitless:
Instagram does limit the content posted to their social media app and although the vast majority skiing or snowboarding clips won’t get removed from the app, it is possible. That legendary nude ski scene in Valhalla is too spicy for the censors of social media, so independently produced films do still win for creative licensing. There are many noticeable limitations on the content posted to Instagram, some of which are music choice and violent wipeouts, two vital ingredients to any film if you ask us.
Films bring us together, phones alienate us:
One of the sad realities of our smart phone society is that previously watching videos like ski and snowboard films meant bonding with friends or family. When we all have our own screens we don’t watch things together and it is not the same feeling to react to a clip after someone else shows you it. Attending a ski film premier is always a major way to build stoke for the coming winter, as you and your fellow ‘gnar dogs’ holler collectively at the wildest clips. Warren Miller was notorious for bringing his ski films to very non-snowy places and acting as a wonderful ambassador to snow sports.