For passionate snow riders, the annual tours of ski flicks by Warren Miller Entertainment, Teton Gravity Research and Matchstick Productions mark the unofficial beginning of the ski season. This year will look a little different, though.
While fans of the genre can catch the TGR and Matchstick films this week at Denver-area showings, WME has decided not to tour its film this year because of COVID-19. In November, WME will stage three regional livestream “virtual” showings of “Future Retro,” the 71st Miller film.
If you thrive on the tribal vibe and celebratory buzz these films infuse when viewed in packed and rowdy theaters, TGR will mark its 25th year with the presentation of “Make Believe” at the Oriental Theater at 8 p.m. Thurs., Oct. 15 and 4 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. Sun., Oct. 18, with tickets priced at $20 ($10 for ages 16 and under). “Make Believe” was filmed in Aspen, Jackson Hole, Wyo., Montana, British Columbia and Japan. “Make Believe” also will be available on Teton Gravity Research TV and other streaming services beginning Oct. 20. Watch the trailer here.
“Huck Yeah,” the latest from Matchstick, will be shown at the temporary drive-in at Red Rocks Amphitheatre on Friday. Tickets, priced at $59.50 per vehicle, include a snack pack with popcorn, candy and soft drinks. Gates open at 6 p.m., with the show starting in the Lower South 2 parking lot at 7:30 p.m. It also will be shown at the Oriental Theater Nov. 17-18. “Huck Yeah” was filmed in Jackson Hole, Idaho, Alaska, Washington, British Columbia, California, Japan and Switzerland. “Huck Yeah” also will be available on iTunes and other digital platforms beginning Oct. 27. Watch the trailer here.
The communal nature of the ski film genre isn’t lost on Matchstick producer Ben Sanford, who got to see crowds respond when the film was shown in mountain town drive-ins last month.
For us as filmmakers, how we judge a movie is how an audience reacts to it in theaters,” Sanford said. “Seeing the reaction from the crowds from their cars, cheering a ski movie on, was huge for us because it was a stressful year to make a ski movie. Seeing it all pay off in a live-event setting was everything to us. There actually was cheering and honking of horns. A lot of people are saying they hope we do more drive-ins in the future.”
Great music is always a key component in ski films, of course, and that’s not lost in the drive-in experience. Viewers receive the soundtrack on their car stereos via an FM transmitter.
“The sound system is as good as your vehicle’s sound system, which for a lot of people is really good,” Sanford said. “And 100, 150 cars playing the movie simultaneously from the sound systems in their cars actually makes for a pretty unique viewing experience.”
Warren Miller, the company that created the genre, reliably sells out the Paramount in downtown Denver and the Boulder Theater for multiple shows year after year, and those nights are as much pep rallies for skiing and riding as they are entertainment events. That will be lost this year with the annual ritual becoming a living-room experience.
A customized Rocky Mountain region showing for the Warren Miller film, which will take viewers to Vermont, Switzerland, Iceland, Alaska, Montana and Antarctica, will stream online at 6 p.m. Nov. 14. Ticket buyers will receive 48-hour online access along with the usual coupons, giveaways and door prizes they are accustomed to receiving at theaters. Tickets are priced at $30 per person. View the trailer here.
Chris Patterson, the director of this year’s Warren Miller film, said his crews had to cancel two shoots in British Columbia because of the pandemic but had the rest of the film shot by then.
“We had most of the movie shot by the time March 20 rolled around,” Patterson said. “I’m not a religious person, but I like to say Warren was kind of watching over us. We were able to finish our shoot in Switzerland, I was in Iceland, and we had another crew at Big Sky in Montana. We all finished right as the world shut down and every resort stopped spinning its chairlifts. We had two more shoots on the books for later in the spring, but we were able to carry on and make the movie without those two trips.”
Warren Miller died in 2018.
The Vermont segment in the Miller film focuses on the annual World Cup races at Killington Resort featuring Colorado Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin.
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter, The Adventurist, to get outdoors news sent straight to your inbox.
Source: Read Full Article