Ski film season is just around the corner, so we’ve put together this list of trailers that have dropped so far, along with a few thoughts on each one.
Let us know in the comments what movies we forgot, what films you’re most excited to see, and which premieres you’ll be attending.
Teton Gravity Research
For the last few years, TGR has arguably led the pack for straight up ski porn — just really gnarly shredding on really big mountains without trying to get too deep and preachy with some sort of story. Tight Loose looks like it will carry on that trend. TGR’s athlete roster is stacked, their location list is incredible, and to top it all off, they’ve got a groupshred segment on Squaw’s Palisades. Right now, my money’s on Tight Loose for delivering the most action in the most efficient way possible.
I’ve got news for you: Level 1 may be becoming one of the more well-rounded film companies out there. Yes, they still have a definite jib-flick bias, but they do a very good job of balancing urban segments, park segments, custom features, backcountry booters, and big lines, and they have a cast of skiers that reflects that. The likes of Will Wesson and Magnus Graner are balanced by names like Josh Bibby and KC Dean. And that’s just a taste. Skim through the athlete list, and you’ll realize that there is really no one in this film who’s skiing is boring or average in any way. The trailer stands on its own, and there is a great mix of creative features, huge booters and big lines. But the fact that many of this generation’s premier spinners and jibbers also appear in the film, along with a handful of legends, just pushes the anticipation to a tipping point. And did someone say Brogan was back?!
Stept x Poor Boyz
After a few incredible edits over the last few years (not to mention a resume of film parts and contest results a mile long), Bobby Brown is dropping a solo project, and surprisingly enough, none of the shots in the trailer involve a terrain park. Instead, Bobby (along with a few friends) takes his tricks to the backcountry. Three questions: Is that Bobby hitting booters on Salomon’s new QST 118? Is Poor Boyz back, or is this collaboration with Stept just a momentary break from making SUP movies? If you show the stomped landing for a triple backflip in the trailer, doesn’t that mean there has to be something even crazier in the actual movie??? Regardless, we’re excited to check out Bobby’s move to the backcountry.
The Fourth Phase
Brain Farm / Red Bull Media House
You can joke about helicopters filming helicopters all you want, but The Art of Flight was awesome. But believe it or not, The Art of Flight came out 5 years ago. What’s Travis Rice been doing in the meantime? Apparently learning about the water cycle and chasing it around the Atlantic. Fortunately, along the way he took a break from his hydrology classes to rip some huge lines and massive booters. Brian Iguchi is back, Travis is still doing ridiculous tricks on high-consequence lines, there’s a teaser shot of the much contested-line that Cody Townsend and Travis both rode two years ago, and you can bet your hat there will be some slow mo heli magic.
Ring the Alarm
Inspired Media Concepts
At some point in every season now, it seems like someone sitting in front of a computer screen somewhere raises the Tanner Hall question: “What’s up with Tanner? Do we even care? Is he still relevant?” And every year, Tanner drops something that usually does a pretty effective job of silencing the critics — because it’s pretty hard to mumble about irrelevance when your jaw is on the floor. Mine dropped just watching this trailer. After all, is that Tanner “gorilla steeze” Hall practicing crevasse self-rescue? Is that Tanner “X-games pipe battles with Dumont” Hall climbing lines with an ice axe? Is that Tanner “MY ANKLES ARE BROKE” Hall digging out an expedition tent on a glacier? Yes, yes, and yes. From the looks of the trailer, Tanner is still shredding heli-access spines and pillows as hard as ever, but he’s also getting into the technical side of things, climbing his own lines and getting after it on the up as well as the down. Throw in a crew that includes the Provo brothers and John Spriggs, and I think Ring the Alarm may well be a sleeper hit.
Inspired Media Concepts
If you’re not much of a B&E fan (and especially if you don’t even know what that stands for), I’m going to do you a favor: skip the first 1:50 of this trailer. It’s a history lesson on one of the most creative duos in street skiing, but if you’re not into that scene, it will just turn you off even more. However, at that 1:50 mark, start paying attention, hard. Phil Casabon and Henrik Harlaut have a penchant for doing things on skis that no one else would ever dream up, much less attempt. You’re not going to see skiing quite like this in any other film this year, and you’re also not going to get a reggae soundtrack written explicitly about the athletes, clips of someone roasting marshmallows with a samurai sword, or this many Wu Tang references in any other ski film. If skiing without poles hurts your soul, stay away. Otherwise, stay tuned.
Wallisch and company are back with a feature this year, but it’s much more than Wallisch Project 2.0. For starters, the athlete list is unbelievably stacked — it reads like an all-star list of jib skiers from the major production companies. Alongside Wallisch, you’ve got Fostvedt, Monod, Rich, Ware, Dadali and many, many more. On top of that, Decker, Dakoulas, and Newton are a formidable force behind the lens. Good Company already dropped a backcountry extra’s edit from Vice Versa here and from the looks of it, this is the year that they really come into their own.
Here and Now
4FRNT’s team videos are always good, probably because their team is surprisingly diverse. Where else do you get to see skiers like Hoji, David Wise, Wiley Miller, Thayne Rich, Cam Riley, and more all in one film? (Side note: is this the year we finally get to see how crazy underrated Thayne Rich is? By my count, he appears in at least three of this year’s movies.) Team movies have a tendency to get boring fast, but judging from the trailer, Here and Now should have the variety necessary to hold our attention, even in the instagram world the film pokes fun at.
Ruin and Rose
Going into this season, my attitude about MSP could be summed up with this request: Please stop trying to be an even more pretentious Sherpas Cinemas and get back to showing Sean Pettit rip huge lines to Fat Bottom Girls. But given Ruin and Rose’s post-apocalyptic trailer, they haven’t been listening to this skinny gaper from Idaho. I’m done complaining though. There’s a kid wandering around the desert looking for mountains, there’s some deep metaphor about global warming or something, but more importantly, there’s a stacked returning cast including Sammy Carlson, Cody Townsend, Mark Abma, Marcus Eder, Hoji, and more, along with a few of my favorite new faces, like Noah Wallace and Sander Hadley. Hopefully by now MSP has gotten this whole ski-movie-with-a-plot thing dialed, but even if they haven’t, I know the skiing will make any amount of existential desert wandering worth it.
REI / Powder Magazine / KGB Productions
This one’s especially timely in light of our current celebration of the National Parks Service centennial. Powder and KGB shot an all-star cast of skiers including Andy Mahre, Lynsey Dyer, Griffin Post, Gregg Hill, and Connery Lundin in Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Teton, and Glacier national parks. All of those are incredibly beautiful places in their own right. Throw some world-class human-powered skiing into the mix, and that’s a recipe for the sort of film that should make you want to get out and explore the backyard. But really, the true highlight of this trailer is that it includes not only a shot or two of our very own David Steele, but they actually let him talk and he’s saying stuff that’s far from stupid. The national parks are home to some amazing skiing, and it’s exciting to see that highlighted in a film.
If you haven’t seen the original Supervention, you should go watch it, then you’ll probably understand the hype surrounding its sequel. If I had to sum it up in three words, I’d go with: “Big-budget Scandinavian Insanity.” The first shot in the trailer is Jesper Tjader attempting a Hot-Wheels style looped rail and crashing out of it in something akin to a double Lincoln loop. And that’s just the opening shot.
While North American viewers will be familiar with a few of the faces in Supervention II, there will also be a lot of athletes whose names you can’t pronounce doing spins so big you can’t count the rotations in locations you can’t even imagine visiting. Field Productions does a great job of showcasing skiing and boarding at the highest levels, and we expect nothing less from Supervention II.
Recordings of the Sun
This one’s a little under the radar, but it features at least one familiar face — our very own Scott Nelson. Gavin Rudy has been putting out full-length ski movies for a few years now, and every year they just keep getting better. So I wouldn’t expect Recordings of the Sun to be any different. There’s a healthy mix of creativity and technicality, along with a cast of lesser-known but still great skiers. One of the best things about Gavin’s films are their accessibility; they always make me want to get off my butt and make something awesome with my friends, and the trailer alone for Recordings of the Sun has me jonesing to grab my tripod.