We’re in another “Golden Age” ski movie


Here in Nova Scotia and in other corners of the ski world, there’s a lot of talk about the “golden years”. This halcyon era has a few notable traits: affordable accommodations for ski enthusiasts, a small group of pros with celebrity status, no Ikon or Epic lift lines, more powder days, and a selection of ski movies. breathtaking. Unfortunately, I cannot say that we are fully reliving the good old days. The distribution of Ikon and Epic passes is clogging the arteries of our old favorite haunts, accommodation in ski towns is headed straight for shit, and the legendary ski bum is now more of an endangered animal than a mythological creature. Still, on the movie side, it looks like we’re entering another golden age, and here’s why:

In the heyday of freeskiing, the movie circuit was dominated by a few heavy hitters. Fall has arrived and you’ve been to your local theater to watch the latest offerings. If you liked a movie, you can pick up a DVD or VHS copy to watch later. The 5 to 10 films released each season covered the entire ski media spectrum.

Today, with the rise of consumer cameras, Instagram, YouTube, Newschoolers and high-quality free video editing software, everyone is making ski movies – the tools for production and publishing are easily accessible to all.


Dimmu Toptur is an insane Norwegian metal/big mountain movie


This season, the democratization of the ski film world has reached critical mass. What was once a small selection is now a tidal wave of shorts, features and solos. Take a look at the iF3 setlist and you’ll understand what I mean. Sure, there are the standard mainstays, like MSP and TGR, but exciting single-driver parts like Jake Mageau’s “Be Water” and Cole Richardson’s “Your’s Truly” also make an appearance.

The craziest part of all this? Once fall passes and winter kicks in, most of these movies will be released for free. Now, I’ll be the first to say it: earning a living wage in the skiing world isn’t easy, and I hope those who produced these films received fair compensation, whether through a travel budget or a paycheck. I’m more than willing to shell out money to support those who produce ski films (buy the latest Forre movie). However, I can’t help but pinch myself every time I log into NS during movie season and there’s another high quality free movie or individual part (the three movies embedded here were all released this last days). We truly live in an age of content excess – gone are the days of only being able to watch a few movies each year.


Speedbumb2 is another Finnish crew going HARD on the streets


Here is the definition of democracy: “a system of government by the whole population or all eligible members of a state, usually through elected representatives. A few paragraphs ago, I mentioned the “democratization” of ski cinema. Today, there is a greater diversity of voices on the film circuit than ever before – women, non-white people and people with disabilities are visible in ways they were not in the past, better reflecting the the whole population ski. Although we are struggling with authoritarianism at the political level in the United States and elsewhere abroad, skiing seems to be moving in the right direction.

For example, take “In your dreams” and “Link,” two new films produced by women and starring only women. Although still exceptions to the rule, their existence indicates that women are starting to take more space in the ski media, a clear gain. And, as we move forward, women-only ski movies won’t be known as genre-breaking paradigm shifts; they will be ski films only, faithfully representing the varied composition of our sport.

Diversity is not just about representation. It can also refer to the style of filmmaking. Watching a ski movie no longer always means drone shots, 4K cameras and cineflexing. You can get dad cam blurry photos, really interesting athlete stories, and movies that better reflect the average ski experience if that’s your thing.


Rhythm in Chaos is another street banger movie


“Rhythm in Chaos”, produced by Lupe Hagearty and directed by Owen Dahlberg, perfectly illustrates this diversity in the cinematic style. Produced for Deviation Works, the film is clean but gritty, relying on handheld camcorders to create unique perspectives. On the opposite end of the stylistic spectrum, in the world of traditionally polished movies (gimbals, drones, more megapixels than you can count), there’s also plenty to choose from, like Blank Collective’s “Feel Real.”

The democratization of ski content is not without difficulty. The rise of social media has transformed the proverbial firehouse of content to its highest level, blasting us with non-stop clips. This challenge is not unique to skiing and affects anyone with an internet connection by deprecating long-form content. Scrolling through fast-moving clips takes a lot less mental energy than engaging in a 45-minute ski movie. When we only had feature films to choose from, there was no risk of frying our brains before we got to the good stuff, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks that losing the feature film to Instagram reels would significantly harm freeski culture.

Likewise, all of the tools that galvanized this media golden age of secondary freeskiing, like social media, internet access, and consumer amenities, are children of an ever-faster technological takeover. on our lives. Ten years ago, I had an iPod shuffle that I used exclusively to listen to music. Now I have an iPhone full of apps explicitly designed to fragment my attention and keep me at home, scrolling mindlessly. To say that our attention span and our need for genuine human connection are under attack would be an understatement. Loneliness, after all, could be the defining story of this century; a worrying prospect because ski movies really shine when viewed in a community setting.

This new golden age is therefore not without drawbacks. But what era of plenty doesn’t? After all, each new solution poses a new problem. Technology has blown up ski filmmaking, but has also exposed us to its most nasty side effects.

Fortunately, in the face of this challenge, we skiers still seem determined to come together. iF3 is in full swing and countless film tours are touring the country this fall. Last season, skiers flocked to the slopes in record numbers to catch up with friends and ride. Skiing has always been like glue that way, nurturing new and old relationships. And, with more filmmakers taking over every day, we’re better prepared than ever to show our sport. Here’s to living another series of “the golden years” ski movies.


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