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Ski Movie Season is Almost Here: A Quick Rundown of 3 Trailers

July 23, 2013

It’s been a brutal New York/Somerville Summer.  I’m sure I wasn’t alone in wishing for winter as temperatures edged towards 100 last week.  Luckily, a new crop of trailers for this fall’s ski movies are here, making it easier to envision cooler weather.

Movies like these were a big reason why I fell in love with freestyle skiing back in the day, dating all the way back to Poor Boyz Productions’ “Propaganda” and Level 1’s “Strike Three” way back in 2002.  As I moved away from the competitive side of the sport after high school,  poring over movies like these remained an annual ritual that kept me in touch with the sport I love and got me charged up to ski as I counted down the days until I could hit the slopes Thanksgiving weekend (sometimes later.  Thanks a lot, global warming).

It’s also pretty cool to see some of the kids I was lucky enough to compete against or take a few park laps with back in the day (like Parker White, Dale Talkington, and Clayton Vila, who were always above my level. Not gonna front) making a name for themselves in movies like this doing what they (and I) love.

Here are three ski trailers that I think represent different facets of freeskiing today, as well as supporting clips for each trailer that provide context and additional entertainment.  I’ve ranked them because the internet likes numbered lists, apparently.  Enjoy.

3. Legs of Steel – The Lost

As the name implies, these guys are all about big backcountry tricks and riding away from some impressive lines. It looks like this one’s going to be all about shock and awe, maybe at the expense of style or technicality.  In this way, it’s pretty reminiscent of the park/big mountain segments you may have seen in Warren Miller’s movies, where it’s all about wowing an audience that may not have seen much of this kind of stuff before.  While that isn’t to say this movie isn’t impressive, I’m looking for something that feels more like a movie instead of a collection of shots.

If you’re a skier that’s new to movies like this, “Lost” has the scary lines and big double flips you’re looking for, which will hopefully give you the inspiration you need to check out some of the other films here.  Torin Yater-Wallace is a little guy that is so much younger than me and makes me question what I’ve done with my life kills it who looks to be making an appearance, if the trailer is any indication.

2. 4bi9 – All Damn Day 

4bi9 is the kind of crew who will shotgun beers in your face and then get out on the hill hung over and destroy everything in their path while you sleep it off.   If you have a Newchoolers account, you’re  well aware of the exploits of this ragtag bunch (can anyone say “Mahalo”?), but what sometimes gets overlooked amid all the partying is that these guys are stacked with talent, and it seems like “All Damn Day” will be a good reminder of just that.

Unlike Legs of Steel’s “Lost”, “All Damn Day” looks to be a little more focused on urban, but in new and exciting ways beyond your traditional rail shots. After watching this trailer, I’m wondering how everyone made it through the season with their knee ligaments intact. But clearly, the pain these guys put themselves through paid off in the form of some great shots. This one looks to strike a proper balance between burliness, creativity, and style that’s the hallmark of any innovative ski flick. I’m definitely expecting some big things from Dale Talkington in this one.  He’s been on fire for the past year or so, and I’m sure he’s been saving some even crazier shots for this one that we haven’t seen in his slew of great 2012/13 edits.  Tim McChesney (pulling double duty alongside his filming with Level 1) keeps getting crazier every year out in the streets (wallride to down rail, what?).  Also, expect a strong cameo from the most famous of 4bi9’s athletes, Tom Wallisch, who should continue to prove that there’s more to his game than just an impressive list of contest results. 

1. Level 1 – Partly Cloudy

I may be a little biased, but Level 1 has been a personal favorite of mine since way back.  Josh Berman was one of the first guys to focus a camera on the east coast park scene, and it paid off, as he gave us the chance to watch a team full of homegrown talent like Parker White, Chris Logan, Ahmet Dadali, Mike Hornbreck, Dave Crichton (OBLIGATORY THROWBACK) and many more step into the spotlight.  Originally a film student at Dartmouth, Berman’s always had an eye for the unique shot that you might not find in other ski movies. He and his growing production team have also made a point to travel to places that may not have enjoyed much exposure within the skiing world, ranging from urban shots in Moscow, the hills of Turkey, and the deep, deep pow of Japan.

Partly Cloudy looks to continue this tradition, and I’m expecting Ahmet Dadali (with the huuuuge opening shot in this one) and Adam Delorme (known for his smooth style and one of a kind approach to skiing) to both have bounce-back years after not featuring as prominently in last year’s Level 1 film “Sunny” (get it?).  LSM is another newcomer to keep an eye on, with a style that manages to blend surfing, skating and skiing while remaining entirely smooth.

In this trailer Level 1’s main attributes are on display: it’s piled high with creative cinematography and big tricks, but the vibe manages to remain fun rather than overly-serious.  Every year I always end up shelling out cash for Berman and Co.’s release, and this fall looks to be no different.

Other trailers to look out for (that haven’t dropped yet or I’m not looking for because this is already too long): 

Stept’s “Mutiny”.  Clayton Vila, Cam Riley, Sean Jordan, and Nick Martini will be coming in hot with great segments this year.  These guys work their ass off to get great urban footage in some spots you wouldn’t believe.  Check out the trailer for last year’s “The Eighty Six” to get a taste of what to expect.

Whatever Poor Boyz is putting out this year.  Poor Boyz is another big budget company that actually gets a pretty good range of athletes involved.  They paved the way for big park-based ski movies back in the day, but thankfully there are a lot of other options at this point.  Still, they churn out decent-to-good movies year after year.  Leigh Powis is one of the more interesting riders on their roster of talent, so check out his segment from their 2011 film

And that’s a wrap.  Only 4ish months until it’s time to get back out there.

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