Greg Stump talks Steamboat and ski films
March 7, 2013
Steamboat Springs — On a sunny afternoon at the base of Steamboat Ski Area, as a band was just tuning up in Gondola Square, legendary ski filmmaker Greg Stump talked his new documentary, "Legend of Ahhh's," skiing, music and fistfuls of moguls with Explore Steamboat. Stump will appear in Steamboat to host a screening of both “Legend” and “Blizzard of Aahhh’s” at 6:30 p.m. Friday as a fundraiser for the Chief Theater.
Explore Steamboat: When did you decide to make "Legend of Aahhh's," and why?
Greg Stump: I decided to make it four years ago. I just felt that I had to tell that story. I guess I'm sort of a kooky historian and I wanted to tell it.
It's a thinly disguised memoir. I think it's just little bit of a background for just contemporary skiing. Without "Blizzard of Aahhh's" there wouldn't be a tram to the top of Lone Peak in Big Sky, and Jackson Hole wouldn't have out-of-bounds skiing.
ES: Have you been to Steamboat before, and what kind of experiences have you had here?
GS: I have filmed here twice before. The first time was in 1985, during "Maltese Flamingoes," which is a very funny ski movie. That was the first year I starting shooting in film and we had a beautiful day here and got great shots. Then, "Fistful of Moguls" was filmed 90 percent here.
Those are the two times I've shot in Steamboat and those are the only times I've been here until yesterday.
ES: What do you think when you see how extreme skiing has become, with the injuries and the high-profile deaths? Has it gone too far?
GS: The last line in the narration of the film is about did my movies inspire a bunch of bro-skis … to try and kill themselves, or did it inspire beautiful photography and gorgeous athleticism? It was both. I don't want to make any judgment. When we came out with "Blizzard," so many people said, "You've gone too far, what can be done next?" But it's humanity.
I personally opted out of doing it because it became too dangerous. I had a couple of close calls, mostly with avalanches. I had to get out of it.
ES: Do you ever miss making ski movies?
GS: My thing was always music. I love editing, but I'm not at all into the scary (stuff). Choreographing skiing to music, it was a dance. In my editing, it's very rhythmic in bringing the skier and melding the skier and the music together, especially with ballet (skiing).
ES: What's next for you?
GS: Radio. Global radio. I'm going to be the next Howard Stern. Radio Free Stumpy. If I make a super-fun show, it's all about content. It's what I'm going to do next. I grew up in radio, before I ever made a ski film. I was doing radio in seventh grade.
ES: What's the best day of skiing or filming you've had?
GS: I have to say here at Steamboat.
ES: Aw, you're just saying that.
GS: No, I'm not. In filming "Fistful of Moguls," and I'm looking up at that track right now, we had them groom the run — looker's left, skier's right — we had them groom that so we could carry cameras and ski right next to Jonny Mosley and Jim Moran. It was a photographer's dream. It was a revolutionary thing.
ES: What are you looking forward to about hosting the event on Friday?
GS: We do ski trivia at the beginning. So put on your thinking hat. Really tough questions … like "What's Wayne Wong's real name?"
ES: Wayne Wong?
GS: Correct. They should study before they come. The movie's beautiful, it's beautifully done, the production's excellent and all the proceeds go to the renovation of the Chief Theater.
ES: Anything else you want to add?
GS: The only real kid is Billy Kidd.
To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email ninglis@ExploreSteamboat.com
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