Some of my friends call ski movies "ski porn," and I imagine it is because the movies are exciting for viewers despite having little or no storyline but lots of action.
But seriously, I don't understand why there doesn't seem to be any advancement in the ski movie genre. They all seem to follow the same cookie-cutter formula. There are back-to-back sick skiing shots with no real originality except for the occasional guaranteed shot of an athlete dancing, giving a thumbs up and/or flippin' the bird. The only thing that seems to differentiate them is the music selection.
I attended all three nights of the Steamboat Mountain Film Festival last weekend and was impressed with the level of professionalism and the sweet four-screen layout. The best movie was a five-minute short from a first-person point of view of a guy riding the ski lift. There was a voiceover expressing all of his random thoughts, which were hilarious and perfectly represented all of the haphazard musings that go through our heads during lift rides.
I really liked Michael Martin's film "A Place Without a Postcard." I liked that it showed more of an insider look at making ski films. It was funny, clever and very well done.
I give anyone props for actually making a ski movie, as I imagine it would be ridiculously hard to ski and film and afford to go to exotic ski locales. I would be too scared that I would drop the camera in the snow or fall off some cliff trying to capture a moment - or fall prey to any of the other millions of things that could go wrong. Plus, it would be really cold with all that waiting around.
A couple of things I'd like to see are more women in ski movies and for someone to step outside of the box and not present every ski movie as skiing shot, skiing shot, skiing shot, skiing shot and then another skiing shot.
We all enjoy when filmmakers include shots of people getting hurt, and the first-person perspective is much appreciated because I know I will never be able to do some of the things those athletes do, but at least it gives me an idea of what it would feel like if I could.
As always, events like the film festival are always good for inspiration. My friend and I vowed that we would make and submit a film next year. And the short film that featured an older guy with a mullet sweating (should have been to the oldies) in Monson Hall gave me the idea for my Halloween costume next year - Richard Simmons.
- Allison Plean/4 Points