Steamboat filmmaker’s documentary to air on national television
December 14, 2012
Steamboat Springs — Greg Hamilton went into the 2010 Steamboat Adaptive Recreational Sports All-Mountain Camp as a journalist looking to tell the story of skiers with disabilities and the obstacles they overcome. He came out with a story he needed more than words to tell.
"I would say, the filmmaker in me was just captured," said Hamilton, a Steamboat resident, writer and longtime filmmaker for Warren Miller. "I attended as a writer, as a journalist, but I had my little portable camera with me. I couldn't stop taking in the visuals. It was amazing to see. It blew my mind. For everybody else, this is such an individual sport. … It was mind blowing to me that it transformed the sport into a team sport.”
The documentary that came out of that initial STARS spark is called "The Movement," and after a successful run in 2012 film festivals, including Sundance, the film, produced by Warren Miller's son Kurt Miller, is making its debut on national television Sunday on Fox Sports Net. Hamilton wrote the film and co-directed it with Miller.
The documentary follows the story of Rick Finkelstein, who was paralyzed in a skiing accident in 2004 in Aspen and overcame the limitations of his disability by conquering the same mountain once again.
Hamilton will be on hand at a viewing party Sunday night at Steamboat Smokehouse. The documentary is just less than 40 minutes, making it ideal for an hourlong TV spot. It will air from 7 to 8 p.m. on Root Sports. Hamilton will be on hand from 6 p.m. on to discuss the film, and he said an informal Q-and-A session will take place after the film.
Hamilton is from Oregon but was based for years in Boulder, where he worked on Warren Miller ski movies. He said he's been skiing Steamboat since high school and that it always has been his favorite Warren Miller shooting locale. He moved to the Yampa Valley permanently about a year ago.
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He's a professional writer and has been making short films, but there was a significant buzz about this project and some big names on board right from the start.
"I don't know if it's the charitable angle of this movie or the star power of having Warren Miller and Robert Redford narrating it or it being a Sundance selection, and it got some critical acclaim there," he said. "We've just gotten amazing response from television stations."
Even before the film was shot, rock band the Foo Fighters showed support by licensing to the film their song “My Hero.”
What Hamilton thinks is proving to be so powerful about the film is how the struggles of Finkelstein, a high-ranking executive in Hollywood, were not glossed over.
"It's a family movie, so we bleep it out, but you hear him cursing the mountain up and down when he's struggling to learn his own sport again," Hamilton said. "You see the expression on his face, the sheer terror when he sees the equipment he's going to ride down the mountain on.
"Ultimately, the payoffs are that much more valuable. The main character of this movie, he earned this. Where he had to sacrifice and struggle was his ego."
He said it's not just skiers who will take an interest in this inspirational story.
"I really like showing this to people who aren't even skiers," he said. "It blows their minds that a blind man can go 65 miles per hour down a mountain with a guide.
"I'm looking forward to the feedback."
To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email ninglis@ExploreSteamboat.com
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