21st October 2014
Everyone has been excited about the Sweetgrass Productions light-suit segment which dropped earlier this week and for good reason. This innovative and original piece really highlights skiing for what it is- an art form.
If you, like me, are lucky enough to spend your winters on the snow then no doubt you have been bombarded with video after similar video in your local resort pub. Is it me or were they all starting to look the same for a while there?
I'm not sure if I’m old school; a love of freestyle and freeskiing are two of the main reasons why I was drawn to snow sports in the first place, but for some reason I always seem to compare ski movies to Greg Stump's 1988 classic 'The Blizzard of Aahhh's'. Perhaps it was the neon colours, extreme hair or cheesy narration. Maybe it was the sense of adventure teamed with a level of skiing that seemed achievable one day. Perhaps I just happened to be the right age when I first saw it, but the Blizzard of Aahhh's (which I still have on VHS) was one of the inspirations that pushed me to pursue skiing as the hobby which eventually turned into a career. I haven't been as inspired by a ski or snowboard movie since.
Now don't get me wrong, there have been plenty of ground breaking, original and inspirational movies made since- there hasn't been a complete void between 1988 and 2014. However, nothing has had the same effect as my first viewing of The Blizzard of Aahhh's, until today.
Today I saw 'Afterglow' the full version of Sweetgrass Productions light-suit segment. Although it has to be said that it isn't a full film, I was nonetheless awestruck. It might sound stupid, but I rushed out to buy a camera straight afterwards in the hope that one day, I might aspire to film something a fraction as amazing as this.
Although, seeing as it is partly an advertisement for a TV, maybe that's what I was supposed to do! Still, I would call that inspiration- it gave me something to aspire to. I think inspiration and aspiration is, or should be, at least some of the point of ski and snowboard films.
What inspired me? The cheesy narration, the incredible beauty of the pictures, the talent of the film crew, the sense of adventure and a feeling of nostalgia– but that could just be the neon colours.