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End of the Warren Miller tradition - Page 2

post #31 of 59
I have fond memories of Warren Miller when I was a teen in the 80s, and I was a nonskier then (I've recently repented). I'll be attending the show in a few weeks. I'm hoping I will enjoy the show, but my expectations are kinda low. I figure the pass to snowbird and powder mountain should take the sting out of any disappointment if there is any. Worst case scenario is a date with my wife and a commitment to at least 3 sub days so I can ski midweek with my wife. $20 and 2 hours seems a reasonable trade for that.
post #32 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post

Warren Miller movies have been at least 50% B-roll footage from other production companies for the past few years.  This is them trying to make more money by footing the bill for less trips.  The last memorable segment they produced that I can remember is the one with Lel Tone and Lynsey Dyer going to India - it was very well done. 

Last memorable one for me was the China segment with the guys skiing handcut tree limbs with rope bindings. Zero gnar, but it told a story about skiing transcending cultures and was fun.

I haven't seen a WME film since Like There's No Tomorrow.

Also, to clear up any misunderstandings, Miller did not stop doing narration because he was too old. He was too old to trek all over the world with a camera, and decided to sell the company. Part of the arrangement was that he would continue to provide narration. He did so for one or two movies, upon which he was informed, to his surprise, that WME didn't want his narration. Instead, they just reused his narration from earlier films. Before scrapping it almost entirely.

He has made it clear in interviews that it was not his choice, and he seems quite surprised and more than a little hurt that they kicked him out of the booth. There may be more to the story, but Miller has been telling his side for years and I have never heard anyone from WME contest the accuracy of his statements.
post #33 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
 

 I am a big Matchstick fan but Days of Our Youth left me disappointed after all of the hype along with knowing many of the athletes in it, it was good but not up the high standards they have set..and that is tough to do. I am not sure it is "jumping the shark" but how far can the envelope be pushed? 

I guess I liked it a little better than you did. I thought the frontside portion was fun, along with Cody skiing the "chute". I liked the premise/storyline, but they did go back to relying on heli spine footage. I'd give it a 7.5/8

post #34 of 59
Am I the only one who likes heli spine segments?
post #35 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4ster View Post

 

 

It was fun to see our "short" on the big screen...

I've never gone to see a ski movie, but I'd go to see yours Jim!

 

Mike

post #36 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by bounceswoosh View Post

Am I the only one who likes heli spine segments?


While I've never been to a ski movie, I have bought quite a few.  The spine segments were interesting once or twice, or even 20 or 30 times, but now they are pretty much the same.  Jump some rocks, side slip a spine, catch some big air, all at 50 MPH.  

 

While I'm sure there's some skill involved, it's become pretty monotonous.  

 

Mike

post #37 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by bounceswoosh View Post

Am I the only one who likes heli spine segments?

Nope.

But I have a few caveats...

1. I don't want a whole movie full of them.
2. I don't want to feel like I am watching an ad for a heli outfit. WME has felt like that with CMH- really heavy handed.
3. I like the TGR approach. Tell me the name of the line, tell me if it has been filmed before. If so, show me a clip of it. Even better, show me a grainy shot of Doug Coombs attacking it in the early 1990's. smile.gif.

Basically, skiing is a sport that is tied to history. When we ski, it sin't just about that day. Most of us have been skiing for a long time, and have a lifetime of memories attachedbto certain slopes and terrain. When I ski, I am constantly reminded of other good days skiing the slopes I am on. I have flashes of skiing when I was a toddler, flashes of skiing with people that have now passed on, skiing straight skis with metal bindings in polyester pants. And I am notbreally that old... Skiing is about memory and history as much as it is about huge lines, and a good ski movie manages to tap into that instead of being a souless progression of huge lines without any attempt to tie it into anything else.

Warren Miller's films were special in my eyes because he always spent time shooting regular folks all over the world having fun on skis, and interspresed that footage with big mountain segments. The films showed skiing transcending cultures and language and even skill. You want your ski? Go get it!
post #38 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post
 


While I've never been to a ski movie, I have bought quite a few.  The spine segments were interesting once or twice, or even 20 or 30 times, but now they are pretty much the same.  Jump some rocks, side slip a spine, catch some big air, all at 50 MPH.  

 

While I'm sure there's some skill involved, it's become pretty monotonous.  

 

Mike

 

Agreed, sort of.  It's all about presentation.  For example, in TGR's Almost Ablaze there's an AK segment that starts with Sage getting dropped off by a heli in a really awkward spot and his traverse over to his line is just plain scary... that makes the whole line far more interesting because there's some context to it.

post #39 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post
 

 

Agreed, sort of.  It's all about presentation.  For example, in TGR's Almost Ablaze there's an AK segment that starts with Sage getting dropped off by a heli in a really awkward spot and his traverse over to his line is just plain scary... that makes the whole line far more interesting because there's some context to it.

 

Context! There is the word I am looking for. Poor quality ski films IMO are just a bunch of shots stitched together.

 

In a good film,

  • I am informed where the line is.
  • I am informed who the skier is.
  • I have narration that clues my in on what is going through the skiers head- either the shot is set up by a quick interview with them, or they provide narration during the shot- I don't just get to listen to Jonny Moseley spout some inane nonsense.

 

Lacking the set-up, the shot loses a lot of its meaning. It may be impressive, but the skiing subject becomes a prop rather than a person, and it all you have in two hours of footage is a bunch of props without any reason to care, the big lines loose most of their impact- you quickly become numb .

 

Context. Context is important.

post #40 of 59

I was recently re-watching Fifty (1999) for the JP Auclair, Jonny Moseley and Bob Rankin segment. Great stuff.

 

I imagine that when Warren Miller sold his the family business to his son Kurt he was thinking of passing his legacy on to the next generation but still being able to participate in the company that bears his name.  Then a quarter of a century and 2 media conglomerate acquisitions later, his name, likeness, voice and brand don't even really completely belong to him anymore. Ooops - unintended consequences.

post #41 of 59

I used to catch the annual WM film every year or two up until I had to stop skiing for about 18 years due to a forced career change in 1984.

Oddly, the only scene I can remember from any of them is a shot of someone walking across a dry parking lot with their skis on, while Warren quipped "It's ok, they're rentals."

post #42 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by oregonazm View Post
 

I don't like re-engaging this website with a rant but I am so disappointed with the current Warren Miller movie.  If you really enjoy watching skiing and snowboarding on the big screen with loud inspiring music look for another film.  This was possibly the worst Warren Miller movie ever made.  I just wanted to start booing out loud half way through the first part of the movie.  It is completely disrespectful to Warren Miller to have his name associated with the movies that have been produced over the last few years.  

 

I have to ask, does Warren Miller Productions have a financial interest in the Alaskan Helicopter Tour company.  Fortunately, there was only one segment on it this year.  I remember another recent film had 3 segments featuring the Alaska Helicopter Tour company.  It is obvious in every feature from that area that the snow conditions are bad.  The skilled skiers help cover up the bad conditions.  I know someone who has made 2 or 3 trips up there.  He said every trip the conditions were so challenging it just wasn't fun.

 

At best, only a quarter of the film was actually skiing/snowboarding footage.  It seemed the producers are more interested in displaying their creative cinematography skills than actually filming on the snow.  Everyone in the theater was saying "what the h*ll was that Montana love story about?"  These producers have completely lost touch with what their target audience comes to see.  Personally,  I expect every Warren Miller film to end with the traditional Warren Miller quote.

 

Next year, I will know to buy the ticket for the ski resort pass that comes with it and skip the movie and go watch a real skiing/snowboard DVD.

 

On a positive note, in the Japan snowboarding segment, it was really cool to see a true craftsman creating a product that wasn't driven by an overpowering marketing department.

 

I am sorry to rant.  Maybe I drank to much coffee.  I respect any differing perspectives.  

 

Mod note: moved to General Skiing

You don't like racing?

 

I've seen ever WM show since Ski Time. NTB was one of the best in about 10-15 years, editing, locations, content, sound track....don't know what you were looking for.

post #43 of 59

I haven't watched a Warren Miller movie since.....well it's been a long time!  The last few I saw didn't interest me at all.  In fact, very few ski movies intrigue me anymore.  I can't usually stand to sit through the whole thing.  

 

The only movies that have caught my attention in the past decade are Bill Heath's work (Snow Falling on Sinners, 9 Winters Old) and some shorts.  Particularly a Skier's Journey on Vimeo, and quite a few of the Salomon Freeski TV episodes (which oddly enough often feel 'less' sponsorized than some of the feature length films).  Ok, there are probably a few other things here and there, but typically I'm quite disappointed by most movies.

post #44 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bounceswoosh View Post

Am I the only one who likes heli spine segments?

Nope.

But I have a few caveats...

1. I don't want a whole movie full of them.
2. I don't want to feel like I am watching an ad for a heli outfit. WME has felt like that with CMH- really heavy handed.
3. I like the TGR approach. Tell me the name of the line, tell me if it has been filmed before. If so, show me a clip of it. Even better, show me a grainy shot of Doug Coombs attacking it in the early 1990's. smile.gif.

Basically, skiing is a sport that is tied to history. When we ski, it sin't just about that day. Most of us have been skiing for a long time, and have a lifetime of memories attachedbto certain slopes and terrain. When I ski, I am constantly reminded of other good days skiing the slopes I am on. I have flashes of skiing when I was a toddler, flashes of skiing with people that have now passed on, skiing straight skis with metal bindings in polyester pants. And I am notbreally that old... Skiing is about memory and history as much as it is about huge lines, and a good ski movie manages to tap into that instead of being a souless progression of huge lines without any attempt to tie it into anything else.

Warren Miller's films were special in my eyes because he always spent time shooting regular folks all over the world having fun on skis, and interspresed that footage with big mountain segments. The films showed skiing transcending cultures and language and even skill. You want your ski? Go get it!

This is what I was hoping for.  The original movies were entertaining even for non-skiers.  I really miss Warren Miller's voice on the one liners while showing the average person's struggle for fun.  Footage of the general skiing population brings back fond memories for me.

 

Because of all the previous heavy handed ads for CMH heli skiing, I immediately went sideways when they started another movie with it.  That set my critical attitude for the rest of the movie. 

post #45 of 59
I am famous for having no grasp of the ad playing in front of me on TV, so product placement needs to be pretty bad for me to notice. Didn't notice. I mean Warren went through a Nature Valley phase, an Audi phase, etc. The last two years they've been heavily funded by the Montana Board of Tourism. Look at the picture inserted by 4ster. You've got Snowbasin in the center of the screen and either a video border or a stage border saying Ski Montana.

Product placement is everywhere and has been for years. The place it really is starting to grate me is books. Some spy novelist enumerates the exact model of weaponry so exactly they must have paid for it, same with even the character's flashlight. In ten years, it will really date the books in my opinion.

Learn to let it wash over you. The fact that you even registered it says the ad worked. If you looked at the magazine before the movie, it may have even primed you to notice. Another reason I didn't see the ads. Still haven't opened the magazine. Of course, as mentioned, the aspect ratio of the projection was bugging me. So, ads were not going to overcome that.

I felt the editing was choppy between segments, but Warren's own movies were not shining examples of the film makers art. Sometimes the mood you are in the day you go to a movie has a bigger impact on your enjoyment than the movie. I've found that with books, too. Pick a different friend next year.
post #46 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post



The place it really is starting to grate me is books. Some spy novelist enumerates the exact model of weaponry so exactly they must have paid for it, same with even the character's flashlight. In ten years, it will really date the books in my opinion.
 

 

I glanced through a book once to find a villain booting up a "powerful, 500k computer terminal."  This was a writer with no sense of history.

post #47 of 59

Maybe it's just that I'm getting older and my ability to control my ADHD tendencies is getting weak, but no matter how amazing a film looks, I still have trouble sitting through 2+ hours of a ski movie that includes a long intermission.  Jim F., my wife, and I went to see the first half of the WME film in SLC since we got free tickets and we got to see our short film on the big screen.  Quite honestly, I thought this WME film was the best one since "Children of Winter" some years back, but I found myself wanting to ski more than wanting watch others skiing.

 

We then went to the Ogden showing...it has become a tradition and it followed the same routine as every year...

 

...meet up with friends at a local wings bar, have a good meal, have a few beers, have a lot of laughs, walk to the theater, chat with a lot of friends at the showing, get excited about winter, get a bit bored, wonder why ski films aren't better, pledge not to do it again next year...then do it again next year.  It's more about the people than the film.

 

I agree with Jim F. that the segment with Kaylin Richardson was one of the best, and so was the Alaska segment with Ingrid Backstrom.  Both are great role models and powerful skiers.  The Richardson segment had the thinnest of story lines which was more distracting than necessary.

 

Overall, there are a ton of great skiers, great locations, and wonderful cinematography in most ski films.  What I personally like is the human story behind the skiing.  Who are these people?  Why do they do it?  Tell me about the place, the culture, etc of where they're skiing.  Ultimately, tell me why I should care to watch these people in that place.

 

The last segment in the film really caught my attention.  It was about speed flying in Switzerland, and what was surprising was there were shots that exactly matched ones in a short film I edited last season.  Check out the video if you want to see some of the best POV video out there...I can say that since I didn't shoot it.  Also, for those of us with ADHD, the video is less than two minutes long.  Not a bad investment of time to get excited about winter.

 

http://blog.zealoptics.com/post/101593357886/patrick-pearson-takes-to-the-slopes-and-the-skies

 

post #48 of 59

Ski movies suck period....I've got the attention span to watch about 10 minutes of other people skiing then I'm bored.  I'm taking my girls to see Pretty Faces this weekend in the hopes it inspires or entertains them but it's not a big hope.

post #49 of 59
They serve beer during our intermission. Makes it far too short..
post #50 of 59

Other then the trailers that are occasionally posted here, I frankly haven't watched a ski movie in god-knows-how-long now.

 

Watching people ski off cliffs while doing the latest corked-misty air-time trick just really doesn't do anything for me.  Watching somebody ski perfectly untouched powder looks cool for a few minutes, but I can't imagine watching more then that.  The soundtracks associated with ski movies generally wants to make me gag.

 

Watching the various skiing footage -- or even still pictures -- that EpicSki members post here in the TripReports forum -- now that gets my excited about skiing.  Real people, real terrain.  :cool

post #51 of 59

Yeah, the athletes are something, but watching them do the same amazing things over and over -- things I'll never do -- just isn't interesting.  To me.   If they were doing things I might aspire to, I suppose I'd enjoy those movies more.  

 

Again, I don't disparage the athletes or the people who enjoy watching them.  For me, though, it's only mildly interesting (though I get a free lift ticket!).  It's like watching a documentary on mouse-fanciers (with a free lift ticket!), except with louder music and more dramatic lines (and a free lift ticket!).

post #52 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinF View Post

Real people, real terrain.  cool.gif
That's a clarion cry that works for me as well
post #53 of 59
post #54 of 59

Speaking of WM films, they're not all here as claimed, but still fun to breeze through this...

 

www.skinet.com/ski/galleries/revisiting-every-warren-miller-film

post #55 of 59

I just saw the movie last night.  I agree with some on here- it was rather boring. The heli skiing was hom\ hum, the alps scene was ok, the Montana skit was the worst ski segment i have ever seen - it showed that QuitQuit cant ski for ShitShit but can  throw darts and play pool, although she does have nice eyes- more eye shots than face shots.

The japan skit could of been good but the same go-pro selfie was show over and over and over again.  The Greece segment was the best but by then, bored stiff, so we left.

 

I guess what is missing was some soul,- people cant relate to most of this movie as there was very little actual skiing at a normal ski area with normal people  there having fun. How am i going to get fired up to ski Okemo by watching skiing with a parachute?  If they expanded on the actual Montana ski areas  rather than a girl gets picked up in a bar bit and showed more of the Japan areas, with chair lifts, it would of been better.

post #56 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by bustedknee View Post

 

I guess what is missing was some soul,- people cant relate to most of this movie as there was very little actual skiing at a normal ski area with normal people  there having fun. 

If you have a chance, watch Pretty Faces.

post #57 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by bustedknee View Post
 

I just saw the movie last night.  I agree with some on here- it was rather boring. The heli skiing was hom\ hum, the alps scene was ok, the Montana skit was the worst ski segment i have ever seen - it showed that QuitQuit cant ski for ShitShit but can  throw darts and play pool, although she does have nice eyes- more eye shots than face shots.

The japan skit could of been good but the same go-pro selfie was show over and over and over again.  The Greece segment was the best but by then, bored stiff, so we left.

 

I guess what is missing was some soul,- people cant relate to most of this movie as there was very little actual skiing at a normal ski area with normal people  there having fun. How am i going to get fired up to ski Okemo by watching skiing with a parachute?  If they expanded on the actual Montana ski areas  rather than a girl gets picked up in a bar bit and showed more of the Japan areas, with chair lifts, it would of been better.

I never understand why people want to see the shitty boring skiing that they do. By this logic I would assume you have no interest in watching anyone who is a professional at something you enjoy.

post #58 of 59
 
Originally Posted by bustedknee View Post
I guess what is missing was some soul,- people cant relate to most of this movie as there was very little actual skiing at a normal ski area with normal people  there having fun.

 

I don't like to make self-limiting pronouncements, but in all likelihood I'm never going to ride a bike like Danny McAskill or ski and huck like Seth Morrison. But I ride a bike and ski, and love watching those guys (and others) do what they do. It inspires me, and pushes me a bit to expand my own ability and ultimately what I experience.

 

Sure, it's all subjective, but there was so much good stuff in that Warren Miller film I just don't get why so many people feel compelled to rip on it. Sad.

post #59 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecimmortal View Post
 

I never understand why people want to see the shitty boring skiing that they do. By this logic I would assume you have no interest in watching anyone who is a professional at something you enjoy.

 

Hm.  Maybe.

 

For me, although I enjoy what they do, it's pretty mild enjoyment. I get more pleasure watching, say, Ligety or Vonn do what they do.  Or maybe Beaulieu.  They're doing things I can relate to -- at any rate, more than I can relate to skiing 60 degree, 1000 foot exposures and doing back flips off ridge lines.  Nothing wrong with what they do.  It's way impressive.  But it doesn't rivet me bodily the way other kinds of skiing do.  Not that people are stupid for stoking on the WM genre, just that it's not for everyone, not for every skier.  

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