|ESPN.com: Freeskiing||[Print without images]|
Much like the posh, big budget Holly-world of feature filmmaking, each year the top filmmakers in skiing and snowboarding set out to create a film that's better than all the rest. And every year they push the boundaries of sport and filmmaking: unexplored zones, new tricks, bigger jumps, innovative camera techniques and angles, more original music. There are dozens of films touring the country right now, but our ski and snowboard experts set out to award the 10 best in the most coveted of categories based on talent, creativity, gnarliness of tricks and terrain, editing and overall impact. So roll out the red carpet, grab your popcorn and call Steve Martin, because this show's just getting started. Presenting the 2010 ESPN Action Sports Ski and Snowboard Video Awards.
|Best Picture: Matchstick Productions|
SKI: Matchstick Productions' "The Way I See It"
This year's MSP film, "The Way I See It," deviates from the standard ski flick with a humbling and inspiring segment on MSP veteran Ingrid Backstrom and her brother Arne, who passed away in June. On top of that, the film includes mind-blowing shots from backwoods British Columbia with Mark Abma and Eric Hjorleifson, an epic kicker at Alyeska with Bobby Brown and friends, comedic relief from Colby West and a killer soundtrack (the film starts with Queen's "Fat Bottomed Girls"). "This is definitely one of MSP's best movies," Ingrid Backstrom says. "The skiing is completely insane, the cinematography somehow manages to be even better than in the past and it really captures the total feeling of skiing." We couldn't agree more.
Honorable Mention: Teton Gravity Research's "Light the Wick"
|Best Picture: TransWorld's "In Color"|
Best Male Performance in a Leading Role
|Best Male Performance: Dane Tudor|
SKI: Dane Tudor, Poor Boyz Productions' "Revolver"
Dane Tudor is a relative newcomer to the ski film scene -- the 21-year-old has filmed with Theory-3 Media and two seasons with PBP -- but he literally steals the show in Poor Boyz Productions' latest release, "Revolver." There's not just one Tudor segment in the film, but several. The Alaska/B.C.-native hops from massive kickers in the Whistler backcountry to powder in Niseko, Japan, to bony spines in Haines, Alaska, stomping every air and cleaning big-mountain lines with an effortless style not unlike Sage Cattabriga-Alosa's. "Dane is the all-around shredder we all wish we could be," long-time pro Mike Douglas says. "There's not one aspect of freeskiing that he isn't really good at. It's going to be cool to see how he'll push the sport over the next few years." Sage, better watch out.
Honorable Mention: Sean Pettit, Matchstick Productions' "The Way I See It"
|Winner Best Male Performance: Jeremy Jones|
Best Female Performance in a Leading Role
|Best Female Performance: Grete Eliassen|
SKI: Grete Eliassen, "Say My Name"
Eliassen gets props for putting together one of the first all-girls ski films that people actually watched and enjoyed. Secondly, she gets props for nailing the most diverse female segment we've seen in a while. The film, which stars her, includes everything from rail slides in the nation's capital to big-mountain lines in Utah's Wasatch range. "Grete definitely put together a notable film with impressive skiing," two-time X Games gold medalist Kaya Turski says. "Usually girls get short segments and it was cool to see Grete skiing to her fullest potential in full segments."
Honorable Mention: Rachael Burks, Teton Gravity Research's "Light the Wick"
|Best Female Performance: Jess Kimura|
|Best Cinematography: Teton Gravity Research|
SKI: Teton Gravity Research's "Light the Wick"
Imagine Sammy Carlson, John Spriggs and Byron Wells throwing 1260s and switch double misties over your head in a movie theater and you'd have a glimpse of TGR's 3D experiment, shot at Washington's Stevens Pass. "Light the Wick" is the first ski movie to incorporate 3D technology, which was done with two RED cameras shot from a helicopter. "It's the best TGR film I've seen in years," Powder magazine editor Derek Taylor says. "The 3D was definitely what everyone left talking about. It was definitely next level for ski films. I'm really excited to see where they go with it." The truth is, though, TGR would win this award even without the 3D: The film is meticulously shot from beginning to end.
Honorable Mention: B4Apres' "Azadi: Freedom"
|Best Cinematography: Pirate Productions|
|Best Soundtrack: Level 1|
SKI: Level 1's "Eye Trip"
The diversity of music is what got us on this one. So many ski films these days are all one genre: reggae or hip-hop ad nauseam. But in Level 1's "Eye Trip," listeners get a mix of everything. There's hip-hop from Redman, 1960s rock like The Stooges' "I Wanna Be Your Dog," and Swedish indie rock from Peter Bjorn and John. The best segment in the film is probably the last one, which features a massive kicker at Sun Valley, Idaho, and we couldn't imagine a better musical accompaniment to that than Black Sabbath's "Children of the Grave."
Honorable Mention: Nimbus Independent's "En Route"
|Best Soundtrack: DJ Baron ~ "9191"|