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Monday, August 29, 2011
If You Want to Fly

Vital Films is an Aspen, Colo.-based film production company known mainly for their music videos. This fall, they'll debut their second-ever ski film, called "If You Want to Fly," which was shot entirely in Aspen with local athletes like Matt Walker, Torin Yater-Wallace and Nick Devore. It will be available to download for free in September. We spoke to Vital Films' Matt Hobbs about music, Aspen, and why he didn't mind sharing the name of his last ski movie with Poor Boyz Productions.

Your film will be available to download for free. Yet you have no sponsors and no budget. Please explain.
Our main goal in producing a video that had no sponsors and no funding was to show people that it is 100 percent possible. I got really tired over the past few years seeing the logos become more important to the sport than the skiing. Vital Films is all about the art and sport over the sponsorships. That is much more valuable to me because we get to do whatever we want, with whoever we want. Not saying sponsorship is bad, I think it's a great way to build up the sport. We just are in a position where we can do it on our own, so why not?

"If You Want to Fly" was shot 100 percent in the Aspen area, yes? But you swear Aspen isn't footing the bill for this?
I swear! Aspen did not put any funds into the film, but I do not want to discredit the help they have given us. Without them, this film would not be possible. They have been our biggest supporter to date, not only this season but since we started in 2006. I am a big fan of traveling, but Aspen is my favorite place to be. That is what this film showcases. It shows the amazing paradise we live in and the amazing athletes who come from this area.

You're lucky there's such a big supply of good skiers who live there to choose from.
I really believe that the talent is so strong here because we are products of the place we live. So having all athletes come from Aspen felt like the right fit for the film. Also the diversity in talent here is amazing, from the young gun Torin Yater-Wallace to legendary freeheel skier Nick Devore.

Vital Films also produces music videos. Are there elements of music videos in your ski films?
I think producing music videos really helps separate our style from any other film companies in the snow sports community. Vital Films has produced over 50 music videos in the past three years, and that has really become the backbone of our company. I strongly feel in any video, the music is the most important element. Basically when you watch one of our ski films, you will get the vibe as if you are watching a music video.

What kind of music is in "If You Want to Fly?"
The advantage in producing a lot of music videos is that we get to meet so many great artists. So naturally all of our ski projects only feature artists we work with. This film features an all-star line up of music, specifically independent hip-hop like Atmosphere, The Grouch, Zion I, Eligh, Guru of Gang Starr, People Under The Stiars, Talib Kweli, Brother Ali and more. We also are featuring an amazing new group called Inspired Flight who did the song for the trailer.

Your last ski film, which came out in 2008, was called "Everyday is a Saturday." Poor Boyz's 2009 film was also called "Everyday is a Saturday." They didn't know the name was already taken?
We never got too angry over the situation or decided to take any legal actions. We did talk via email with PBP before they decided to use the name. They told me they saw our film and wanted to hear more about the demographics for it. After that, they said they liked the name and that they were interested in using it for the 2009 film. I said it was cool with me. I took it as a compliment more anything else. If one of the biggest companies in the ski industry wanted to use my idea, then I must be doing something right.