Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Slamdance with Arielle: Ski Bum

It’s my pleasure to introduce Arielle, my wife and an eager new contributor who is covering the Slamdance Film Festival in Park City this year, along with a few Sundance selections.

Cast and crew of the film at Slamdance

Ski Bum: The Warren Miller Story
Directed by Patrick Creadon
Breakout Features

I’m not a “sports person,” even less so a “ski person,” but this film intrigued me nonetheless, in part because I had a feeling that its placement as Slamdance’s opening night film meant it had to appeal to more than just sports fans. But even more than that, I was eager to see the film because I had the great fortune of speaking to the film’s director, Patrick Creadon, co-producer Jeff Conroy, and cast member John Egan on a press line before the film and found them to be incredibly kind, warm, and excited for others to hear about the incredible man Warren Miller was and the legacy he left behind.

And what a legacy he left! It was quite fitting that this film’s world premiere was in Park City at Slamdance as it tells the story of Warren Miller, a skier and filmmaker who changed the face of extreme sports and brought adventure into the lives and homes of people everywhere. Warren was an outdoorsman through and through, sacrificing his comfort and ease in order to capture the perfect moment on camera. He felt that audiences perceived his life as just that – perfect – while it was anything but. “He inspired me to go places because I watched a film. But what was more interesting to me was the idea that there was this whole other complicated guy behind the persona he was portraying,” remarked Conroy. “His honesty surprised me, his willingness to tell the whole truth. In fact, he sits down and I’m like, ‘I gotta tell the bad things too,’ and he’s like, ‘It wouldn’t be a good story without it.’” Warren persisted in the face of every obstacle he encountered, choosing to see the best in others and to pursue his dreams, whatever it took. “Warren was one of America’s original independent filmmakers and independent film distributors, and I don’t think he gets enough credit for that,” Creadon said. “He was doing that since 1950, long before the independent film movement happened in Hollywood….We wanted to really give him the credit that he deserves for paving the way for so many filmmakers, not just skiers.” Warren committed himself to sharing his love of skiing with anyone who would listen, though this film eloquently and artistically demonstrates that he gave the world and all those who knew him so much more.

Creadon noted, “Warren was the pied piper, not only of skiing, but of adventure, and he really saw value in getting out and pushing your own limits and exploring the world and exploring mother nature and spending time with your family and friends.” You may not care much about sports or filmmaking, but I can assure you that by the end of “Ski Bum: The Warren Miller Story,” you’ll wish you had grown up watching his movies. And if you were one of the lucky ones who did, share those videos with your loved ones. Either way, do yourself a favor and watch this film; let Warren Miller change your life, through the stories he was famous for telling and the stories his loved ones shared about him. After all, as Warren would say, “If you don't do it this year, you'll just be one year older when you do.”


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