If you haven’t seen the JP Auclair segment in the film All.I.Can where he skis the streets of Rossland and Nelson British Columbia, now’s your chance. Even if you have seen it, this is worth a repeat. Set to a pitch perfect LCD Soundsystem song, Auclair launches casual cork 7s over parked cars, backflips over road intersections, and makes the most of the melting snow. Sparks fly from his edges as he grinds down a gutter. A dog barks as he pumps his legs for sidewalk speed. A kid throws a snowball at him. By the end of his run, it will be hard for you to see winter streets the same again.
Anyone with an interest in action sports movies has likely seen, or at least heard of, the environmentally-focused cinematic masterpiece, “All I Can”. If you have not, then do yourself a favor and view the intro here:
Well, the Sherpas are back at it again. This time, the focus is to go “Into the Mind” of the action sports athlete. The synopsis sets the stage for further curiosity:
Blur the lines between dream state and reality, as you perceive the world through the minds of many. Into the Mind contemplates the experiences passed between mentors and peers to paint a philosophical portrait of human kind. What drives us to overcome challenge? How do we justify risk? What forces are at the core of a mountain addiction? Unique athlete segments over a multitude of mountain sport genres, depict the connectivity of Earth and window into never seen before moments. Explore how we begin our perception of self, construct the foundations of confidence, and are ultimately led to the path of self-actualization.
The words spark curiosity, but perhaps it is better to let the footage speak for itself. Here is a teaser that came out recently. Keep in mind there are still several months of filming and editing ahead, this is just what was laying around from the previous year:
And there is much more to come. The past week, the Sherpas have been filming in Whistler, BC, for an in-bounds segment for the upcoming film. Most of the mechanics of the sequence are kept under wraps. But what I can tell you is what everyone else on the ski resort saw — there are dozens of talented athletes in this shoot, and they are all sending it big in front of many excited onlookers. Some of the sequences feature a mob of skiers and snowboarders navigating 55 degree hardpack and moguls — up to 50 people at a time!
A day out with the Sherpas is much different than your average film production, or for that matter, any other ski/snowboard film crew. Perhaps it’s in the subtle confidence that what is being shot is artistic, ground breaking, and fun. Everyone is relaxed for the most part, with the exception of a few stressful points. Contrast that to a regular film shoot when every second of every day is stressful, and this is a great relief.
The athletes must adjust their routine from going hard and shredding constantly to one of patience and precision as they must wait for the cameras to be set up. The precision must come from the fact that this is a synchronized effort that relies on multiple people in the same shot.
Not to mention that this whole shoot has been taking place during some of the driest February (and January, too) conditions on Whistler/Blackcomb in a long time. This means fast, hard, chattery snow that does not feel very good when you fall. But these skiers are the best in the game, and so far, all the shots have gone off without a single hitch.
“Into the Mind” comes out in September. You will not want to miss this. In fact, it will be extremely hard to miss it after everyone is talking about it and sharing their thoughts online.