There’s a certain kinship that exists among the mountain dwellers of the world. Whistlerites are well aware it’s a very specific kind of person who will just pack up their life and head to a ski town far, far away. It’s that common bond that’s explored in Way of Life, the latest film from acclaimed production company Teton Gravity Research (TGR).
From the backcountry of Pemberton, to the snowy Alps of Austria, TGR’s stellar team of progressive skiers, including local shredders Dana Flahr and Ian McIntosh, ventured to some of the world’s most hallowed winter Meccas for some pulse pounding downhill action, and to find out just what makes the typical skier tick.
“We really took a look at that way of life of people who live in mountain towns commit to,” said TGR founder and president Steve Jones. “So it’s not just the perspective of the skier, but the different cultures and people who make sacrifices or lifestyle choices to live a certain way of life that’s a little different than mainstream society.”
Using a more narrative approach than in past TGR releases, the filmmakers spent more time in fewer locations this go-around to “to really capture the personality and have a bit more of an intimate feel of the character of a place,” said Jones. The crew traced the origins of skiing, even interviewing a 90-year-old Austrian man on what has inspired him to keep riding to this day.
“Way of Life has all this high-end progressive riding you’re used to seeing in TGR films with really fun, energetic music and stuff that really gets you super stoked to go out and shred,” Jones said. “But it also gives you another layer of the fabric of a community and mountain culture, and it’s not just through the eyes of the pro shredhead.”
One of the film’s highlights saw the crew shooting in Alaska with the U.S. Freesking Team hopefuls, including TGR rider Sammy Carlson, offering viewers “an inside glimpse to their commitment to the sport and the lifestyle,” said Jones.
The breathtaking footage was taken to another level through TGR’s usage of the latest iteration of the groundbreaking CineFlex aerial camera system, which shoots at double the resolution of the original CineFlex and is mounted to the outside of a helicopter.
“You’re not reliant on the pilot to put the motion in your shot with this über-stabilized system,” Jones said. “In terms of the stability and range of motion … from an aerial system, it’s next level in terms of the cinematic appearance.”
Way of Life features footage of some of the best freeskiers in the sport, like Sage Catabriga-Alose, Angel Collinson, Griffin Post and John Spriggs, and screens twice at Millennium Place next Saturday (Oct. 19) at 7 and 9 p.m. Tickets are $15, available at www.artswhistler.com or by calling 604-935-8410.
Freeskiing web magazine Doglotion organized the screenings, which will feature tons of free prizes from Atomic Skis, Whistler Blackcomb, The North Face, Clif Bar, and more.
Keep your ticket stubs for free entry to the Way of Life Rocker Party, which starts at 9 p.m. at the Longhorn, with a performance by resort favourites Whole Lotta Led. Dress in your best rock ‘n’ roll gear for the after-party, where there will be even more swag to give away, including a two-day catskiing trip from Backcountry Snowcats.