The last few months have been a roller coaster ride for Sherpas Cinema, with the release of Into the Mind to critical acclaim and debate, and validation from far and wide after two years of hard work. Sales have been incredibly strong, and Director Dave Mossop is confident that the company’s second major film will be the most watched ski film of all time, if it isn’t already just three months after release.
To cap it off, Into the Mind walked away with the Best Cinematography Award from Powder Magazine at their annual Powder Awards.
“We were stoked — stoked and honoured,” said Sherpas director Dave Mossop of the award. “With the digital cameras and technology, there’s an incredible amount of amazing cinematography going on, and we’re extremely honoured to get the cinematography award.”
Into the Mind followed 2011’s All.I.Can, which is also on the list of top grossing ski films of all time. Through both films, the Sherpas have been credited for elevating ski films into the realm of fine art, delving into the spiritual side of the sport and the athletes, while changing the way skiers look at the world (the Sherpas’ urban ski scenes are particularly groundbreaking).
And now Mossop’s job, as well as the job for all the contributing members of the team, is to find a way to top their previous work. It’s a big job, but they’re not rushing into anything just yet.
“At the root of it, I guess we’ve set a precedent for ourselves where we go out and try to find something new, try to evolve and expand the art of ski cinema,” he said. “And really, that comes from daring to dream. All of our movies so far are these lofty, crazy dreams that we started out thinking were impossible, but we decided to go for them anyway. And now, after Into the Mind, we have no reason to believe that even our wildest dreams can’t come true.”
Mossop said the Sherpas enjoyed the fact that there was a lot of discussion about their latest film, even if some of it was negative. The fact that they had made a film that people were talking about and debating afterwards was the icing on the cake.
“It’s awesome that people are talking about it, I think that’s the definition of a work of art,” he said. “We’re extremely pleased it hasn’t turned into some mundane, meaningless thing that people have forgotten about immediately after watching it.
“Our primary goal with these films is to evoke change and inspire people, and getting a reaction is the most important thing, whether it’s good or bad — as long as it’s a strong reaction.”
That said, the Sherpas aren’t thinking too hard about their next film just yet. They have other small projects on the go with emerging filmmaking talents, as well as commercial work with Travel Alberta to promote their ski resorts. They also may have another project booked for the FlyOver Canada attraction in Vancouver, which has already had over 200,000 people pass through since the summer.
In the process, Mossop says his goal, and the goal of the other Sherpas, is to use the time off to reconnect with nature and skiing, “so we can approach the next (film) with some fresh ideas. Our schedule is usually every two years… which is fine with us.”