Tales from the Road

  • Greg

    Front-of-book Feature, Winter 2011-12

Published in SnoWorld, magazine of the 62nd annual Warren Miller film tour

The making of Warren Miller's 62nd annual filmDRINKING JELLYBEANS, yeti/moose encounters, and magical 100-point turns: most of what went into making this year’s film just doesn’t sound real.

haskimoto [1:59 PM Aug 10th 2010 via web]: Film crew just left for Queenstown New Zealand. Here we go, @warrenmillerent 62nd annual film is officially in production!

Magic Driving? We Think Not.
Tyler Ceccanti reports on riding with photographer Alex O’Brien to their film shoot at CMH’s Monashee lodge:
“It was dumping out. We found this road which we thought had to be the driveway. It was just wide enough for the truck, so there was no turning around. We drove for about 20 minutes before we realized we were in a really bad place, along a cliff line and we could see where an avalanche had come down across this little road. Alex magically got the truck to do a 180 without turning.”
Really?
“It was downhill with 15-foot-tall snow banks on each side. As he started a 100-point-turn (Austin Powers style), the back end slid and the front twisted enough. It was crazy. As we were coming back along the cliff band, slough started to come down from above.”

My helmet cam is bigger than yours.
Just after Colby West agreed to shoot POV of his experience running around the X-games, the film crew showed him his rig. A belt harness held an articulated arm that ran over his shoulder to hold the 16mm camera in front of his eyes. Don’t they make smaller helmet cams these days?

Refreshing Ice-cold Jellybeans
In one filming location that shall remain unnamed, it turns out the resort was dry. As in no alcohol. Not that our film crews are lushes, but as one cameraman puts it: “After these long days, we usually sit down and have a beer to think about the day. We always start before sunrise and go to sunset, so it’s nice to kick back.” In this case, getting that end-of-day barley soda meant sneaking off-property. Camera crews invented a code word for their contraband: Jellybeans. Heard on the radio that day: “I’m really looking forward to having a jellybean.” And, when someone was headed to town for milk: “Hey, pick up a few more jellybeans.”

Funniest moment caught on camera this year?
“Watching snow monkeys do it like they do on the Discovery Channel.” - Lynsey Dyer “Watching Josh in the yeti suit getting chased by the female moose—from the safety of the car.” - Tyler Ceccanti

Scariest moment in filming?
“Did Tyler really say that moose attack was the funniest moment? Jerk.” - Josh Haskins “Peeing in Pakistan and wondering if big army helicopters were going to fly over and take us out for crossing the line.” - Lynsey Dyer

Hey Lel Tone, what do teens envy most about your job?
“Being able to haul around 30 pounds of dynamite on your back and huck bombs. You can blow sh-t up for your job. That, I’m sure, is every teenage boy’s wet dream. Also, I get to fly around in an A-Star for a living.”

Don’t Rip That Crotch Out
With a $7,000 damage deposit on his credit card, Line Producer Josh Haskins was sweating bullets the whole week they shot that yeti costume in Canada: “The rental was $600 a day. I’m thinking I’m going to buy this thing whether I like it or not.” “There were moments where Andy [Mahre] was wearing the suit, no one was shooting him and he was completely in character: running around, freaking people out in the stairwells. We’d just hear shrieks and shake our heads and say: ‘Andy.'”

Ski Bum Guilt
“In Kashmir, everyone has a strong opinion and anger—understandably for what they’ve been through. As soon as it comes up, people get very serious. But everyone, no matter what side they were on, instantly shifted to a lighter, more playful space upon the idea of skiing powder snow. For a moment everyone was on the same page, sharing the same experience. Those moments made me proud of my sport and a little less guilty that we flew halfway around the world to indulge ourselves in deep curry powder.” – Lynsey Dyer