Year after year, ski bums and snowboard enthusiasts eagerly anticipate the start of the winter season. The annual ski-and-ride flick from Warren Miller Entertainment marks this occasion by capturing the joy, skill and adrenaline-pumping action that attracts viewers of all ages and backgrounds to extreme snow sports.
“Everywhere we go, people are excited to kick off winter with us. Even if it’s 70 degrees in southern California, people are out there with goggles on their heads and are fired up to celebrate the beginning of the season,” says WME road crew manager Colin Barry. “It’s always been the canon of the ski industry and, 70 years running, we’re still going.”
“Timeless,” Warren Miller’s latest film, commemorates the past seven decades of ski cinematography and the future of the sport by following top winter athletes in challenging locales around the world, including the mountains of British Columbia, the slopes of the Colorado Rockies and the rooftop of the European Alps.
“The goal every year is to go out and keep Warren Miller’s legacy alive,” says film producer Ian Anderson. “Our intention is to capture the best ski action possible at the best places you can ski with some of the best athletes on the planet.”
This year’s talented cast of characters includes ski veterans Glen Plake, Rob “Kinger” Kingwill and Forrest Jillson along with fresh faces like Olympian Jaelin Kauf and alpine ski racer Erin Mielzynski.
And, while WME films tend to incorporate some footage from their extensive archives, the team focused more heavily on fresh footage shot between December 2018 and May 2019.
“Primarily, most of the footage you see in the film was all shot last year,” Anderson explains. “In the past three years alone, we’ve doubled the amount of footage that we’ve shot in the past. This year alone, we are looking at close to 100 terabytes [for context, 1 terabyte of storage is equivalent to the storage capacity of roughly eight smart phones] and 200-300 hours’ worth of footage.”
Technologies, like drones, have completely changed the game for the film crew. “It’s offered us the capability to shoot next-level action shots and not have to pay for a helicopter to capture it,” Anderson says.
Despite advancements in technology, the crew is still always at the whim of weather and snow conditions.
“I kid you not, we literally had every single kind of snow condition you could imagine during our shoots, from icy steeps to nice perfect corn, to a little bit of powder, to just rotten, rotten slush,” says Anderson. “That said, we always have guides and professionals with us in the field, making sure we are staying safe.”
Having Volkswagen vehicles like the Atlas and Tiguan on hand over the course of film shooting and production, as well as with the WME film tour team, has also helped ease logistics, Anderson says. “They have a ton of room, which is great because we haul so much gear everywhere we go. We would pack all our gear and it would ride smoothly, even during a variety of driving conditions. It was nice knowing we had a car that could handle many variables thrown at it.”
WME is currently on the road with the film and has hosted 157 screenings in 103 different cities across the country, as well as select venues in Canada. “I think we put 7,000 miles on our Atlas in a month,” says Barry. “It is, by far, the best car we’ve ever had.”
The film will now also be available on streaming services. “It’s a film that literally offers something for everyone, no matter what kind of skier you are – from an early beginner to a seasoned vet,” says Anderson.