It's the season of ski porn.
Before the snow falls, ski moviemakers from around the country roll out their latest offerings, always aiming to better the previous year's movie with stunning cinematography capturing the best skiers shredding the world's gnarliest terrain. For the next several weeks, premieres and showings will dominate area theaters, sparking the ski season with heart-pounding images that energize every type of skier.
The game was once dominated by Warren Miller, who inspired the legendary Greg Stump, who in turn spawned influential moviemakers Matchstick Productions from Crested Butte and Wyoming's Teton Gravity Research. And now those two nearly 20-year-old outfits have seeded a swarming generation of ski moviemakers, many based in Colorado.
"Once there were two, and now there are 50," said Steve Winter, who joins Red Bull and Matchstick Productions co-founders Murray Wais and Scott Gaffney in showing the anticipated documentary "McConkey" on Oct. 21 at Denver's Ellie Caulkins Opera House. "The Colorado scene has come on strong. Skiing in our state is a staple, and it is only natural that kids will turn their love for the sport into a career."
Colorado has at least five prominent ski moviemakers. Sweetgrass Productions, which premiered its genre-bending "Valhalla" on Friday at the Paramount Theatre, was born of three Colorado College film grads. Denver's Level 1 Productions last year won Powder Magazine's coveted "Movie of the Year" award for "Sunny." Boulder's Stept Productions moved from Boston six years ago and has branched into diverse video production involving real estate, commercials, documentaries and off-snow action sports. And Crested Butte's Two Plank Productions' fifth movie, "Because," garnered several awards.
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