Signature ‘Yearbook’ parachutes into town |

Signature ‘Yearbook’ parachutes into town

Shauna Farnell
Special to the Daily Mike Douglas takes flight in "Yearbook," the latest film by Matchstick Productions which will make its Vail debut at 8 p.m. tonight at The Crossroads Theatre in Vail Village.

VAIL – With snow on the peaks, the reality of the 2004-05 ski season is quickly coming to fruition.And just when you think you’ve witnessed someone launch the biggest cliff you’ve ever seen, Matchstick Productions finds a bigger cliff.

This year’s Matchstick film, “Yearbook,” will launch at 8 p.m. today in Vail at Crossroads Theater in Vail Village.”When you see the film, you see stuff that even people who are excellent skiers would never, ever, attempt to do,” said Riley Poor, public relations director for Matchstick.”Yearbook” is a collection of footage from some of the most daring lines and ski stunts imaginable. The footage was taken throughout the 2003-2004 ski season, isolating Aspen, Bella Coola, B.C. and the French, Swiss and Norwegian Alps. With the school theme running throughout the film, “senior” class members Shane McConkey and J.T. Holmes of Squaw Valley, Calif., attempt some of the most death-defying stunts ever seen on film.

One of the highlights of “Yearbook” is the ski-base footage filmed at The Eiger in Switzerland. For those unversed in ski-basing, it is a type of skiing that involves a difficult line down a mountain ending in a climactic leap off a cliff and a parachute drop to earth. McConkey was allured by the concept of ski-basing as a child when he first saw James Bond attempt it in “The Spy Who Loved Me.”Other featured skiers in “Yearbook” include Colorado’s Seth Morrison, X-Games four-time gold medalist Tanner Hall, CR Johnson, Hugo Harrisson, Mark Abma, Rory Bushfield, Steele Spence, Ingrid Backstrom, Tanner Rainville, Mike Wilson, Eric Pollard, Stian Hagen, Nicholas Karlstrom and Mike Douglas.

Matchstick Productions was founded in 1991 by Steve Winter. During the filming of Matchstick movies, film crews often encounter severe avalanche and storm dangers. During a 1998 shoot in South America, the crew sustained a helicopter crash in the Andes Mountains. The crash killed the pilot and photographer TR Youngstrom, and Winter and Morrison were seriously injured.”Yearbook,” kicked off its fall tour last month with its world premiere at the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen. The tour will continue through November and include 100 U.S. stops and 50 throughout Europe, Japan and Australia.”The idea is to get everyone stoked for winter and get them out skiing,” Poor said. “Usually it does a pretty good job of that.”

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