Here I am sitting on a train waiting to get to Elephant & Castle, one of the more beautiful parts of London. If you can't tell when sarcasm is being written, you’re looking at ground zero right here (also, apologies for anyone that lives in Elephant & Castle). But I digress... Despite the outside setting, the Coronet Theatre is the perfect establishment for what I'm about to see, and I just can't wait.
A couple of weeks ago I received an email from an Emily Millns asking if I would like to attend her premiere of Matchstick Productions' 'Superheroes Of Stoke'. The American premiere was in September but I still hadn't had a chance to see it and this was the UK premiere so I jumped at the chance. But before I waffle on about the film there's a bit of backstory you might like to hear, if you don't already know.
MSP have been in the ski movie business for some time now. Twenty years in fact. And that's what this film is all about - a celebration of those twenty years and their company being the most award-winning ski company out there! With a rider list that reads like a red carpet at an Oscar bash for skiers and cameras making their way to every corner of the earth, MSP are forever set up to capture an absolute stunner of a movie. But this one has a few bits extra.
Before the movie kicked off we had to have the obligatory raffle for the crowd, some stalls for the sponsors and, more importantly I might add, beer pong. After downing a few cups of the good stuff, it was movie time. I took my seat and waited to be left in awe by MSP.
There's no fucking around here, it's impressive and nothing short of it.
I wasn't disappointed either. After being in the film industry for 20 years, MSP had carefully cut together 19 years of footage, archived footage, with some stunning HD footage shot in 4K. It was a clear show of their professionalism and talent in the skiing world, and it seemed like the punters around me were suitably impressed as well! The use of over 150 locations to shoot for this movie came in pretty handy as we were whisked from coast to coast, and country to country. With many segments making a lasting impression on everyone watching – the powder segment from Chatter Creek, BC with Mark Abma, Logan Pehota and James Heim – there was one part that will always stick in mine. It wasn't Sean Pettit, Richard Permin and Riley Leboe in Japan, no, but the tribute to Sarah Burke, Shane McConkey, Arne Backstrom, CR Johnson and Antoine Montant. It's tributes like this in movies like this that really hit anyone watching it. It shows our sport as fragile and human, but not in a negative way. They are still people like you and me but they're still people like you and me. They've pushed the sport to boundaries we could never have perceived and for that we thank them for it. It's a perfect and fitting tribute from a film company that's been involved for longer than most of us have.
As the credits roll and the curtain drops on another incredible ski move from Matchstick Productions, the mutterings of the crowd is nothing but positive. Every other ski movie production company out there are always going to be looking up to MSP and this just shows them how it's done when you hit a milestone. There's no fucking around here, it's impressive and nothing short of it. I just hope that 20 years is the beginning of a long, long life in the ski world. I don't just want another 20, I want another 40, 60, 80 and beyond.
Special thanks to Emily for putting on the UK premiere and to Matchstick Productions for doing what they do best. If you fancy buying the movie on DVD then visit their site here and get involved. I wonder if anything else will stand up to it this season?