There is ‘No Turning Back’ for Warren Miller Entertainment
After 65 years and as many winter-sports films, Warren Miller Entertainment shows no sign of stopping anytime soon.
In fact, the company’s work ethic is summed up in the latest film’s title, "No Turning Back."
The 1 ½-hour film will premiere in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Oct. 18, at Abravanel Hall, at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. and will be screened in Ogden on Oct. 22 and 23 at 7:30 p.m.
Park City audiences will get the opportunity to see the film at the Eccles Center for the Performing Arts on Oct. 24 at 8 p.m. and Oct. 25 at 6 p.m. After that, the film will be screened in Orem at the SCERA on Oct. 29 and 30 at 7:30 p.m.
"No Turning Back" continues the Warren Miller tradition of igniting excitement for skiing and snowboarding with its sweeping line cuts and cliff drops.
This year, the scenes include Northern Japan, the Swiss Alps, France, Montana and Norway.
Local athletes in the film include Julian Carr, Sierra Quitiquit, Kaylin Richardson and Olympic gold medalists Bode Miller and Ted Ligety.
"No Turning Back" pays tribute to past Warren Miller films with flashbacks of past footage, but also looks ahead with new angles and story arcs.
In one of those segments, two-time Olympian Kaylin Richardson, correspondent for the Weather Channel and host of her own PEAK radio program, teams with Øystein Aasheim, who won the 2012 Junior Norwegian Championships in Røldal.
The two find themselves on the islands of Lofoten, Norway, and embark on a quest to find an ancient ski.
"I’ve always known that people consider Norway the cradle of skiing, and when I found out we were going super far north, I got excited because I know there have been old skis, artifacts and relics that have been found in the region and in Trondheim," said Richardson, who is a self-proclaimed ski-history buff. "These skis were used more for transportation and not to hit big lines or drop cliffs, so it was cool to think about people generations ago who attached wooden boards on their feet to get around."
The arc and the idea came from the film’s director, Chris Patterson, Richardson told The Park Record.
"He has been a cinematographer for Warren Miller for maybe 20 years, but this is his first year that he was billed as director," Richardson said. "He emailed me when I got to Norway and told me he wanted the film to have more of a common thread. And while all the films have a theme, Chris knew that I prefer narrative arcs and stories, so we tried to do one for our segment.
"I think that definitely adds more to the film," Richardson explained. "It makes it more complex, because all the segments we filmed weren’t just trying to only get beautiful ski shots. We were using the beautiful shots to tell a story."
That meant every night, Richardson and the film crew — comprised of Tom and Danny Day, who are father and son — reviewed the shot list.
"We would sit down after hiking for three to four hours and skiing until the sun went down, to make sure we were getting our in-and-out points," Richardson said.
What made the shoots more enjoyable was Aasheim, who along with Richardson, is a Helly Hansen ambassador athlete.
"Øystein is 19 and had only been with the [Helly Hansen winter clothing] team for three months," Richardson said. "Being that young, he would go for broke and just go so hard as he could, and that made it fun."
The crew and athletes stayed at the Lofoten Ski Lodge, which was made up of converted fishing cabins that are right next to the water.
"The area was idyllic and quintessential Scandinavia and to keep down costs, we all stayed in one cabin, which had a little bunk room that was pretty much the size of a closet," Richardson said with a laugh. "When I walked in on the first day, I thought, ‘You’ve got to be kidding’ and then I said, ‘Well, Øystein, we’re going to get to know each other pretty well,’ because I was on the top bunk and he was on the bottom."
Richardson and Aasheim got used to the close quarters and developed a great rapport.
"In fact, the way that we are portrayed in the segment is what we were like," Richardson said. "There was a lot of life-imitating-art moments and vice versa."
At times, Richardson, the former Canyons Resort ambassador for skiing, took on a producer and older-sister role.
"Øystein had never filmed before and there were times when we had long hikes, and being a 19-year-old, he had a tendency to drag his [feet] a bit," Richardson said. "I’m not going to lie and say I know he felt like I was being bossy at times, but there were times when I was like, ‘Øystein! Let’s go!’"
Those times reveals Richardson’s enthusiasm and determination, which helped her when she was an Olympian.
"I can be a little obsessive where I set my mind to do something," she said. "For better or worse, I will do it and my family will tell you that anytime they say I can’t do something, it’s challenge accepted."
That was something Patterson wanted to focus on for the segment.
"Chris, who knows my personality, thought it would be fun to examine that part of my personality and the fact that these skis have been found in this area," Richardson said.
The ski the two searched for is actually in a museum, but that didn’t take the wind out of Richardson’s sails.
"It was cool to go the place where it was found and have that little connection to think about who have been living there before us," she said.
One of the things Richardson noticed during her time in Lofoten was the lack of snow in the lower altitudes.
"Since this is a ski film first and foremost, we had to get some skiing shots, and, to tell you the truth, it was tough," said Richardson, who is an I AM PRO SNO climate ambassador. "It was sobering for me to hear everyone telling us that it was the warmest and driest winter they have had in 200 years, when they started recording the weather conditions.
"Even our guide would tell us that usually people could ski down to the water," she said. "We still found some real good skiing, but it was variable."
The biggest challenge was hiking three or four hours to the snow zones.
"There were no chair lifts and we ended up hiking so we could ski," Richardson said. "To hike over rocks in ski boots was difficult."
The filming in Lofoten took two weeks, and the editing cut the experience down to seven minutes.
"That meant we had to make every bit of our skiing count," Richardson said. "That’s the heart of Warren Miller movies. It’s a celebration, and I wanted to share that joyfulness I get when I ski, so that I can spread that contagious exhilaration to get people outdoors."
Warren Miller’s "No Turning Back" will screen in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Oct. 18, at Abravanel Hall at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. and will be screened in Ogden on Oct. 22 and 23 at 7:30 p.m. Park City screenings will be held at the Eccles Center for the Performing Arts on Oct. 24 at 8 p.m. and Oct. 25 at 6 p.m. The film will also be screened in Orem at the SCERA on Oct. 29 and 30 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the Salt Lake screenings are available by visiting http://www.arttix.org . Tickets for Ogden are available at http://www.egyptiantheaterogden.com . Park City tickets are available at Cole Sport or by visiting eccelscenter.org. And tickets for the SCERA shows are available at eventbrite.com. For more information, visit http://www.skinet.com/warrenmiller.
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