In Aspen, The Meeting is a celebration of snow and film culture and the unofficial kick-off to ski season and Winter. The Meeting has become an annual gathering of the snow sports tribe. It's a wake-up call to start getting your work done (squats, lunges, planks etc), to line up your gear for 11/12, and to begin the countdown to opening day (Nov 24 in Aspen). All the brand spanking new ski and snowboard movies are shown on the giant screen at The Historic Wheeler Opera House. The crowds are super-enthusiastic. All the industry big wigs show up in the ZG.... athletes., filmers, sponsors, agents, journalists, marketers, brand managers, team managers and hangers-on. It's a great place to connect if you are an up-and-coming ripper and a great place to re-live past glory days if you are an industry exec on the other side of 30. Join the conversation, #themeeting7.
The whole town was buzzing, from the groms in the front row to most jaded Aspen locals who have seen it all. The unpredictable mountain weather cooperated by being glorious all weekend. Clear, warm and increasingly golden. The slate of ski porn was undeniably the best of all-time. 11 movies in 2 days from all the top film crews, pros like MSP (Matchstick Productions), TGR (Teton Gravity Research), Level 1, Poor Boyz, Standard Films and more. Throw in NEPSA on Thursday which is the Locals night to shine (see previous posting) and you have a nice little weekend.
The Meeting in its 7th year has evolved organically into a "must attend" event for the ski and snowboard industry. In addition to the snow flicks, The Meeting hosts several high-level, business oriented sessions. This year, 3 panel discussions were held; The Olympic Experience, Sustainability and Social Marketing. Each was interesting, relevant and well attended. Work is work...but no convention would be complete without a little boon-doggle action. On Saturday, RED BULL hosted a no holds barred go-cart comp. at the Woody Creek Race Track. Speeds in the 60's mixed with a testosterone fueled group of risk-takers (yeah the ladies were fired up too) led to BIG fun and lots of near misses on the track. Aspen / Snowmass marketing dude, "Digi" Dave Amirault took first place and won a $300 gift card from Target. His flyweight status came in handy according the the other finalists.
The partying...well,... that was off the hook. Yeah, we took a few pix...but what goes on the road stays on the road at The Meeting. No late night tagging but click 4 pix.
Two of the snow films deserve special recognition.
THE ART of FLIGHT: Starring Travis Rice, Mark Landvick and Eric Willett and others. Produced by Red Bull Media House and Brain Farm Digital Media. Directed by Curt Morgan.
The Art of Flight is probably the most hyped snow film of all-time and maybe the most expensive. The Art of Flight (TAOF) has generated more on-line buzz than any other snow film and actually lived up to the hype. It's not just a snow boarding film it's an experience. The scenery documented by Red Bull and Brain Farm was breathtaking. The chopper shots can only be described at siiiiiiiiiick. The Art of Flight takes the genre to new levels. TAOF was one of 5 films at The Meeting featuring an ultra-high def shotgun blast sequence, but TAOF's riders actually chopped down large trees and exploded propane tanks with teir guns during downtime. What can you say...Red Bull knows it's audience. The louder- than-loud dolby enhanced sound track kept the SRO crowd riveted to the screen. Feeling the "jones"?...down load TAOF and watch it on your phone. If TAOF does not get you fired up to ride on the mountain...you're already dead.
THE ORDINARY SKIER: Starring: Seth Morrison Produced by 1242 and Oakley Productions. Directed by CP.
The Ordinary Skier (TOS) is a cinematic experience that extends past the typical ski film space. It's not just another ski film, it's a well made, well written documentary whose protagonist is emotionally involved with skiing. Seth Morrison is one of the original pro freeskiers who was able to carve out a successful career without focusing on competition. Seth just loves skiing POW and always pursued his passion. The rest of the stuff eventually fell into place. The Ordinary Skier tells Morrison's story and reveals that he's much more than the DAD of RAD (our words) and a purple headed super-charger who would always go bigger than anyone. Morrison is shown to be a quiet, contemplative, perfectionist who is driven by instinct and riding on a course not previously followed in the commercial skiing world. Much of the film shows Seth and his buds exploring huge lines in the Alps near Chamonix and getting "Chamofied". Seth Morrison has been leading the pack on mountain for more than 20 years and based on The Ordinary Skier...that will never change.
The Meeting is the first step in a seasonal rite of passage. The juices start to flow. For some people hitting the slopes is a chilly, once-a-year vacation. For others its an obsession, skiing and riding is everything. It's a lifestyle, (really, it's not a cliche). For some its in between. For AspenSpin skiing is the closest thing to unaided flight. We love spitting out the POW as gravity pulls us down the mountain at a speed that still raises our short hairs and kicks the adrenalin into gear. The Meeting reminds us about what's coming up soon. Halloween, the inevitable weather snap, the first real snow, breaking out the puffies, waxing the sticks, doubling up on glocosumine and fending off the Aspen Crud. Finally, we get opening day on Thanksgiving, November 24, 2011. Are you ready?
The Meeting happens in some form in every ski town and for every mountain athlete, amateurs or pros, young or old. It might not be to the scope and scale of The Meeting 7 in Aspen, but it still happens. Maybe you're watching a snow film on your i pad, maybe you're checking out Warren Miller at the mall. Do what YOU need to do... to find the stoke.
Some people call it LIVING the DREAM...we do. #winning PARTY/Out