The tradition lives on. Warren Miller's Chasing Shadows played at the Lone Tree Arts Center last night to a packed house of eager skiers, snowboarders, and suburban weekend warriors last night. Plenty of hoops and hollers, although less alcohol flying around than I've noticed at the downtown premieres. I dig it, to be honest- I've always loved premieres (I have been involved on the musical side with the past two Snowboard on the Block fesivals) and the vibe at the Warren Miller events is upbeat and fun.
On the way home from the show I was debating with my fiance about whether or not Warren Miller Entertainment targets gapers more than they target the actual ski industry. The event was, after all, in the suburban hell of Lone Tree. Chris Anthony does a good job of hosting the events and acting like he gives a shit about the kids drawing the prize winners out of a box and the upper class audience that sign his paychecks by buying expensive ski vacations and tickets to this show.
We concluded that yes, WME does target gapers- but at no fault. They have mouths to feed just like the rest of us and if they can cram a couple hundred suburbanites into a theatre for $20 a pop, more power to em. Regardless of the audiene, the movie showcased the cutting edge of ski travel and while each segment is strategically centered around a specific top-tier sponsor, the talent is top-notch. Despite not having Warren anywhere near the film (other than the few lines they cut and paste for the old-timers) the angle of the movie retained the same relatable, non-pretentious vibe that Warren Miller emodied when he was the narrator.
The biggest thing that WME does well with their films is that they highlight the culture of skiing and snowboarding instead of specifically focusing on individual athletes each with their own segment. Many modern snowboard films are now using this technique- a great one for making the films more of a statement of "this is what we're doing, don't you want to be a part of it with us?" instead of "Our riders are better than you, so sit there with your bong and watch us have all the fun."
Perhaps the best part of the night was when this guy won a onezie and had to put it on onstage.
I'm sure I will be back next year, although I may opt to hit the Paramount Theatre or one of the ski towns instead of driving on C-470 to Park Meadows during rush hour. Lesson learned there.