Filming Mountains: Celebrating Whistler’s Rich Ski & Snowboard Filmmaking Heritage

Home to legendary terrain, prodigious snowpacks, and a uniquely creative and motivated collection of mountain-folk, Whistler has been a global epicentre for ski and snowboard filmmaking for close to three decades. The sheer amount of snow-riding bliss and wizardry that has been captured on film in our mountains and purveyed around the globe has played a huge role in Whistler’s rise as one of North America’s pre-eminent mountain towns.

To showcase this history the Whistler Museum, in partnership with the Whistler Film Festival, is excited to announce the upcoming event Filming Mountains: Celebrating Whistler’s Rich Ski & Snowboard Filmmaking Heritage.

Filmer Garry Pendygrasse, hauling gear around the Tantalus Range. Dan Milner photo.

Filmer Garry Pendygrasse, hauling gear around the Tantalus Range. Dan Milner photo.

Tying into the Whistler Film Festival’s closing-day lineup of mountain culture programming, the event will feature a collection of Whistler’s world-leading ski and snowboard filmmakers as they share the stories behind the most iconic moments they’ve captured on film. Through these behind-the-scenes accounts, the audience will gain unique and entertaining insights into the filmmaking experience.

The panel of presenters represents several lifetimes worth of experience on-location, behind the lens, and in the editing room, and they have no shortage of entertaining and enlightening tales to share.

Jeff Thomas, filmer for Switchback Entertainment, at the office.

Jeff Thomas, filmer for Switchback Entertainment, at the office.

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Event info:

Filming Mountains: Celebrating Whistler’s Ski & Snowboard Filmmaking Heritage

Icons from Whistler’s snow-film industry share behind-the-scenes stories from some of the most memorable moments ever captured on snow.

Where: Whistler Museum (4333 Main St.)

When: Sunday December 8th, Doors 3pm, Show 4pm.

Tickets: $10, available at WFF Box Office

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Speaker Profiles:

Created back in 2007, Salomon Freeski TV practically invented the ski webisode. Seven seasons and more than 100 episodes later, Switchback Entertainment, the team behind the groundbreaking series, continues to set the standard and redefine the genre. Members of the versatile filmmaking team, will share memories from their favourite SFT shoots.

BC born and raised, Garry Pendygrasse grew up skiing Whistler before turning to snowboarding in 1988. Four years later he got his start in the industry making films with Adventurescope, after graduating from Capilano University’s Media Program. He quickly acquired his own gear, and since 1995 has worked as a freelance cinematographer. He has worked with almost every major production company, as either a cameraman or editor. A cancer diagnosis in 2012 temporarily shifted his focus, but a successful fight has him excited to start new video projects in 2014. Garry’s segment will reflect on the relationship between filmmaker and athlete.

Epitomizing the free-spirited mountain lifestyle, Ace Mackay-Smith has done virtually every ski-town job imaginable. So it should come as no surprise that she lists filmmaker on her resume right along with DJ, go-go dancer, and various other titles. Working with such industry legends as Greg Stump, Scott Schmidt, and Craig Kelly, Ace is full of stories from exotic locales.

Christian Begin began his filmmaking career more than 20 years ago as a Sherpa and keen understudy for director Bill Heath, carrying a 16 mm camera package on a Warren Miller ski shoot in the Kootenay mountains of British Columbia. Since then he has gone on to become one of the most accomplished and prolific ski filmmakers on Earth. Christian has produced award-winning cinematic work through his former company Radical Films, on the classic NFB doc Ski Bums (which opened the inaugural Whistler Film Festival in 2001), and for clients such as Whistler-Blackcomb and National Geographic.

Prominent Whistler character and aspiring media mogul Feet Banks launched onto the scene with his cult classic 2001 film Parental Advisory. Feet will pay homage to some of the groundbreaking film crews that inspired him and so many other aspiring filmmakers to showcase the Coast Mountains’ amazing terrain and talent to the world.

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