First things first, if you haven’t read my review of The Art of Flight trailer, I suggest you do, it’s full of ideals, far too much talk of pants than is healthy and the promise of mind-blowingly-good footage.
On the 17th November 2011 I trip-trapped across London to the IMAX in Waterloo to attend the premiere of The Art of Flight. I’d been invited by Red Bull‘s PR company and so I rocked up on my tod and headed straight for the bar. Like you do. The place was rammed and I stumbled across some snowboarding industry bods and it was cool to be surrounded by so many snow-loving people. If the ski crew wanted to eradicate the creme de la creme of the snowboarding community in one fell swoop, the premiere would’ve been the opportunity. They missed it.
The auditorium was huge and completely sold out. Before the film began Travis Rice descended the stairs in full aviator regalia and chatted with the audience for 20 or so minutes. It was a good insight into the man behind the film and cool to hear about his own reasons for wanting to take on such an epic adventure and full-on filming schedule. Although to be fair, if the same opportunity landed in your lap, you’d go for it too without a second thought, right?
The film is hard-hitting from the very beginning and continues to be so throughout, there’s no let up. It’s snowboarding with wild-abandon, even though they plan for each eventuality there’s a point at which they have to agree to throw caution to the wind in order to get the shots they want. There are bounteous elements of creativity within each of the jumps performed and lines chosen to ride. Attempting to break the high branches of dead trees with their snowboards, dropping in from humungous cliffs, falling past craggy outcrops of rock and forever searching for virgin pow. Many of the locations they end up boarding are unknown territory for snowboarders and and snow fanatics of any type in fact so you’ll be seeing uncharted territory being well… charted. They visit Chile, Alaskas Tordrillo Range, Patagonia, Wyomings Teton and Snake River Ranges, Aspen and Canada including Revelstoke Nelson.
Travis and his comrades use this opportunity to redefine what is possible in the mountains on a snowboard and in so doing, they also take their lives into their own hands but are able to board away unscathed from the avalanches which chase them down the mountain.
As a film-maker, it changed my life a little bit. It set a new bar and a whole new sack of precedents for what extreme sports films should aim for. We don’t all have $2,000,000.00 behind us like Director Curt Morgan had here but, I’m not a big believer in money being the dominant factor in a successful film anyway. You need creativity, vision and time primarily. Yes having a few mill in the back pocket and a handful of plans should ensure that you walk away with something incredibly special, but it’s not the be all and end all and whilst I recite a mantra to this effect, I’m dusting off my camera to get ready to film some shizzle in the snow this season.
The after party was bangin’ with the film on a loop on almost every wall of the vaulted venue, I Am Giant played a set and had everyone going nuts and then DJ’s Scott Nixon and Christian Stevenson dragged our drunken asses into the early hours..
The Art of Flight will inspire you to get out and board, it’ll inspire you to jack in your job, default on your mortgage, create an alias Catch Me If You Can style, re-home your kids and take up residence on a high snow covered mountain somewhere. If you’re ready to let the good times roll, live like today is your last, party like a rock-star and snowboard like you’re TRice himself then watch The Art of Flight before you waste any more time.