On Saturday Oct. 5, snow sport worshipers from across the Island met at Upstairs Cabaret to drink $4.50 PBRs and live vicariously through the skiers featured in long-awaited film Into the Mind, from Canadian-based ski film and production company Sherpas Cinema. Recognized in the ski world for their cutting-edge film techniques and innovation, the filmmakers would have a tough time following-up their 2011 release, All.I.Can, which took home Movie of the Year at the 2012 Powder Awards.
Into the Mind is not your average ski movie. It’s a film that is meant to be appreciated for its stunning cinematography rather than for its extreme skiing. Running an hour and 22 minutes, the film’s actual amount of ski footage is small, which is likely a put-off for those simply looking for a pre-season stoke movie. At times, I felt like I was watching a documentary on South American mountain shamans rather than a movie about extreme skiing. However, mind-blowing cinematography and the kind of sickening suspense you feel as you watch Ian McIntosh straight-line a near-vertical face make Into the Mind far from boring.
After two years of production, the premier marks more than just the completion of another Sherpas project. This is also the first film appearance by Canadian X-Games gold medalist Rory Bushfield since the death of his wife, super-pipe gold medalist Sarah Burke who sadly passed away in early 2012 after complications from a fall in the half-pipe. The filming moves seamlessly from macro panoramas to close-up nature shots emphasizing changing season. These thematic elements along with an emotionally engaging storyline split across 12 chapters gives the film an almost Hollywood feature-like quality.
Although unconventional, Into the Mind features a soundtrack as killer as any great ski movie. Song choice is crucial to a ski edit, and the Sherpas didn’t take any chances. The soundtrack, which includes songs from Beats Antique, A Tribe Called Red, and Justice, didn’t disappoint. At one point, Kodaline’s “All I Want” and my own nostalgia got the best of me, as I teared up during footage of the now well-recognized skier Callum Pettit as a young child learning to ski.
All these elements make Into the Mind a larger than life experience—on the big screen at least; it’s debatable whether watching it at home on my ghetto PC would give it the same punch. However, in the end, regardless of how you watch it or if you like it, it can’t be denied that Into the Mind is a piece of ground-breaking ski editing. The only disappointing part of the night was that I somehow came up empty handed of free Sitka swag.