The folks at Sweetgrass Productions, a company known for crafting ski movies that push artistic boundaries, are at it again. And this time, with their "forest ski segment," they aren't seeing the forest for the trees -- they're seeing it for the skis.
The three-and-a-half minute clip, a part of their latest ski movie, "Valhalla," features pro skiers throwing backflips and jumping creeks amid the towering forests of the Pacific northwest. Standard ski-movie script so far, right? Certainly, but with one glaring exception: It was filmed mid-summer.
In an email to The Huffington Post, Nick Waggoner, one of the film's co-directors, stressed the surreal result is "all 100% real," without any effects added digitally afterward. Which is to say, it took a lot of hard labor.
The team achieved the shoot by "shoveling snow into a box truck for several hours, driving that box truck down to the forest, then shoveling show from [the] truck into big backpacks, and backpacking [the] snow into the forest," where the crew had to film before the snow melted.
In a comment to viewers on its Vimeo page, Sweetgrass hastened to add that it was highly conscientious about its environmental impact while shooting the segment:
Filming took place over two summers in the same location - fortunately when we returned for the second round of shooting there were no visible effects from the previous season. We cannot claim to be perfect, but it is our hope that this segment communicates the beauty of the forest and natural world, reminding viewers of its incredible value, and perhaps even inspiring them to appreciate it more, or even make their own stake in its protection.
At the end, it adds, "We also expect that anyone looking to have fun with their own summertime forest skiing will be quickly turned away by [the] massive amount of work, little payoff, and many encounters with rocks, sticks and other uncomfortable objects."
Now this is tree skiing!
WATCH the tree skiing segment from "Valhalla," above.
The feature-length film can be downloaded on iTunes. WATCH the full trailer, below: