With the release of the new feature by the BrainFarm films production, The Art of Flight, I wanted to get back and catch-up with their previous offer That’s It That’s All: this is a marvellous film to get pumped to. Well, this is the first of a series of Sports related media releases I will be reviewing on Le Mot du Cinephilaque. My major concern on this modest Blog is to talk about films. Snowboarding is a big part of my life since 15 years or so. The commercial vehicles that are the snowboarding movies took many looks during the latter years of this somewhat young sport. Directly related to its bigger brother Surfing, snowboarding followed some of the paths of the sport of The Beach Boys. Surfing was the first sport to actually shot videos of professional athletes and release them to promote their brands. Then skateboarding, another part of my life, followed and then snowboarding also did. The latter sport is an hybrid of surfing and skateboarding, the attitude of the sport and the fashion is way more influence by skaters than surfers but the three sports are interconnected and many athletes like Shaun White, Terje Haakonsen, Todd Richards, JP Walker, etc. Managed to master two or more of these sports. During the 1990’s snowboarding movies were handheld cameras by other riders who were filming each other and put it in segments with punk rock soundtracks. It gives an amateurish look to the whole package or as we call it in the milieu a Do It Yourself approach. A very counterculture underground vibe to it all. It came from skateboarding and punk rock. Slowly companies understood the strength of this almost free promotion.
In 1998, came something that helped commercialize and popularize the sport, for some people it represented the ultimate recognition for a sport for others it was the beginning of the end. The Winter Olympics, with the Halfpipe qualifications held by the FIS(ski federation) instead of the ISF(snowboarding federation). It represented to many times Halfpipe World champion Terje Haakonsen an insult to the sport, even if the Norwegian was the favourite to win the gold he boycotted the event in protest for that decision.
After the Olympics the sport never been the same, Shaun White two times Gold medal winner makes almost 10 million of dollars per year while guys like Peter Line, who practically wrote the book of freestyle snowboarding, had to sell Forum/Foursquare to Burton to survive.
Snowboarding has an incredible history and even if the sport is populated with major sponsors like Red Bull (the main sponsor of the BrainFarm films) it still is reserved to a small group of outcast in our society talking about jibs, pipes, boards, dudes, etc. This is a lifestyle and a passion.
The film, That’s It That’s All elevates how snowboarding films were made, almost entirely shot from helicopters from Red Bull, filled with National Geographic-like scenery of Backcountry Mountains, short commentaries by the featured riders this is more than just a juvenile DIY movie. The strength of it all is because it makes you want to go out and actually go snowboarding instead of the latter years where the video parts are filled with street rails and no actual Mountain riding. Street snowboarding is the combines the most spectacular aspect of skateboarding into snowboarding. But for most of the riders out there we don’t actually do rails all winter long. Most of the consumers of the sports are still going to resorts trying to kill it in the parks and last pipes. However, the greatest days of snowboarding I had in my life were the ones I went with some friends in a mountain with fresh snow and powder. We call it backcountry and this is the best you can get. That’s it that’s All concentrates the riding in those areas: New Zealand and Alaska.
Another interesting topic is the fact that they went to meet legends of the sport that retired from the big spots and continued to ride for themselves and the love of the sport. Bryan Iguchi, Terje Haakonsen, and Jeremy Jones are the legends in That’s It That’s All but the star of the film is Travis Rice the most versatile and complete athlete of this sport today. His style flows superbly and his bag of tricks is just unbelievable. The soundtrack is grandiose and fits the perfect images that populates the movie.
As I stated earlier this is the first of a series of reviews of Snowboarding films I will be watching to get me into the vibe for the beginning of the new season that is approaching. The Art of Flight the new feature from the makers of That’s It That’s All is the most awaited video since the brighter days of Mack Dawg Productions. I hope to see it soon since it is already available on iTunes.
*The greatest snowboarding film of all time*