Snowboarding series: Technical Difficulties

Technical Difficulties (Mike McEntire, 1999)

More than a decade after the release of Technical Difficulties this Mack Dawg productions still holds the run pretty well. It was the film that pushed us to do more rails, go higher and try corked spins and flips. With the dream team that Forum snowboards (read Peter Line) put together: JP Walker, Jeremy Jones, Wille Yli-Luoma, Bjorn Leines, Joni Malmi, and Devun Walsh and the top riders of the time: Chad Otterstorm, Kevin Jones, Jason Brown, and many more Technical Difficulties had to surpass the success of its predecessors of the same production company: Decade. TD had to be even more progressive while presenting new tricks with an even greater approach. Well, for this blogger it hits its goal with great fashion. This is the snowboarding video I watch the most often. When I received it at Christmas of 1999, I remember that I used to watch it every time I’d go out and ride, which was every day at that time.

The cinematography looks like a skateboarding flick, a handheld camera by a rider following the rider doing his run. While other parts are shot from a stable point and zoomed. This is mostly for the rail sessions and the backcountry parts. Which by the way are a great amelioration from the videos shot in the early years of the 1990’s where the camera used to move quickly and in an amateurish way.

The parts by the riders are well balanced and the editing surely makes it dynamic and quite enjoyable. The variety and the quality of the soundtrack is so efficient that I even made myself a mixed tape of it. The best parts are from JP Walker, Peter Line, Kevin Jones, and the closing part: Devun Walsh. Why did I choose those guys? First, because every rider has a variety of tricks, many different terrains, and possess a fluidity in the execution of their parts. The riding displayed is progressive and does not only involve street or backcountry, it has the perfect mix of them all: a great balance between resort, big mountain, street. It doesn’t denature the sport and stays true to itself.

As I stated with my review of That’s It That’s All big budgeted by Red Bull, a film like Technical Difficulties did very well with a small budget. Even if expectations were very high from the previous film Decade.
Special mention
*Technical Difficulties was a turning point in the craft of making snowboarding movies. It set a new standard.*

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