The excitement and buzz in the air was palpable and made it quickly evident to any bystander that The Art of FLIGHT premiere in Jackson’s Center for the Arts was special. Special because it’s Travis Rice’s and Brain Farm’s hometown.
The film played to two sold out audiences with Utah’s DJ Bentley spinning tunes and athletes and film makers on stage before hand. In his film introduction, Travis Rice thanked all the sponsors, the film makers and his parents, who were in the audience, and talked about the filming. He ended his intro with a hopeful plea for La Niña to return to Jackson Hole and bring even more snow than last winter.
About The Art of FLIGHT
Two years in the making, The Art of FLIGHT gives iconic snowboarder Travis Rice and friends the opportunity to redefine what is possible in the mountains. Travis handpicked his accomplices from the top riders of our time including John Jackson, Mark Landvik, Scotty Lago, Nicolas Muller, DCP, Mark McMorris, Jake Blauvelt, Pat Moore and Jeremy Jones.
The riders push the boundaries of big mountain freestyle snowboarding on their quest to open up new, unexplored mountains. Chilean Patagonia’s Darwin Range, Alaska’s Tordrillo Range, Wyoming’s Snake River Range, Aspen, Colorado, the Andes, as well as British Columbia’s Kootenay Mountains, Revelstoke and Goat Range are the stage for this epic production. Hopefully they purchased some carbon offsets for all of this travel!
Some of the most “artful” parts of the movie are Curt Morgan’s wonderful cinematography in some of these far-away lands such as scenes that capture the spirit of the happy people in Chile, the chilling and spooky landscape of Patagonia’s Darwin Range, and the unfathomable terrain of Alaska’s Tordrillo Range. The nature-laden transitions such as a grizzly hiking up a steep mountain in Alaska or birds flying in a perfect line outside the riders’ plane are some of the best shots and give us quick reminders that the riders and snowboarding is only a small part of the bigger world. Perhaps the environmental undertones will stick with other people who view the film and continue to evolve in their future film projects.
One of the least “artful” scenes was one that showed the riders on weather-watching downtime in Alaska. As Matthew Irwin puts it in the Jackson Hole Weekly, “They blow up propane canisters with rifles and blow apart young trees with shotguns, ending with a bonfire more than 20 feet in diameter, a scene that makes a handful of talented athletes, instantly, come off as mere adrenaline junkies.” But judging from the audience’s cheers and fist pumps it was appreciated by many.
The Rides of Their Lives
Jeremy Jones and Travis conquer some crazy lines that you’ll see in the Revelstoke, BC and Tordrillo, Alaska segments. Jeremy says that Travis is one of the best in the world and improves every year. Jones rides the serious “Wizard of Oz” line topping it off with a back flip and exclaiming, “this is the future and the future is now!“
It got even more serious in Patagonia’s Darwin Range. The guide and pilot didn’t want to take them out there, but athletes Travis Rice and Mark Landvik insisted and rode a couple of hairy lines before making a quick escape via a freezing river crossing to get back on the helicopter in the super-quick, 40-minute allotted time frame.
In Wyoming’s Snake River Range, the crew built a jump and the riders started launching toward a dead tree and tapping it with their boards. Scotty Lago did a switch double rodeo 1080 in this segment. But, he ended up hurt and had to go the hospital.
It wasn’t just about remote backcountry riding. During the Aspen/Snowmass scene, Mark McMorris, a 17-year-old snowboarder lands a triple cork 1440. The Phantom and Cineflex HD cameras capture this enormous maneuver as the Red Bull athlete tries the newest, biggest trick in snowboarding, then nails it.
The soundtrack matched the scenes seamlessly and made the rides that much more exciting. It features: Deadmau5, The Naked and Famous, Apparat, Blockhead, The Album Leaf, Sigur Rós, M83, Hum, The Black Angels, Okkervil River, We Are Augustines, and more. Download the songs on Brainfarm’s website.
The film’s sponsors were well represented in the rides, too. The super slow motion cameras captured the gnarly riding while also highlighting the products and logos in fine fashion. Libtech snowboards, Quiksilver jackets and pants, and Go Pro Helmet Cameras and the Aspen/Snowmass aspen leaf logo (on the pipe, etc.) are featured heavily in the riding scenes.
About Brain Farm
Brain Farm is a turn-key boutique production house specializing in aerial cinematography and all facets of capturing and producing the highest end HD digital cinema for film, TV, web, and commercial outlets.
Their crew of creative minds and technical specialists is dedicated to doing whatever it takes to “get the shot” in the most unique way and deliver to their clients a piece of art. They have an arsenal of specialty cameras, unique cinema vehicles, camera support systems as well as state-of-the-art production facilities allowing them to create powerful digital cinema from concept to finished product.
Watch the Film & TV
All in all, The Art of FLIGHT lives up to all the hype and its name. Its “artful” and impressive cinematography, inspiring filming locations, and interesting lines can’t really get much better. CleanSnipe highly recommends checking it out. Didn’t get a chance to see it at a premiere? Don’t worry, you can find the Collectors Edition DVD/Blueray on CleanSnipe.
Brain Farm also used a VariCam to collect footage for use as a possible ten-part television program, according to a story in Outside Magazine. Watch for more details on when and where to tune in.