ASPEN - Aspen's Torin Yater-Wallace, a Winter X Games medalist, is featured in a six-minute ski-film short that emphasizes high-quality cinematography aided by the use of a special camera system attached to a helicopter.
Matt Hobbs, a 25-year-old Missouri Heights resident and president of Vital Films Inc., directed and edited "Days to Come," which was produced with financial assistance from 16-year-old Yater-Wallace and the snowboarder's sponsor, Target Corp. A pilot and helicopter from DBS Helicopters, of Rifle, were hired to assist the shoot, which took place in two days during the week following last year's Winter X Games.
Hobbs is high on the film, saying that it relies on "groundbreaking" techniques at a time when ski films are in general decline. "Days to Come" was shot exclusively in the Aspen area using Cineflex, which Hobbs calls the most stable camera system available, and a Phantom camera, which captures action at 2,000 frames per second, providing higher-quality slow-motion footage than a typical ski film offers, he said.
Hobbs said Sunday that he set out to make "Days to Come" with a lofty goal: to redefine the ski movie.
"I'm only 25, and I grew up in the valley during the transition of technology when broadcasts were going to the Internet and everything was going into social media," he said. "Ski movies were declining every year, and that's because the Internet has established itself and everyone has short attention spans. Also, nobody wants to pay for anything."
Hobbs said he sought to make a high-quality film using high-tech equipment, one that would be released specifically for Internet viewing. He said his company is primarily involved in making short-form content based on what industries want these days, such as music videos and corporate branding tools.
Unlike many other ski films, Hobbs and the others involved were able to work without intense sponsor control, he said.
"There's really no story in 'Days to Come,'" he said. "My goal is usually to put a story and theme into everything Vital Films does. This was more about learning the equipment and throw a product out within the ski industry that we felt was lacking - the short-form, high-quality, free online content.
"Usually with ski films, (the filmmakers) try to sell it, and it seems that that doesn't really work today."
Along with Yater-Wallace, three other winter-sports athletes are featured in the film: Gus Kenworthy, Aidan Sheahan and Jacob Wester.