Aspen ski film wins second in international competition |

Aspen ski film wins second in international competition

Erica Robbie | The Aspen Times
A shot from "The Process," a five-minute black-and-white ski film that Aspen filmmaker Jesse Hoffman produced.
Jesse Hoffman |

When Jesse Hoffman was challenged with creating “a captivating outdoor adventure lifestyle story” that would compete against other films on an international level, the local filmmaker looked no farther than his own backyard.

With the goal of capturing “a universal feeling everyone could relate to,” Hoffman produced “The Process,” a five-minute black-and-white film that highlights the spirit of skiing and why mountain folk pursue the experience.

Hoffman, who grew up in Aspen and studied photography at the University of Colorado at Boulder, was one of 10 cinematographers selected to compete in Outside Television and media company Red’s third annual REDirect film contest.

At the contest’s awards ceremony earlier this month at the Red studios in Hollywood, Hoffman and his team claimed second place for their work in bringing “The Process” to life.

The film features local skiers Chris Davenport, JoAnna Coffey, Sam Coffey, Garrett Greene, Patrick Westfeldt, Morgan Boyles, Patrick Doyle, T.J. David, Ryan Koster and Tyler Lindsay, along with the voices of Davenport, Andy Popinchalk and Bob Wade.

Shot in the Elk Mountains over a six-week period, “The Process” is a way of paying tribute to the local mountains, Hoffman said.

“Growing up in Aspen instills in you a deep respect and appreciation for the mountains, especially the Elks,” he said. “Being in the mountains is such a unique and special experience; the feeling that the mountains evoke was the main inspiration.”

The film also seeks to show the backcountry ski experience in its entirety, which means more than pristine powder and landscapes, JoAnna Coffey said.

“We’d suffered through (variable weather) to show that it’s not always these beautiful, bluebird days,” JoAnna Coffey said. “Sometimes you’re out there and the wind is howling, you can’t see, you can’t feel your toes.”

And yet, time after time, the ordeal leaves them yearning for more, she said.

“The Process” was Hoffman’s first independent film, which he shot on a Red Scarlet-W camera and edited with Adobe Suite.

Red Digital Cinemas gave its REDirect contestants a $10,000 Red Scarlet-W video camera to film their stories and awarded both the first- and second-place winners with one to take home.

“We were just absolutely thrilled and so honored and proud that we stood out against some other really well-made films,” said JoAnna Coffey, who accepted the film’s award last week on behalf of “The Process” team.

“People travel all over the world in search of adventure. We only had to look as far as our backyard,” Hoffman said. “We all know how special our home is. I hope I did it justice.”

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