Ferreira returns as Hotdog Hans, set to show short film in free screening | AspenTimes.com

Ferreira returns as Hotdog Hans, set to show short film in free screening

Alex Ferreira dressed as "Hotdog Hans" for the third film in the series.
Courtesy of Vital Films

The most important halfpipe competition of Alex Ferreira’s skiing career went down in “Hotdog Hans 3,” and the local Olympian is ready to show the world who won the battle for Aspen’s soul.

“It is Alex Ferreira vs. Hotdog Hans. It’s a pipe showdown,” Ferreira said Wednesday of his latest film. “The community has given us so much, and we want to give it all back, and we want them to enjoy it.”

Produced by Vital Films, an Aspen-based video production company, “Hotdog Hans 3: Ketchup vs. Mustard” will make its premiere Thursday at Paepcke Auditorium on the Aspen Institute campus. The 5:30 p.m. event is free to the public — at least, until the seats run out — and will feature other short film clips, prize giveaways, and a sendoff of sorts for Ferreira before he competes at Dew Tour and then the world championships in the coming weeks.

The first Hotdog Hans film made its debut in 2021, with its sequel coming out in 2022. Hans is somewhat of an alter ego of Ferreira’s, who plays the character, an old Aspen local with a bit of a foul tongue but impressive skills on snow. Ferreira playing Hans started off as mostly a gag for the “clickbait” a few years ago, only somehow the character has survived into a three-film — and counting — story arc.

“It’s been awesome seeing the response. We would have never expected to keep doing them,” said Vital Films co-founder Matt Hobbs, who is credited as being the writer and director of “Hotdog Hans 3.” “Alex is such a focused and motivated athlete. That’s what a lot of people see. But when you know him, he’s a really funny guy. He’s super enjoyable to be around. So that’s why it was cool to show that side, too.”

Ferreira, who admits having never taken an acting lesson, said he’s a method actor and doesn’t necessarily have any actors he looks up to. The team around him says he puts as much dedication into playing Hans as he does into his own skiing career, one that has included winning two Olympic medals in two tries.

Aspen Olympic skier Alex Ferreira, right, faces off against “Hotdog Hans” in the third film named after the alter ego, played by Ferreira.
Courtesy of Vital Films

“He will not break character,” Hobbs said. “It was weird for a little. He’s full-on Hans. There is no trace of Alex Ferreira. Even when eating lunch and no one is around, he’ll talk like Hans. It’s the dedication side, too. That’s why I think it can only work with Alex because he’s funny and devoted.”

“Hotdog Hans 3” was a big step up in production compared to the first two films. Hobbs and his Vital Films staff has worked on many big projects. Hobbs, for example, was just coming off work on Apple TV’s “Prehistoric Planet” before jumping back into the world of Hotdog Hans.

The prior two films were put together in a matter of days. Hobbs said the third film, which is roughly 15 minutes long, took about a year to get done. A big addition to the unofficial staff was Ben Silverman, a well-known media executive who produced “The Office,” among other shows, and happens to live in Aspen. Silverman and Ferreira were listed as the executive producers for Hotdog Hans 3.

Freeskiing icon Jonny Moseley also plays a role in the film.

“I’m just trying to embody Hans the best I can and usually that means just having a great time and messing with people,” Ferreira said. “We are having a great time doing it. Then on top of that, the footage we have been putting out and the edits we have been putting out, the comments are mostly positive. Everyone absolutely loves Hans and they want more content.”

The movie poster for “Hotdog Hans: Ketchup vs Mustard,” that will debut in Aspen on Thursday.
Courtesy of Vital Films

Ferreira, 28, is scheduled to compete at Copper Mountain’s Dew Tour on Saturday before hopping on a plane for the country of Georgia, which is hosting the world championships for freeski and snowboard, with the halfpipe skiing finals scheduled for March 4.

Those two events will conclude his competition season, which included a disappointing showing at X Games Aspen in January when he failed to finish the final after crashing hard on his first two runs. He said he’s fully healthy and ready to go for Dew Tour and worlds.

“Just going to Eurasia and being between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, going to Georgia, it’s a completely new experience, a place we’ve never been before,” he said. “Dew Tour is one of the big ones. I really didn’t want to miss it, and I was looking at the flights and schedules and was thinking, ‘Hey, I might just be crazy enough to make both of these happen.’ So I’m going for it.”


Hotdog Hans during the making of the latest film.
Courtesy of Vital Films
Aspen Olympian Alex Ferreira gets big air off a jump while filming.
Courtesy of Vital Films