MSP premieres ‘Yearbook’ tonight
Ski season – of the local chairlift-riding variety anyway – is a still a couple months away, but tonight at the Wheeler Opera House, ski flick season officially opens in Aspen.Crested Butte-based Matchstick Productions (MSP) is holding the world premiere of its latest film, “Yearbook,” featuring some of the globe’s sickest skiers shredding – you guessed it – some of the planet’s sickest terrain, at 6:30 and 9 p.m. tonight. Admission is $10.It marks the second consecutive year that Matchstick Productions, producer of some 27 films since its founding in 1991, has held its world premiere in Aspen – home to grandiose skiing and one of MSP’s most benevolent sponsors, the Aspen Skiing Co.
Local skiers Steele Spence and Chris Davenport are featured in “Yearbook,” along with a veritable “who’s who” posse of new-school, big-mountain freeskiers, including Shane McConkey, Tanner Hall, Seth Morrison and Sarah Burke. To boot, all the aforementioned athletes, and then some, are in town for the premiere and the after-party at the Sky Hotel.”We’ve got some amazing footage this year,” said MSP cinematographer and public relations director Riley Poor, one of six full-time staffers based across the Elk Range in the Butte. “I wouldn’t even know where to start.”But we’re very excited. A lot of hard work is finally coming to an end here, and we’re pumped up.”
MSP crews and athletes followed freshies around the world once more for their latest effort. The film includes footage from Bella Coola, British Columbia; the Alps of Norway and Chamonix, France; Lake Tahoe, Calif.; and Aspen and Crested Butte. After the Aspen premiere, the “Yearbook” tour will hit more than 100 cities in the United States and more than 50 overseas.”Our opening scene this year is very impressive, and we kinda carry that yearbook theme throughout the movie, with all the athletes playing a high school role,” said Poor.”Dav [Davenport] has some really good shots from Europe this year, and Steele was traveling around with us all winter, shooting in the backcountry of Aspen and Crested Butte and the parks around here, too.”
MSP spends much of the year on the road, “always chasing good snow,” said Poor. “So if it’s good in the Butte, we’ll be there.”But we’re usually all over the place; no usual place.”Other featured athletes include Mark Abma, Rory Bushfield, J.T. Holmes, Tanner Rainville, Eric Pollard, Stian Hagen, Nicholas Karlstrom, Mike Douglas, Hugo Harrison, C.R. Johnson and Ingrid Backstrom.Among the most unique stunts in “Yearbook” are “James Bond, The Spy Who Loved Me” inspired ski-BASEing leaps by McConkey and Holmes, both of Squaw Valley, Calif. The two traveled to the Swiss Alps last spring in order to huck one of the most infamous big walls in mountaineering, on The Eiger, with parachutes on their backs and skis on their feet.
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This decision is part of a game plan to focus on giant slalom and slalom in the early part of season. Shiffrin will likely also pass on a speed stop in Val d’Isere from Dec. 18-20.