Influences: MSP Films’ Scott Gaffney

Of movies, men, and McConkey with the MSP Films director

To say MSP Films has been dominant in the 15-year history of Powder Awards would be an understatement. The Crested-Butte-based film company has won a mighty six Movie of the Year honors. This year their athletes are up for a total of seven awards, including Best Male and Female Performances. Last year, MSP switched it up, moving away from the annual ski porn flick to focus on the life story of the late-Shane McConkey.

The greats of Powder Awards lore, Scott Gaffney and Shane McConkey.
The greats of Powder Awards lore, Scott Gaffney and Shane McConkey.

Last year, McConkey, a co-production between MSP Films and Red Bull Media House, took home Best Documentary honors for their in-depth look at the life of one of the most influential skiers of all time. Years earlier, MSP Director Scott Gaffney’s favorite Powder Awards moment happened when Shane received the Full Throttle Award for his performance in Yearbook.

“I’ve got to say that Shane’s Full Throttle performance in Yearbook in 2004 was a highlight for me. It’s probably the longest segment we’ve ever had in a movie, but when you go back through it, what do you leave out? He was absolutely ripping on Spatulas, monoskis, and big mountain snowlerblades, and ski BASEing was in its infancy and double backs off 400-foot cliffs still shocked people. And his double front off the Eiger was clearly all-time. But what’s personally more memorable is that we traveled together the entire year, and what went on behind the scenes simply made for one of the most entertaining, carefree winters of my life.

Shane always put the Full Throttle Award on a pedestal because for him, pushing boundaries was what it was all about. When we drove from Denver to Aspen for the 2005 PVAs, Shane rented a purple PT Cruiser so we could have the ugliest car imaginable. We stopped at Glenwood Springs and he came out of the gas station with a 2-liter Mountain Dew. For no particular reason, he figured he would challenge himself by drinking the whole bottle before reaching Aspen—what is it, 50 minutes or so? He polished off the bottle and was super fired up to take home the Full Throttle award that evening, but he also spent the rest of the night in nauseous misery.” –Scott Gaffney