More Than a Pretty Face
An inside look at Lynsey Dyer’s upcoming ski film, 'Pretty Faces'
Lynsey Dyer spent the last year contacting production companies to collect all the footage she could find of female skiers that was left on the cutting room floor. In addition to new segments from Alaska and Canada, and with the help of Ingrid Backstrom, Elyse Saugstad, Rachel Burks, Michelle Parker, and Angel Collinson–the “collaborative consciousness,” as tele skier Brooke Edwards says–Dyer collected enough footage to create an all-female ski film, Pretty Faces.
Pretty Faces is an attempt to rectify a flaw Dyer has witnessed within the ski industry and society. “We’re used as models more than athletes,” she says. “It’s a lot easier to get a sexy model photo and not one of us competing.”
Saugstad explains that showcasing female talent “is something a lot of women are passionate about in the industry.” Adding, “we’ve been ignored by the industry. There’s the one token female in ski movies and on ski teams, but that doesn’t reflect the ratio of women actually skiing. I think the industry is just kind of a bit behind.”
The film lacks sponsorship funding, which means it’s driven solely by passion and donated time, gear, and energy.
“Skiing has been everything I know. I’ve learned from skiing (about) discipline, how to get through suffering, committing myself, and listening to my intuition,” Dyer says. “I think a lot of girls think they can’t do what the guys are doing. Skiing’s taught me that I can.”
It’s not just girls who are passionate for this project. Josh Skoglund helped film some of the recent segments for Pretty Faces, as well as collect footage and edit. “People have it in their mind that men are better at everything,” Skoglund says. “They think ‘Why should I film you (a girl) when I can film this guy who goes bigger?’ Not all guys go bigger than the girls.” Through his experience, Skoglund noticed that women control their emotions much more than men do in the backcountry, “which tends for lines to be much more calculated,” he says.
This isn’t a ski porn flick filled only with big names, gnarly lines, and sick drops—though those types of shots will definitely make an appearance. Rather, skiing prompted an internal question for Dyer that she hopes to answer through this film for other women and girls in any discipline in life: “If I can do this and step up to this mountain, what can I do in the rest of life? That’s the message I want to give to girls.”
Applying this outlook to the film, Dyer wants to present an alternative for girls to define themselves. “The mountain doesn’t care how cute you are, how big your thighs are, none of that matters.”
Some would say the film’s title, Pretty Faces, doesn’t fit with that message to encourage women to pursue their dreams and not fall for societal pressures. But Dyer says it’s a play on words.
“It’s a double entendre,” says Dyer. “Some people got fired up about it. Let it mean whatever to you, maybe you should look at that emotion it makes you feel.”
Pretty Faces will premiere in Fall 2014, but you can catch the new trailer before every showing of Poor Boyz Production’s latest film, Tracing Skylines, on its tour.
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