Nicolas Vuignier’s latest edit, PBK1, is an artistic take on the classic ski short. Covered in black ochre, Vuignier, Sampo Vallotton, and Florian Bruchez hit the terrain park during what looks like a white-out, and turn the sky and snow into their canvas. Just black silhouettes followed by thick trails of pigment, the Swiss skiers create a visual spectacle akin to Sweetgrass’ Afterglow segment, though in this edit, the light and dark is reversed. Shot entirely in slow-motion, and set to a spaced-out track from Neonurban, the video takes a long look at the unique shapes and movements of skiing.
It’s true art—and therefore not without its challenges. In addition to being blinded in the air by the black pigment, the skiers could do a max of three jumps on a feature before the snow was too sticky from the dirt-like pigments, meaning the trio had limit takes to nail the shots.
Vuignier explained that the naturally black-and-white film was inspired by the trend of experimenting with colored natural pigments in ski films, like in Marcel Hirscher’s “Skiing in Color” video or the Falquet brothers’ Trip(C)olor short. However, Vuignier’s video extends beyond the ski world.
“For me it's important to show what our sport is all a about,” he told POWDER. “I think the mainstream has an oldschool vision of what skiing is, and mainly isn’t so interested in talking about it because [they feel] on the surface it is still the same sport it was decades ago. When in fact a lot has changed.”
The short film premiered on Nowness, a hip Internet hub for independent films, and balances artistry with quality skiing in a way that bridges the gap between mainstream and ski media. This type of crossover is always exciting—whether its a viral video like Sweetgrass’s naked ski segment or Cody Townsend’s legendary couloir straightline or an artistic edit like PBK1—in that they proffer a tiny piece of the culture we inhabit, in all it’s ballsy, irreverent glory, to the watching world.
When asked why creating a film like this is important, Vuignier said it’s his way of reminding people there should be no rules on what a ski edit should look like.
“I think we see too much of the same in ski media,” he says. “I'm a diehard ski fan, but even I get bored overtime watching the countless ski edits that are published daily on the web. To stand out from this busy landscape, you must change the rules.”