Coming of age in the late ’90s and early 2000s of skiing was incredible. New tricks, new rotations, and new ideas were on full display in ski films and magazines each fall. Seth Morrison's rodeo 720 off cliffs, Pep Fujas' Session 1242 segment, or new tricks like Jon Olsson's switch misty flips, and Vinnie Dorion's underflip were the talk of chairlifts around the globe. As the ski film and twin tip revolution matured, so did the way skiers like you and I discussed the pros. Rather than focus on the sheer beauty of Eric Pollard's rodeo 540, we started to focus more intently on who Pollard is as a person, which we were left to assume translated directly into what he did on his skis.
All of this made for big changes in ski media, specifically ski films, like Level 1's Small World or Cody Townsend's Conquering The Useless. This week we take a look at a year-old production house throwing it back to the days when what happened on skis mattered more than who was skiing.
Good Company Two, by Good Company, carries on a nearly two-decade ski film tradition, mixes in a modern formula, and releases it twice a year on iTunes for $5.99. Considering the average film used to cost $30 and a trip to the local shop, the convenience alone is worth the price of admission.
Good Company is the collective effort of Tom Wallisch, agent/producer Tom Yaps, cinematographers Kyle Decker and AJ Dakoulas. Together, they recruited some of today's top professional skiers, creating as strong a collective as can be seen in any of this year's crop of films. Then, simply, they went out and filmed and let the skiing do the talking.
Running 27 minutes, Good Company Two features arguably the best Boston segment seen in any of this year's films. While other production houses certainly filmed the snow-covered city, Decker and Dakoulas captured the essence and raw nature of what makes Boston, well, Boston. A local gets in on the fun, capturing a high school urban session on his cell phone, which the directors cleverly incorporated into the segment. I could taste the Dunkin’ Donuts coffee in the cold New England air.
Though the film is billed Wallisch and Co., John Ware steals the show with massive and technical tranny finding. That tech element of the film is key to remember. With a watchful, trained eye, guys like Ware, Tim McChesney, and Niklas Eriksson remind that the slightest error results in a hard slam. With their combined style and finesse, they make spinning a 450 over a 12-foot down gap look easy. Let us tell you it is not.
The closing Seven Springs segment is strong with the gang giving the East Coast much deserved love in Wallisch's homecoming. As if it were an original Superpark shoot in Mammoth, California, Karl Fostvedt channels his inner Candide, skiing late into the day and launching some of the largest hip airs since Jacob Wester's June sessions. Throw in a pond skim back flip, quick cameos from Wallisch’s parents, and fun soundtrack, including Joey Bada$$, a Brooklyn-born rapper with a love for old school hip hop the likes of Swollen Members of Poor Boyz films’ past, and you’re left with a personal ski film that lacks the seriousness of many of today’s movies. It’s all for the better.
As we continue this look at the modern ski film, it's good to know guys like Good Company are keeping it real. Together, they’re showing skiing’s innovation doesn’t have to be relegated to making a lighter binding or more waterproof jacket. No. It can also be attained by spinning onto a rail the hard way.