The Process of Skiing

Shot in the Elk Mountains, film showcases skiers' connection with the mountains

What is the spirit of skiing and why do we seek that inexplicable feeling, season after season? To answer this timeless question, in collaboration with Red cameras and their third annual REDirect video competition, Aspen local and cinematographer Jesse Hoffman created a short, black and white film called ‘The Process.’

“The process is everything. When we think about going to the mountains there is a goal, but that’s not the only reason we go to the mountains. The whole reason we enjoy it is much more than getting to the top,” Hoffman says.

In less than five minutes, the film explains the unified sensation that resonates with all skiers, of every genre. It reminds us that skiing is greater than the grades of our lines, or the brands of our skis, or the vertical we log.

“It’s getting to the slope, it’s putting on your skis, its skinning, it’s even suffering. It’s the weather, good or bad. It’s all part of the experience,” the filmmaker says.

Teaming with Chris Davenport, Hoffman was given a Red camera, two months (April—June) and the prompt to capture a ‘captivating outdoor adventure lifestyle story.’ Hoffman and Davenport used their backyard, the Elk Mountains, to showcase their story and message. To further communicate their story, Hoffman chose a black and white scheme for his video.

“Black and white has a natural way of showing a subject’s natural beauty and it strips away everything else. And for me, the name of the skier, the face of the skier, and the logo, was unimportant to me. It was more about the contrast and the beauty of being in the mountains,” says Hoffman.

Hoffman also paired the landscape of the Elk Mountains with voiceovers from members of the Aspen community including: Davenport, Bob Wade, and Andy Popinchalk. The voiceovers were unscripted conversations about each individual’s connections with the mountains and skiing.

“Who better to talk about being in the mountains and these mountains, than the people who have spent decades here?” says Hoffman. “I wanted it to be a regular person who loves the sport and the mountains as much as anyone else. That was important to me.”

Voting for Hoffman’s video is open through 12 p.m. PT on August 8.