"YOOOOO you going to the Tracing Skylines Premiere Sept 6th??"
The Facebook message seemed so out of place I almost ignored it. Sent from a girl I'd been to a concert with once, a girl that, last I knew, was working in fashion down in L.A., I half-thought the note was new age spam.
But, three weeks later, we met in a Seattle restaurant before the world premiere of Poor Boyz Productions' newest movie, Tracing Skylines, which was produced in association with Red Bull Media House. She had never been to a ski movie before and I wasn't sure if she even skied, but she and her boss had actually produced the illustration and animation for the film and were eager to see a final product.
Impressed at her career shift, I asked if being at a world premiere was starting to sink in yet.
"Well, Karl [Fostvedt] asked if he could hug me," she said off-handedly. "I guess he really liked some of my drawings?"
She was in the middle of one of the most anticipated ski movies of the year, surrounded by ski movie royalty, and had no clue what she was in for. But how do you explain a ski movie premiere to someone who's never considered going to one?
Okay, so there's going to be a lot of plaid and PBR. People will be wearing winter hats even though it's 80 degrees out. Yelling is encouraged before, during, and after the screening. Grown men will battle little boys and girls for trinkets thrown from stage, and pro skiers-turned-rappers may show up and give impromptu performances. Oh, and it's the genesis of ski stoke year in and year out.
Sure enough Seattle's Neptune Theatre hit the expected mark last Friday—a packed house buzzing on overpriced beer while former Poor Boyz skier Jon McMurray, now known as Jon LCP McFeezy, performed dubstep-infused hip hop.
When Poor Boyz founder Johnny DeCesare called everyone up on stage, my friend and her boss accepted raucous applause with the whole Poor Boyz crew. I tried to hide my jealousy as she clapped alongside Sean Pettit, Lexi DuPont, Seth Morrison, and Fostvedt while standing feet from Pep Fujas.
When the lights dimmed, I was still wasn't totally clear on why a ski movie needed an animation team, but after a tightly shot opening segment on the beaches of Mexico, the answer surfaced: Poor Boyz had stepped it up. Besides contracting out animated segment transitions, Poor Boyz assembled an iconic group of athletes and organized ski missions in stunning locations around the world. This wasn't just friends pointing cameras at each other anymore. This was 19 years of ski cinema at work.
The buzz surrounding the movie's Detroit segment was well warranted as Fostvedt, Khai Krepela, and friends turned decrepit building footprints into lands of endless urban opportunity, wowing the crowd with a double bungee move that's an easy favorite for Best Jib at this year's Powder Awards. The urban segment was bookended by another impressive Fujas B.C. trip and a legendary Morrison Haute Route trip (with some other ski icons mixed in for good measure).
Between the three parts, there wasn't much time to catch a breath. I looked over and saw my friend nodding her head—the still images she'd worked on for months coming to life in a way she probably hadn't thought possible. It had officially sunk in.
The rest of the segments were good but not as outstanding as the first three. Pettit skied his face off per usual and DuPont killed it on the ladies' side, but a re-shuffling of the segments could have done Tracing Skylines some good, as Detroit and the first B.C. segment took the cake.
That aside, Tracing Skylines proved that with innovative urban slayers and a crew of young skiers like Pettit and Logan Pehota backed by legendary veterans Fujas and Morrison, Poor Boyz is in good hands and still having fun 19 years later.