A Contrast of Movie Trailers — Pow-Hoe’s & Matchstick

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This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

Well, you probably saw our coverage of 1988′s “Blizzard of Aahhh’s” movie from 1988, via the recent retrospective by Aahh’s pappy Greg Stump. “Aahhh’s” led to an almost ridiculous spate of ski movies (as Warren Miller said somewhere: “Any kid with a camera.”). Thankfully, a constant trend in the entire ski film industry has been that backcountry is where it really happens. Along with that, more and more human-powered adventure skiing has been showing up. Both these film outfits exemplify the “new” genre, with Powder Hoes being more on the backcountry side, and Matchstick serving up a dose of youth culture that trends more to tricks and goofy faces. Check out this year’s trailers.

One of these is an easy pick for me, the contrast between the two is amusing! Your opinions, esteemed Wild Snowers?

Comments

39 Responses to “A Contrast of Movie Trailers — Pow-Hoe’s & Matchstick”

  1. Moski September 21st, 2012 9:24 am

    Bros vs. Hoes

  2. Brian September 21st, 2012 9:31 am

    I’ve felt the PW production quality has been lacking, but if this trailer is any indication, they’ve really stepped it up this year.

  3. Lou Dawson September 21st, 2012 9:33 am

    Moski, LOL!

  4. 3J September 21st, 2012 9:34 am

    wow! what a contrast.
    powder whores no contest!

  5. Pete September 21st, 2012 9:35 am

    We all have our personal preferences and I’d hate to see us pit snow enthusiasts against each other. Encouraging and promoting the fun and excitement of winter sports is a good thing. There’s room for all forms of expression. Then again, the film makers should consider their own responsibilities with respect to ‘teaching’ and promoting things like safety, environmental responsibility and other touch points that can otherwise become areas of conflict. Overall, bring it on old man winter!

  6. d September 21st, 2012 9:43 am

    pw.

    Don’t care about production quality

  7. Brian September 21st, 2012 9:47 am

    Matchstick has actually done better than their peers in terms of promoting human powered skiing. The last few films have shown Hoji skinning/skiing, presumably on Dynafits. You won’t see that in most other films, unless you count a kid trudging up stairs in a park somewhere so he can hit a rail.

  8. Andy September 21st, 2012 9:48 am

    I still hate the name, but at least the PWs have finally realized that snowflakes have six, not four or eight, points…

  9. Xavier September 21st, 2012 9:59 am

    Well said Peter.
    Different strokes for different folks. Thank goodness we all don’t like the same thing or the uniformity would be boring.
    It’s good to have choices no matter what your personal taste may be.

    Don’t fall into the trap Lou of deriding youth culture, it’s a sure sign of approaching geezerdom.:wink:

  10. Mike Bannister September 21st, 2012 10:06 am

    MSP has PW beat on almost all levels. Its just a better movie. I feel like the TGR trailer was better still. That said I’m stoked to see some footage of Davenport, McLean, etc skiing some steep sh!t way out in real mountains. Here’s hoping PW spent the $$$ to get good video footage (heli) and not just foggy go-pro video. That’s one place where it seems to be really difficult for a lower-budget company to make a good movie. Getting good ski video is tough, esp in the middle of nowhere.

  11. Mike Bannister September 21st, 2012 10:17 am

    Pete, re: movie maker responsibility:

    I’ve definitely wondered about the wisdom of showing skiers triggering and skiing out of slides. I respect the film makers freedom to show what they choose and the responsibility really does lies on the viewer. I can definitely see a newer skier assuming that is a “normal” part of skiing and getting themselves in trouble though. But it sure is fun watching pros outrunning the dragon.

  12. Lou Dawson September 21st, 2012 10:25 am

    3J, yeah, I sat down to write some kind of extensive deep analysis of these two film companies culture (grin), then I put the trailers side by side and was totally struck by the contrast between the two. It’ll be interesting as well to compare both flicks in full length.

  13. Lou Dawson September 21st, 2012 10:27 am

    The triggering and skiing out of avalanches is patently ridiculous. I grieves me every time I see it. Sure, in those situations they made it, but what if they fell and got dragged over that one rock in line with their hip or head? Dicy, to say the least. Irresponsible? Perhaps. It’s kind of like filming NASCAR crashes and near misses. In fact, when we skiers lap up this kind of footie, while quaffing a few brews, how different are we from NASCAR fans? (Did I just write that?)

  14. Andy September 21st, 2012 10:33 am

    @Mike, better them (the pros) than me!

    As for PW production quality, it’s obviously not on par with the big budget guys, but I’ve always liked the backcountry theme. One interesting aspect of their films is also that I’m always thinking, “I do that.” I don’t can’t do the ridiculous things that the bros from MSP and TGR do.

  15. Lou Dawson September 21st, 2012 10:49 am

    Worth mentioning that “stunt skiing” as you see in much of this footage is done with nearby EMTs, helicopters, teams of guides ready to find you with a beacon and dig you out fast, and so on. The film companies sometimes make an effort to remind us of these facts, but easy to forget when all you see is that straight-on view of the 60 mph rider bursting out of the pow cloud.

  16. Shane September 21st, 2012 11:58 am

    Lou wrote: “In fact, when we skiers lap up this kind of footie, while quaffing a few brews, how different are we from NASCAR fans? (Did I just write that?)”.

    No difference at all. I know it makes me sound like a curmudgeon but I just can’t get into ski movies these days no matter who made them. Same with mountain biking videos. I like to participate in the sports but watching them, along with all the accompanying self-congratulatory behavior/narrative and fuax spirituality, has really lost it’s appeal.

  17. Xavier September 21st, 2012 12:15 pm

    Yep, Shane=curmudgeon. Confirmed, congratulations you made it to this exalted status. Lou’s still got curmudgeon training wheels on but he’s getting there. I’m rooting for him.

  18. Lou Dawson September 21st, 2012 12:52 pm

    In training since birth!

  19. John J September 21st, 2012 12:52 pm

    NASCAR= Non-Athletic Sport Centered Around Rednecks

    How different are we? Well, somewhat, but as spectators, probably not much. I am with Shane: I like to do it; but watch it, not so much.

  20. Lou Dawson September 21st, 2012 2:33 pm

    Give me a recliner, TV and a beer, and a Matchstick or TGR film, and if that aint NASCAR mode then I’m Lance Armstrong.

    Ye Haw!!!

  21. Joe September 21st, 2012 3:48 pm

    Can we add a “like” button to these comments?

  22. Hugh September 21st, 2012 4:43 pm

    They both make want to go skiing….

  23. Ty September 21st, 2012 4:52 pm

    both of these films look sweet. I love resting my tired legs after touring with some good food a big screen and a ski movie. I think I watched P-Tex, Lies, and Duct Tape 50 times last season (best ski movie ever? the plot is that its cool to be a ski bum!)

  24. See September 21st, 2012 5:42 pm

    I find footage of airs that don’t show the landing really annoying.

    In haste, so I’ll skip the rant and just say that I highly recommend checking out Dr. Robb Gaffney’s and Sherry McConkey’s interview on NBC (link is on UnofficialNetworks).

  25. d September 21st, 2012 7:01 pm

    +1 Shane’s comment and both of Andy’s

  26. Omr September 21st, 2012 9:05 pm

    PW makes me laugh, whereas most the ski industry is way too serious. I’ve worked 25 years in a stuffed-shirt, cubicle mentality so I’ll take a laugh any day. Besides, how many heli-mounted shots of Chugach straight-lining does one need? It’s now passé with no soul.

  27. frytown September 21st, 2012 10:45 pm

    Why on earth, does anyone feel the need to choose between the two? Love them both, they are us. We’re a small family and all a little different from one another. Now, choosing between virtually any ski movie, and, say, any other kind of film should be a no-brainer.

    Right?

  28. Xavier September 21st, 2012 11:40 pm

    Exactly right frytown, well said.
    I really don’t understand some of my fellow backcountry skiers who are dismissively condescending towards other skiers that like different ways to ski and performing the art of glisse.
    I see a growing number of the man-powered BC skiers acting superior to resort skiers, huckers or mechanized skiers, etc.
    No problem if you don’t like it and prefer a different way of skiing but do you have to put the other person’s style/method down as well?
    I love it all, the rando racing , the resort skiers, the snowmobile hybrids,the ski mountaineers and the ski stunt men, the powder hounds and the east coast mogul bashers. The reflection of the Solitaire movies and the adrenaline of the latest TGR/MSP offering.
    Frankly, although I know Wild Snow and Lou are primarily advocates of BC skiing , it always disappoints me when Lou resorts to the urge of tribalism and feels it necessary to point out the imagined superiority of his preferences and tastes over others such as he has done in this article.
    Reeks of the politician rallying his already biased supporters rather than being inclusive and respecting those that chose to practice and enjoy skiing differently or watching different video styles.

  29. Sofia September 21st, 2012 11:47 pm

    Both good trailers, but I like the first one better.

  30. shoveler September 22nd, 2012 6:27 am

    Xavier, it seems you are doing exactly what the rest of us are doing here, only instead of having an opinion about a ski movie, you are instead being opinionated and condescending about those of us who have opinions!

  31. Lou Dawson September 22nd, 2012 7:32 am

    Xavier, wow, I thought that was a pretty mellow blog post, not a rant. Just a fun contrast between two _very_ different movie trailers. But whatever, it’s definitely opinion from me and I appreciate you dropping by and writing your take as well.

  32. See September 22nd, 2012 9:03 am

    For the benefit of those who may have questions about how to recognize a rant, I decided to take a moment this morning and compose the following:

    I don’t like most “new age” ski videos for the same reason I don’t like pro football, boxing, mixed martial arts, NASCAR or Roman gladiators– I feel bad about paying to watch people get hurt. And I include all the people who never make it to the majors, but who suffer career ending injuries before they even get a chance to have a career.

    But seriously, + 1 for the PWs.

  33. ty September 22nd, 2012 10:24 am

    I agree totaly with the first part of Xavier’s post. I get critisized for my choice to huck and shred the resort/ski really fast by traditionalist who think that there is only one way to turn and one way to access the goods (skinning). LAME. As someone who rides snowmobiles and lifts, skins and ski mountaineers, I do not see the difference. Its all skiing and its all good. I might even take a heli ride or two just to piss off my purist friends. And by the way, filming AK straight lines is not passe. it is rad. it doesnt get old in my eyes. thus, TGR’s movie looks to be the sickest of the year.

  34. See September 22nd, 2012 9:07 pm

    Assuming that you’re not endangering anybody else when you’re shredding the resort, ty, I for one have no problem with the way you ski. But there’s a difference between shredding/hucking/etc. because that’s how you like to ski, and doing it for money or fame. When the cameras start recording and there’s money on the line, people do stupid things. I’ve seen it happen. And when film makers show the air but not the auguring in at the end, then I think something other than the truth is being told.

    There is an interesting and important point being raised here, but its about movies and money and selling stuff by exploiting young athletes, not about shredders vs. spooners.

  35. Tim September 23rd, 2012 3:29 pm

    I went to see Super Heroes of Stoke last Thursday night at the Gothic Theater in Denver. I wouldn’t say this was Matchsticks best offering but I had a good time. I honestly think they should have spent more time with the heroes and less park stuff but that’s my problem.TGR is showing their new release Dream Factory in Denver at the Oriental Theater on Thursday 9/27 and Telemark Skier Magazine is offering up the world premiere of their movie Lets Go on Saturday at Brooklyn’s Bar (Saturday 9/29). Powder Whores are in town beginning of November. I’m not a promoter, just fired up for the ski season! Now I must take off my ski boots and go to work……

  36. Steven September 23rd, 2012 10:39 pm

    I do see a difference in what each film captures. Both are amazing displays of showing people shredding in the best ways imaginable. I play hard on both sides of the proverbial “coin” and enjoy a long, remote day in the mountains as well as lapping pow by mechanical means. I value the culture of self-powered mountain travel and the experiences and community it brings. However resort skiing, heli/sled access is a way many people choose to access the mountains. For all of us our experiences, backgrounds and preferences influence our attitudes regarding differences between the two. My goal is to be knowledgable and experienced in both of these “categories” of skiing because I enjoy them both. The more we can learn to understand each other and increase our knowledge the better!

  37. Wilson September 24th, 2012 1:08 pm

    Both these movies are targeted towards two different audiences. 10-15 years ago when I would huck, spin, flip myself off anything over a foot above the ground it would have been a no brainer for me, MSP all the way. Fast forward to today now that I do much more touring, again it’s a no brainer, PW all the way. Now that I’m older it’s more the adventure that’s exciting for me. However I’m a ski movie whore and would watch both.

  38. Nohow September 24th, 2012 4:53 pm

    Thanks for posting our trailer Lou! It’s just cool to be mentioned in the same write up as MSP. We operate on 1/20th the budget I imagine, we’re really proud of being able to do that.

    We try to get a little something in there for everybody. Thanks for all the support from those who’ve been coming out to see the flicks over the years.

    Andy- We are well aware snowflakes don’t have 4 sides. It was a logo, and each arm represented one of the 4 founding members. We’re not actually ‘whores’ either just in case you took that literally. ;)

  39. Troy October 7th, 2012 10:45 am

    Wow, the difference is shocking indeed. I would much rather ski with the guys from Powderwhores, but that’s not why i pay money to be entertained and watch a ski movie.

    If i’m buying a ticket, it’s for the MSP film, hands down!

    Some of you say production values don’t matter to you. That’s fine for you. I like them.

    PW’s film looks like home made youtube gopro video compared to MSPs George Lucas movie. To me, it’s way more engaging with all the slow-mo, staged scenes, and massive things going on.

    The title is interesting, super heroes. That’s just what it is, i don’t want to see people skiing like i ski (not that i ski even remotely as well as the guys in PWs, but you know what i mean), i want to see superheroes.

    I’m 32, since age seems to be something of a factor in one’s preference. Also i am not at all “extreme” but I might be tempted if i was younger (fewer responsibilities) and had a fraction of the talent these guys have.

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Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information opinion website and e magazine. Lou's passion for the past 45 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about backcountry skiing and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free back country news and information here, and tons of Randonnee rando telemark info.

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