Backcountry Skier in the Hot Seat

Post by blogger | December 8, 2005      

A production crew from Peter Jennings Productions (PJP) showed up yesterday and did an on-camera interview of yours truly. PJP has been working on a documentary about the development of ski mountaineering. They take several years for these projects, and appear to try and portray an accurate view of a given slice of our culture. In the case of ski mountaineering, it’s been tough for them to figure out how “big mountain skiing” (as portrayed in modern ski films) relates to the type of ski alpinism that usually doesn’t get filmed because it’s hard, dangerous, and usually human powered. It sounded like they were getting a handle on how the two things are interrelated, but also are separate paths of backcountry ski culture. The guy who interviewed me, Mark Obenhaus, and the film’s producer Gabrielle Tenenbaum (along with their associates) appear to have really dug deep into ski mountaineering history and culture. Indeed, I’ve started to get the feeling that Mark should have been the one to write my history book, Wild Snow!

I’d like to thank those guys for the energy, time and money they’re putting into finding the essence of ski mountaineering.

I’m used to live radio interviews and long talks with reporters, but I’ve never liked on-camera interviews. You can’t fumble around for notes about dates and such, and you’re worrying about that blem on your lip or what to do with your hands. Then the stress makes you even more forgetful, and you end up feeling like a total klutz. At least that’s what happens to me. Perhaps I need to go to acting school or something (grin). At any rate, PJP appeared to get what they needed, but who knows what’ll end up in the actual published film: camera friendly guys like Glen Plake, or some old ski alpinist who’s never been in a Warren Miller film? Whatever happens, it’ll no doubt be fun and interesting to watch. Their “completion” date is next fall, and they couldn’t tell me when the documentary would actually be shown on television — I’d imagine sometime next winter, as it’s about skiing.

Lou getting grilled by PJP
The PJP crew made our greatroom into a film studio, with Lou in the hot seat. It was interesting. Louie noticed they had some cool gear, and related that he’d had trouble not laughing when I tried to do a long-term smile for a portrait shot. Where is that acting coach when I need her?


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