To Exceed the Limits

Words: Arek Piatek
Photo above: Blake Jorgenson 

Days of My Youth is not just another backcountry ski flick. It’s one of the most jaw-dropping action sports films ever. This is how it was made.

Days of My Youth is a unique film; for one, it probably had the longest production schedule of any freestyle skiing movie. “We spent two years shooting, which is an eternity,” says Scott Bradfield, the film’s producer. “We were only happy when we had the perfect shot, which meant we only filmed when we had absolutely ideal light and snow conditions, even if that meant us holing ourselves up in mountain huts for weeks on end.”

Another thing that sets the move apart: By “us” he means the best freeriders in the world—Richard Permin, Cody Townsend and Markus Eder—all on the hunt for perfect takes, lines and rock faces. It is a search that took them to far-flung and unspoiled places, such as the Tordrillo Mountains in Alaska and the glaciers in the Cordillera Blanca mountain chain in Peru. “We wanted authenticity. We didn’t want scenes or interviews to be staged,” says Permin. “The riders had microphones on them all the time. So anyone watching the film hears the original [audio] of how we planned our line, and understands what a run takes out of us. That gets you closer to the sportsman and to the action.”

Film directors usually aren’t happy when their stars improvise, but this approach is the centerpiece of this movie. “Up in the mountains,” Permin says, “we freed ourselves of any constraints and allowed ourselves to become children again and to enjoy skiing with that total passion a child has. We always decided independently what jump or trick to do. It was amazing to see what you can achieve if you just listen to yourself and are as carefree as you were back then, when you were a little kid on the slopes.” 

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11 2014 The Red Bulletin

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