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That night at dinner, we launched a really lousy ski film and I criticized it, from a reasonably astute point of view for those days. I told him I was going to go into the lecture business someday. He said, "Why dontcha go right now then?"
I said, "Well, theyre paying me $125 a month and the camera I want to buy is a Bell and Howell 70DA and its $236 with three lenses." And Hal, the other guy who was the controller of Bell and Howell said, "Chuck, why dont we loan Warren a camera and he can pay us out of his lecture earnings?"
Chuck said, "Okay." I still didnt know what they were talking about but three weeks later, the camera came and they saved me probably three years by doing that for me. The next winter at Squaw Valley I taught and made a movie.
Pique: What made you think anybody would be interested in watching ski movies?
WM: I dont know. I saw one in 1947, a John Jay movie in Sun Valley. He showed it to about 20 people. Hed been to Switzerland and had some funny stuff from Mammoth and I walked out of there thinking, "Wow, that guys making a living doing that. If he does, I could." Three years later, I made my first one.
Pique: Watching ski movies now, how do you think a non-skier views them?
WM: Turns em off. They can never do it. When I owned the company, I always considered myself as the News of the Day. I would go to Boyne Mountain where some guy paid $4,800 for a single chairlift and put it up in Michigan. Thats a new resort so its news to me. Well, five years later, that guy hired Stein Eriksen, whod won two gold medals. So I went to Boyne and filmed Stein in the midwest.
I went to Wilmot, Wisconsin when someone said theres some guy up there, hes rented an air compressor and hes got a bunch of pipes and he rams water through the pipes and snow comes out. So I put it in my movie. I showed those things to my audiencies.
I dont see very many of the current movies because... well, I just dont see them. I havent even seen the one the company put together this year. I saw the portion where I ski because I had to write the script. But I dont like the way that film has gone.
Pique: Has it going too far?
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