Happy Dayz are here 

New ski flick whets appetite for skis

What: Happy Dayz

Where: Millennium Place

When: Oct. 5, 7 & 9 p.m.

Did the heavy dustings at Wedge and Whistler this week have you dreaming about powder fields glistening in the new morning’s sun?

If so, check out director Johnny DeCesare’s new ski film, Happy Dayz, as he takes you "out of the park, and into the backcountry and urban centres around the world." The production is a presentation from his Hermosa, California-based company, Poor Boyz Productions.

Local skiers Shane Szocs and Mike Douglas are a few of the top athletes featured in the film.

"The film was shot at Whistler-Blackcomb and in the Whistler backcountry," says Szocs, of his sixth film with the production company.

Highlights include pillow line footage of Szocs in snow 10-feet deep.

"The backcountry area is so expansive, which really makes it the best place to film – I mean you could have five crews in the valley at one time and not run into each other," he says.

At the screening, Szocs will give away a nine-day package to next year’s summer training camp with High North.

Mike Douglas is in his sixth film with the production company.

Douglas says he and other friends became fed up with the parameters of freestyle’s increasingly traditional approach. Hence ‘new school’ became the new buzz.

"There are lots of rails and jumps, lots of backcountry powder," says Douglas.

"Sleds have really made it possible to film areas (like the Pemberton Ice Cap), and we move quite slowly when moving around with the film crew.

It’s the most progressive, latest and greatest film with regards to new school skiing."

Additional capers in the movie include dodging police in downtown Buffalo, and sledding to key remote locations.

"Just being out there, pushing yourself skiing, is why I do it.

"It feels cool being the first to jump, breaking new ground," says Douglas, on what motivates him to raise the bar.

Meanwhile, film director DeCesare, divides his time between L.A. and Whistler.

A former professional moguls skier, he also produced the exploratory Degenerates (1998), a film about "redefining the parameters of man’s adaptability on skis."

The marvels of freeskiing were also featured in the films State of Mind and The Game, explorations by DeCesare to stretch experimentation on skis way beyond turns around gates.

Following the Millennium Place screening Happy Dayz plays former Olympic zones Salt Lake City on Oct. 26 and the Squaw Valley film festival on Nov. 30.

Time to dig out the Swix.


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