September 15, 2011 Features & Images » Feature Story

Lights, camera, passport 

Whistler's growing winter-sport film industry shows off the best in talent and terrain... but the question for the ultimate shot requires tenacity, creativity and thousands of air miles

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"It's all about the 'stay-cation' for sure," says Malcolm Sangster. "Get back to working on the house or hanging with your girl. It's good to be home."

Eric Crosland, originally from Calgary, logged some serious away time last season. Filming for All.I.Can. took him from Hawaii to Greenland to Morroco to Alaska and across the BC interior. All this with a wife and new baby at home.

"We were stuck in Greenland for five extra days," Crosland says. "It was tough. I was calling every day on the sat phone saying 'Get us out of here!' You end up drinking more to wash the pain away. It's a total mental game and having an understanding partner is so key. It feels good to stay home but I took the family to Mexico for our last holiday. Without their support I'd be working at Burger King."

And even with the most understanding wife on the planet, you'd better be washing those baselayers yourself after sweating through a month on the road. The dirty baselayer champion might be local cinematographer Gary Pendygrassee. According to Shin Campos, "He did a 30-day stint of isolation in Alaska and I bet he wore the same set the whole time." Gary couldn't be reached for confirmation however, he's somewhere out of cell range, again.

 

SIDEBAR 1.

 

Volcan Puyehue Erupts Twice!

 

After footage of Whistler riders ripping the inner bowl of Volcan Puyehue hit the Internet the trip became much more popular with tourists and skiers from all over the globe. Local gauchos and guides benefitted from the extra employment and Puyehue seemed destined to become a new classic adventure for northern hemisphere skiers looking for some late August pow.

And then, on June 4 2011, all hell broke loose literally as the Cordon-Caulle fissure that includes Puyehue spewed out an estimated one hundred million tones of ash, sand and pumice. Experts on the Internet say that is equivalent to 24 million truckloads of sand and would have required about the same amount of force as 70 atomic bombs. Eighteen days later the lava started flowing.

Amazingly, there were no injuries reported although 4,200 people were evacuated from their homes and farms. Skiing at Puyehue will never be the same, if it ever happens there again.

"What I have been hearing out of Bariloche is that the landscape is changed forever," says Malcolm Sangster of Sherpas Cinema. "We're intrigued to hear if the crater is still there or not but it sounds like skiing will be definitely be different there for the next crew in."

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