Idea, starring Eric Pollard, Pep Fujas and Andy Mahre, and crucially it would turn out, with a guest appearance from Chris Benchetler, changed skiing forever. That's a big statement but one I fancy few would call me out on. Not only did it open the doors to a new way of looking at the mountain and a new way of presenting skiing but it brought together those four names in an independent production for the first time.
It's now been eight years since Idea blew my mind, and it's still my favourite ski movie to this day. Since then Nimbus Independent have turned their own unique brand of skiing and production in to an artform. A number of webisodes and movies have appeared and we, the consuming public, have lapped up every one, savouring the beauty of the way these guys ski and the way Eric puts the final product together.
They do sometimes go big...
And so we come to the present. A week or so ago now After The Sky Falls, one of a handful of movies I was disappointed to find out wasn't showing on the big screen at IF3, was finally released to the waiting public. Two years in the making, the weight of expectation was high. It features three of your favourite skier's favourite skiers, edited by a man with a track record for making some of the most beautiful ski media in existence. Could it really be as good as all that promises?
In a word, yes. In fact in my eyes, it sailed way past the expectations and continued off into the sunset. But let's clear a few things up before I wax lyrical about what was so good. The skiing itself is not groundbreaking in the way Idea was. The 'idea' is no longer new and Nimbus has never been about progressing in the linear direction which most of skiing seems set on. What has happened with After The Sky Falls is a continued refinement of an already stunning skiing aesthetic, along with an equal progression in editing and sound work.
...but mostly they make skiing look beautiful
If you can only think of skiing as a sport, this is not a film for you. But if you subscribe to the idea that skiing can be an art then you are in for a treat. The film is categorically not about the tricks thrown, but the artistry in movement, spot selection and the combination of the two. It's about the perfect lines left in the canvas of a new snowfall. It's about the places visited and the memories made along the journey. It's half an hour of beautifully matched sound and cinematography alongside some of the most visually perfect skiing ever to have been caught on camera.
The Nimbus journey has been much like the career of an artist. Idea was the early work: raw, challenging and new. After The Sky Falls is more polished, more fine, but born from the same DNA. It is, in a way that very few pieces of ski media have ever achieved, a work of art. You should really go watch this now.
Buy it here:
ITunes (if you really can't use the other 2)
Keep your eyes peeled for an exclusive interview with the man behind it all, Mr. Pollard, right here on Newschoolers.com.