Words: Allen Lam
Six months ago, I stood in front of a packed theater in Milwaukee at the Midwest Ski Film Festival with three amazing friends and filmmakers. We had pulled off a project that had been talked and dreamed about for years. The idea was born on Newschoolers and called “The Minnesota Movie.” It was a plan to bring every film crew and the State’s best skiers together to show the world what our scene was all about. We finally did just that, rallying a statewide collaboration of filmers, editors, and skiers. We called it NICE, a movie that epitomized the spirit, unity, and signature Minnesota Nice attitudes of the skiers of our often forgotten and dismissed state.
Every year, people move on to new places and adventures. The three friends I worked with to create NICE would all leave to ski deeper snow and bigger parks. I didn’t think it would be possible make another movie quite like it without their help, let alone try and follow it up. After all, I was the youngest and least experienced of the crew. It wasn’t until several weeks after we finished premiering our movie that I fully realized how much of an impact it had made. It had brought together our ski community, even closer than it already was. We had created something truly unique, something for Minnesota skiers to really be proud about.
TOO NICE isn’t a sequel, it’s a tribute to the greatest Minnesota ski movie ever made. A tribute to our small, flat hills, icy landings, rutted kickers, poorly cut pipes, lack of snow, out of touch management, and rusty rails. It will feature no one but the nicest Minnesota skiers. It has been filmed only in the parks and streets of Minnesota. It will be set to only our rich and diverse Minnesota music scene. With the help of a new generation of filmers, editors, and skiers, the dream of the Minnesota Movie lives on.
Words: David Beck
Opposite of Allen, six months ago I stood in the back of the crowded Summit Boardshop at the Free 4 All movie premiere. When I saw a hundred Red Bull fueled kids go crazy in response to NICE, I realized how much more the movie was beyond what you can see on the screen. The movie stood for everything everyone loves about skiing in Minnesota. The places we’ve spent countless hours skiing under the lights after school, the rails we drive past everyday, and mostly, the people we ski with and how they make up one of the tightest skiing communities in the world. For Minnesota, NICE is not just a movie, but a symbol which represents us and who we are as a whole. Along with Allen, Kelly and Matt, I, too, am more than happy to pay NICE a tribute.
Words: Matt Boetcher
I heard about NICE through Newschoolers, the article on the homepage last year was the first I had heard about the project. ‘Another sick video,’ was all that I thought at the time. It turns out I was right. NICE came out and was one of the finest things I’d seen from the Midwest. The skiing was unique, but it wasn’t what made the film. Everything in NICE was Minnesota based. The skiers, the filmers, the music, and the hills, are what made the film what it was.
I was curious if anything was in the works to try and follow what was started last year. I exchanged words with Allen, who at the time sounded like he had ideas, but wasn’t sure if he could pull together what he needed to start another project. Being new, but enthused about filming, I offered him my help with anything needed. A few weeks later I got a message, a few crews had been found and a new project was in the making. Told that it was “top secret,” I was excited to be on board working with some of the skiers that I had come to revere.
To me, TOO NICE is another chapter in the story of Midwest progression. Minnesota, along with other areas of the country, are not lacking in the level of riding, but what sets us apart is how tight the skiers here are. Here, you don’t have to look for ‘approval’ from the ‘good’ kids, we’re all at the hill for the same reason. TOO NICE isn’t going to be a sequel, nor do I believe is it meant to be. It’s just another chance for us to illustrate what sets our state apart from the rest of the ski community, and to again show what it means to be Minnesota Nice.
Alex Dutcher & Steve Janisch
Words: Kelly Karis
MN: Land of 10,000 lakes, handrails, and smiles. This is where I have skied for my entire life. I’ve never been out west, I’ve never seen a “real” mountain, and I have never skied powder. As far as skiing is concerned, I’ll be the first to admit that I have experienced very little. What I have experienced however, is the warmth, friendliness, and collective stoke that is Minnesota skiing. It seems that amongst our slew of hills is an invisible connection that has been forged, linking skiers of all ages, styles, and abilities into one unbelievable community.
The premiere of MN Nice not only strengthened, but solidified the bond that we Minnesota skiers share. To me it symbolized all the faces and all the warm greetings you receive when you travel to the next hill down the road. It symbolized late nights spent hiking a park rail 30 yards from where my car is warming up. NICE created a lasting effect that has radiated across this frozen state, and is the reason that Allen approached David, Matt, and I last fall with the idea of creating a tribute.
TOO NICE will premiere in the Midwest this fall with a limited DVD release, followed by a free online release on New Years.
Featuring the skiing of: Steve Janisch, Allen Lam, Austin Torvinen, Colten Welch, Bryan Reis, and friends, and music by: Mike Mictlan and Lazerbeak, Cecil Otter, Eyedea and Abilities, Brother Ali, Atmosphere, The Plastic Constellations, Cloud Cult, Friends Like These and Unknown Prophets .
Directed by Allen Lam
Produced by Allen Lam, David Beck, Matt Boetcher, and Kelly Karis
Production Assistance by Jack Stephenson
Visit http://www.parimajmedia.com for premiere, DVD, shirt, and sticker information as it becomes available, and follow Parimaj Media and Circle on Facebook to see where Allen and his camera went this past season.