Recently many of you have noticed that I have become a salty son of a bitch on this website. Looking back, I didnít make a conscious decision to become a hater; Iíve been slowly slipping in that direction for some time now. The Margetts debacle really was just the straw that broke the camelís back, and ever since then Iíve had no filter when it came to sharing my opinion on everything surrounding the Olympics.
I fucking hate what the Olympics are doing to us.
Everyone talks about how good itís going to be for our sport, and how we will see an influx of money, and blah, blah, blah. Well my question is: where the fuck is it? At first I thought, well it must be getting pumped into all the Olympic athletes. Then I see one of the top Canadian half pipe skiers begging for money, and he has some of the largest sponsors in the game. Well then it became apparent that the money for the Olympic athletes to train is coming from their respective governments and not sponsors. You know where that leads me to believe the money in our industry is? Shhhh, itís not really there. Our industry is fucking broke. And the Olympics isnít going to fix it.
You know when our industry was at its peak? In the 70ís and 80ís When Warren Miller films were selling out 20,000 seat theatres and coked up mogul skiers were ripping bumps and banging hookers in hot tubs. Ski films were broadcast to huge audiences, not just the niche group we are in now. You know how we got to that point? A large portion of the money was poured back into the ski film industry, allowing them not only to produce, but also to promote their film every year. Sure, having the X-Games broadcast on ESPN might get some kid stoked on skiing, but it doesnít have the allure to draw in the audience like Warren Miller narrating a piece about flying a bush plane onto a glacier to ski powder. Even now days, can you imagine if Into the Mind had a national TV spot for their US tour with dates and shit during half time on Monday Night Football? (Incoming blatant assumption) They probably have the biggest film budget in the game and couldnít afford to do that.
I think that there is a serious misallocation of funds in our industry.
Itís fucking atrocious the amount of money that film companies and skiers get paid. This became most apparent to me when I was reading a blog entry or some shit Martini put up talking about Cam needing to borrow money from him because he was fucking broke and couldnít get his travel reimbursements yet to keep going on. For fucks sake, that was after two years of parts filled with some of the burliest urban in the game. And he doesnít have enough money to get an Egg McMuffin and a cup of coffee? Why is there this idea at the corporate level that the guys at Stept donít deserve as much money as some dude that finishes 7th at the X-Games?
Can anyone here tell me (without looking it up) who won the X-Games three years ago and how you felt when they stomped the money booter? Probably not. But Iím sure a many of you here can remember how you wanted to jump out of your fucking seat when the screen shifted from black and white to color on Pepís opening cork 7 in 1242, and that segment is 10 years old! Why isnít the money in the industry going to the people that are leaving legacies instead of people that are just adding 180 degrees of rotation or another flip every season?
(Again, blatant assumption incoming) Iím willing to bet thatís why a lot of your favorite movie companies are being forced to shift to two-year productions. They arenít able anymore to afford to put out the production that they really, really want to in one season, but when you spread those funds out over two years, voila, youíve got enough to make a banging film. It costs less for the riders too, so when your sponsor has to chop two grand off of your travel budget itís not a huge deal because you are going to have another entire season to make up for that one trip you might have missed, plus a few more. Ultimately, I feel, it does you the viewer an injustice. Everyone might sell it as, ďOh man, itís gonna be twice the movie youíve ever seen!Ē But in reality you, then end user, is receiving half the content.
The second terrible fact is that surviving as a start up film company is next to impossible these days. Who are the only ones to come up and have been able to sustain in the past 5 years? Stept and Sherpas are all that I can think of. And look at all of the side work they have to do to stay afloat. Martini takes on tons of projects like that Network A shit and editing Ingridís X Games edit, and Sherpas did that giant IMAX project for the Canadian Tourism board. Now look how many companies weíve lost in that time. Toy Soldier, Rage and Dendrite are three incredibly talented players just off the top of my head. Where is the incentive to invest in going from filming your friends to taking the next step and trying to become a production company? Itís great when youíre a young adult without serious bills, but once you break that threshold you need to make a living out of it the support for start ups just isnít there.
It doesnít have to be like this. The industry as a whole will hopefully see after Sochi that we have been focusing on the wrong thing. They will see that we need to make an investment in the future of freeskiing, back into the people that become legends like Shane and Schmidt. Hopefully theyíll see that the allure of showing someone dodging gangs and crackheads in Detroit or camping for a week on a glacier and earning every turn every day is FAR greater than watching someone take a 1 minute long slopestyle run. If Tom wins the Olympics that will be fucking awesome, and he will go down in the history books, but I guarantee you I will think about that fucking GIANT dub ten he did in the Rutherford waaaaay before I think about the dub ten that heís going to stomp in his slopestyle run in Russia.
Iím fucking sickened by the obsession surrounding the Olympics and how it is straight up fucking a lot of people that frankly deserve better. And before any of you idiots go off about me being jealous because I have to work and they donít, cram that shit right up your ass. Ask anyone thatís ever filmed with me or has been around me, I donít complain about coming to work. In fact taking a break from skiing is healthy for me, it keeps skiing solidified as my escape from the real world and my love for it strong. Plus, I donít need the money from sponsors, I'm completely comfortable. But there are tons of people who do. And not only do they need it, they fucking deserve it and arenít getting it. Thatís why Iíve been such a salty ass hole. I still think Margetts copped out, I still think Walter Wood is a glorified gymnast, and I still think that the Tucker Perkins hair commercial is fucking disgusting. But I probably wouldnít have been so vocal about it if I wasnít boiling over with disdain for the Olympics.
tl;dr: fuck you, read it.