The Making of the Seth Morrison Documentary
*Originally published in our Vol 13 February issue. Words by Tess Weaver.
Seth Morrison has enough rockstar footage and flattering industry sound bites to create an acclaimed documentary from an editing bay. But that would be too easy for a skier and innovator who continuously looks ahead. So it’s no surprise that when Seth set out to make a documentary film last year, he decided to make it a two-year project about his present and future, not his illustrious history.
The yet-to-be-titled film [ed. note: the movie title has been announced, The Ordinary Skier], funded by Oakley’s 1242 Productions and filmed and directed by Constantine “CP” Papanicolaou, is set to release fall 2011.
“I want the film to show that you can make whatever you want to out of yourself,” Morrison says. “That whatever it is, if it’s driven by passion and you work hard enough, anything can happen.”
Seth Morrison in Bariloche, Argentina. p. Flip McCririck
That mantra defined last winter’s inaugural year of filming. Seth went to Chamonix last spring, where he delved into a new chapter of his career — ski mountaineering. Alongside Kye Petersen, Morrison pushed his comfort zone and skied some of Chamonix’s most notorious and consequential lines. Morrison spent weeks in the high-alpine honing his mountaineering skills — everything from advanced glacier travel to climbing in crampons — picking up all he could from photographer Christian Pondella and Chamonix ex-pat Nate Wallace, who guided the crew last March and April.
In summer, Morrison filmed with Pep Fujas in Chile and Argentina, hitting Bariloche, Nevados de Chian, Ski Arpa and Portillo.
CP, who filmed and directed Show & Prove, The Massive and Believe, says this winter holds a different agenda. “We will find answers to questions about Seth’s past, present and future. We’re looking to talk to the people who were there with Seth from the beginning, as well as people who have been through similar experiences.”
Weather will dictate where filming will take Morrison for the 2010-2011 season, but the first trips will most likely be to Colorado and Retallack, the backcountry cat operation in B.C. where he is a part owner.
The Ordinary Skier trailer
If all goes according to plan this season, Morrison will spend at least a month in Europe, possibly exploring Switzerland, where he recently scouted some promising zones. And then there’s always Alaska.
Morrison will be joined by Oakley athletes along the way. Sean Pettit, JP Auclair and Sammy Carlson are just a few of the names that have been thrown around. The documentary aims to show that professional skiing isn’t a winter hobby, but rather a year-round pursuit of exploration and adventure.
In addition to conditions, CP says the most difficult part of filming so far has been shooting “completely spontaneous” interviews in authentic mountain environments. And using a RED camera has added other challenges.
About the author:
Shay Williams is the Managing Editor of Freeskier Magazine. He loves cheeseburgers, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Sweden. He's likely on a plane right now—first class only.