Parker White and Chris Logan, more often referred to as P-White and Dahrkness, have taken on a new project for the 2013/14 season, entitled The Big Picture. The childhood friends enlisted the talent of longtime collaborator (and Chris’s brother) Sean Logan to film and edit the series, which made its premiere last week.
The Big Picture comes on the heels of solo projects from the likes of Tom Wallisch and Mike Hornbeck, which dropped last fall. And with news that Ahmet Dadali and Sean Pettit will be also focusing on webisodes this year, the amount of “film skiers” moving their premium content from DVD to the web is rising. We spoke with Parker, Chris and Sean about what it took to make The Big Picture a reality.
What’s up? How are you guys doing?
PW: Most Excellent.
Where are you?
PW: We’re in Bozeman, Montana. We just got back from Cooke City and now we’re hanging out, drinking a little bit, and decompressing.
How long were you guys out there?
PW: Like a month. And we were in Butte, Montana before that.
The boys unload the truck in Butte, America. Photo: Sean Logan
Did you guys have a big crew out there? Or was it just you three?
PW: We had a bunch of homies. It was Tanner Rainville, Duncan Adams, Adam Delorme, Freedle Coty, Justin Kelly, Vann Gravage, Sean Logan and Stu Halverson. We were all out there as a crew, filming together. Those guys filmed a little for the Level 1 stuff, as well.
Why did you decide to start The Big Picture?
PW: It’s current. Keeping with the times, man. We’ve had the idea for a minute now, just to make something that is me and Dahrk.
Does it help that you have mutual sponsors in Rossignol and Electric?
PW: Yeah, Rossignol and Electric are our two mutual sponsors and we’ve been with both of those companies the longest. It’s been really dope to have those companies involved. The stoke and initiative is mutual.
And what about the decision to leave Level 1?
PW: There’s no bad blood with Level 1 at all. We’re obviously still hyped on everything they’re doing, and we couldn’t be more appreciative for everything they’ve done for us. Our time with Level 1 was sick. This is something new. It has definitely helped keep us motivated. We have something new and something fresh to put our energy into. We share a vision and have something to portray.
Does this have anything to do with the fact that you have both had enders in the Level 1 movies? Is that the ultimate, being a film skier?
CL: No, that was just icing on the cake. Even before this last season, we started really putting the wheels in motion. It’s been an idea for a while that we’ve wanted to do, but it was just like, you know, shit costs money. There’s a lot of stuff you need to do to bring it all together. The timing just worked out. Now was a good time to do it. We had all the right people to get on board who were supporting it, which makes it possible. So it was like, here’s the opportunity, why wouldn’t we do it?
PW: It’s the peak of our abilities and resources, you know? So it just made sense. Why wait? Let’s do this shit now.
Do you feel like you honed your skills with Level 1?
CL: They definitely helped out tremendously. We learned a ton over the last four or five years with those dudes—from filming to terrain to sledding. It definitely helped, and raised the bar on everything for us.
PW: We’ve taken a lot from the past couple years, and put it into this, including locations. We spent the whole past month in Cooke City. I figured that whole zone out with Wiley [Miller] and [Adam] Delorme while I was filming with Level 1. AD was doubling me on the sled all the time and Freedle [Coty, Level 1 filmer] was helping an incredible amount as well. That was during Level 1 trips, but that’s also just homies, you know?
CL: It’s all about the people you’re surrounded by. We try to surround ourselves with the same people we’ve been around and been comfortable with. We’re still learning.
PW: It’s less about this company or that company. It’s the same homies, you know? That shit hasn’t changed.
What’s been the toughest thing about breaking out onto your own?
PW: Honestly, it hasn’t been that difficult. It’s the same formula, different output.
CL: As far as filming, it’s more of a deadline sort of deal. You don’t have all season. You need to get your certain amount of footage. So, that’s a little bit more in the back of your mind. We can’t say, “this trip didn’t go that well, but it’s fine, because we’ve got the next trip.” This trip has to go well, or else it’s going to show in the footage.
That makes sense. How does filming with your brother help the dynamic?
CL: We just mesh well. He’s my brother, he’s basically P-White’s brother, too. We’ve all just known each other forever. We know the little stuff and we all work really well together.
PW: It was kind of obvious. He’s crew, he’s the best with it. We were just like, “Sean, you want to do this? Yeah? Okay.” We’re stoked. We can do this shit well together. We all have the same vision. We all agree on what we want this to be, and how we want it to be.
CL: We’ve been doing this for a while with Montage stuff, but now it’s full-time. He doesn’t have to be a bartender anymore and deal with drunk idiots.
C-Lo gets pitted in Montucky. Photo: Sean Logan
Sean, what’s it like working with these guys full time?
SL: It’s awesome that I’ve gotten the opportunity to put all my time into doing this. It’s way better than working full time and filming on the side. I think it’s going to be a good opportunity, and hopefully everything just gets better now that I have a lot of time to do it.
We’ve all lived together for a while, and skied together for the longest time. I think we know each other’s style on and off the mountain, and I also think that knowing what these guys are capable of helps with setting up big features. They deliver, they’re really good, and they’re easy to work with.
Are you guys helping with editing?
PW: No. That’s all Sean. Look at us man, you think we can do that?
CL: He’s the mad scientist.
In general, what’s the state of ski media right now?
CL: The main thing is having [content] out there right away. People are skiing right now. They want to see what’s going on now, and all season long. They can see what we’re up to, rather than, at the end of the year being like, “here’s two or three minutes of what I was doing all year.” This is what we’re doing right now; this is our past month of work and we just put it out. Here it is.
PW: People want everything immediately. Especially with the web. People’s attention spans are so short man, you have to keep that constant feed. Whether it’s on Facebook, Instagram or Vimeo, we’re reminding them that we’re alive and we’re skiing; slat rats never die.
Do you feel like you’re catering to your audience? Are you making it for you, or for them, or a combination?
PW: We are skiing for everyone, man. It’s our webisode, so we gotta do us, and we need to make sure kids see what we see and are hyped. That is basically what our job is, getting people hyped on skiing.
CL: It’s based a lot on what we think is sick in skiing. We’re putting out what we want to see.
Sean, are you directing the project? Did you have specific things lined out that you wanted to accomplish?
SL: I think we had features and stuff in mind. It’s obviously dependent on weather and conditions. Cruising around, like I said, I know their abilities, and I can kind of see stuff and point stuff out. They can do the same, so it works really well.
Now that episode one is done, what do you think about it?
SL: I’m stoked on it. I try to shoot well, and not to edit a ton. I worked on it for a few days, some of the shots were captured two or three days before we released it. I’m kind of just trying to get it out there. For the time we had and the conditions that we got, I’m pretty stoked on it. Hopefully trips keep going like that one.
I want to hear your opinions about the Olympics.
PW: What is your question about the Olympics?
A lot of people, especially “film skiers,” think we need to stay away from it. I also think it’s cool that you guys have a sister who competed in the Olympics, while you’re doing this. You guys are taking two different paths toward success in skiing.
CL: Devin Logan, for the win.
PW: We’re just doing us. That’s shit’s whatever. I hope that a cool motherfucker like Henrik [Harlaut] gets on the podium, he does a good job at representing our sport. We need an ill dude on top.
The Olympics are a really hot topic in skiing right now. But that’s not a focus for us; neither of us really has anything to do with them. With that being said – Devin Logan for the win.
P-White and Dahrkness taking the sleds for a ride. Photo: Sean Logan
Where are you heading next?
PW: Possibly California? I think they’re supposed to get a bunch of snow. Two weeks ago, we thought we were going to interior BC, and then we were going to Jackson Hole, and now we’re going to California so…
So, in two days I’ll talk to you, and you’ll be going somewhere else…
PW: I think Cali might be the final call.
CL: We’re going to Columbia. Then Mexico.
PW: Actually we just got a check from Rossignol, so our next move is going to be Vegas. Then Cabo. Then back up North to see a doctor.
CL: And you won’t ever hear from us ever again.
Until Orage Masters, right?
PW: [Laughs] Yeah.
CL: I think it’s going to be like the Masters usually is, but transplanted into the backcountry. It sounds like Mike Nick [Orage’s VP of marketing and sales] is down for whatever.
PW: It’s going to be me against Dahrk. I’m stoked though. Orage put together a team, and then online voting sent me, [Josh] Bibby, Wiley, Rainville, and Duncan Adams. Dream Team, baby. We’re gonna have a lot fun.
So Mike’s down with whatever?
CL: That’s what it sounds like. He’s just trying to put on a party that we’re doing some skiing at, too. He told us, “this is your event, let me know what you want to do.” I’m sure it’s going to be pretty crazy. Then we follow that up with Phil and Henrik’s B&E Inventational, which is going to be really fucking sick, too. It’s going to be a nice couple weeks.
One last question: Can you list two or three people who have shaped who you are today?
CL: Brian Knowles.
PW: Brian Knowles coached Chris and I growing up. Dude taught me how to ski and was a mentor in a lot of other ways. Brian Knowles is a boss.
CL: Ryan Vescovi, Mike Decker, and Jesse Mallis are all in that same category, too.
PW: Jimbo Morgan has helped both of us out tremendously. For me, especially with Tomahawk, he helped me learn a lot more about the industry – about business and making smart decisions. Also, the way to embrace and promote a brand, and the way that brands should support an athlete.
CL: Also, Matt Rihm and Jason Newell at Rossignol. It’s been a decade.
PW: It’s both of our tenth year on Rossignol. They’ve been hugely supportive and are open to letting us do our own things. They help us make things happen. With this webisode series, they were some of the first people on board.
And shout out to Alex Cohn a.k.a Kooter Brown.