The boys done did it again! ‘August Light (Have a Nice Day)’ serves as the final chapter in Strictly’s 2021 film fiasco, which include their other two projects of the year, ‘Most Gutter‘ and ‘Wildcard‘. The gang is hot off last years phenomenal full length feature, ‘Bermuda‘, which combines street, backcountry, spring time, and basically any other skiing you can imagine into a beautiful 50 minute ride. However, the choice was made during the 20/21 season to scrap the single film and break it into three separate projects. Both of the groups cinematography captains, Andrew Mildenberger and Gavin Rudy, have uniquely different but equally impressive styles, so it only seemed to make sense for each of them to head up their own films. Andrew took the lead on ‘Most Gutter’ and ‘Wildcard’, while Gavin and Ethan Swadburg teamed up to craft their own project in ‘August Light’. All three of these vary greatly in both the ski and film styles, but each are a perfect representation of what these individuals bring to the table.
There’s no doubt that ‘August Light’ holds some of the better skiing of the year. The entire second half of the film is basically shot after shot of nothing but hammers being landed on mount hood. But the true attractor here is the way in which the film is portrayed. From the small transitions and shots to the intermission show, the whole thing is so personally tapered to the eyes of Gavin and Ethan. While there is still a lot of beauty in a more clean cut approach, the distinctive qualities this movie shows set it aside from the crowd, in the best possible way.
Much like Björn Eklund’s recent masterpiece, ‘As the Carousel Swings‘, ‘August Light’ is a film that could have come from no where else. While there is definite value to us as skiers having so many similar experiences in the world, there is also an abundance of value in all of the wildly different interpretations of those experiences. When individuals with the skills to replicate those unique views get to work on a project that reflects them, it has proved time and time again to be a winning recipe. This is the case in ‘August Light’, as G Rude and Swadburgler give such a well rounded and enjoyable representation of their way of life. Millions of skiers have built jumps on Mt. Hood, skied urban and powder with their friends, and compiled footage of those things and more. And yet, we are still attracted and drawn into the original and enticing worlds that these craftsmen create.
If anything, it’s proof that following your own intuition will lead to a better product than just going with the crowd. We sincerely hope that more projects like this are in the works for the future, as they are a driving factor in what keeps skiing original and, most importantly, fun. Shouts to Gavin, Ethan, and all who had a hand in making something so personable and enjoyable as this.