After making the rounds to the adventure film festivals last season, Sherpas Cinema‘s All.I.Can won no fewer than 20 awards, including best cinematography from MountainFilm in Telluride, Colorado, and best feature-length mountain film from the Banff Mountain Film Festival in Alberta, Canada. The film’s “Street Skiing” scene with French Canadian freeskier/genius JP Auclair flipping, flying, and skidding down snow-parched streets, brilliantly edited to LCD Soundsystem’s “Dance Yrself Clean,” was an Internet sensation (which we are proud to have broken first on this blog). It now has 1.4 million plays on Vimeo alone.
Needless to say, expectations are high for Sherpas Cinemas’s next release, Into the Mind. The trailer dropped earlier this month with the dazzling cinematography and drama the decade-old team is know for, causing a great rush of social-media fervor. The film features mountain sport heavy-hitters such as Tom Wallisch, Xavier de le Rue, Callum Pettit, Ingrid Backstrom, Jimmy Chin, Conrad Anker, and (kayaker) Rush Sturges. And yes, JP Auclair is back for an “urban segment 2.0.” We can’t wait.
We’ll probably need to see the full film to fully understand how the filmmakers are getting “into the mind” of these boundary-pushing risk takers. They’ve drawn on a Buddha quote: “The mind is everything. What you think you become.” We’re intrigued. Into the Mind is due out fall 2013.
Co-director Eric Crosland answered a few questions for us about the film.
Your trailer pairs ripping adventure action with an apparent spirituality through the Nepali Shaman. Who is he?
Eric Crosland: Yes, he is a Shaman. He’s been described to me as the “Monk of the Sherpas.” His name is Karma Tsering Sherpa. He is a top spiritual figure amongst the true Sherpa culture of Nepal.
How do you get “into the mind” in this film?
EC: It’s visually achieved through the aesthetic and feeling of the film’s cinematography. On one hand Into the Mind is a style of shot—a feeling of entering and ending up in another location. Like going through a door. On the other hand it’s a dreamscape or a separate film reality.
What locations did you shoot in for the film? Which had the most epic conditions?
EC: The skiing you see is right on the edge, performed by the world’s best. We ventured all across Canada, Alaska, Costa Rica, Bolivia, and even to the grand ranges of the Himalaya.
Bella Coola was insane. We had heavy sloughing conditions of loose snow, so you had to ski very fast to beat the snow down the slope that was displaced by your previous turns. Basically every turn made would create a mini avalanche—we call them sluff avalanches.
What can you tell us about the cinematgraphy of this film? You all at Sherpas Cinema are masters of high-end camera work. What cameras were using, and how have you pushed the filming to the next level?
You mentioned that there will be an aspect of avalanche safety and climate change awareness in the film. Why did you want to incorporate these themes?
EC: There is a theme of risk management that will be very subtle throughout the film. We have to look at why humans love to express themselves outdoors in dangerous environments coupled with the brutality of nature to take lives relentlessly. Mountain culture is strongly linked to environmental changes, cold environments are changing rapidly, and all true soul sports are interfaced on water.
We adored the JP Auclair “Street Skiing” scene from All.I.Can. What’s JP up to in this film?
EC: JP is a big part of Into The Mind. Not only is JP an amazing athlete as you can see, but he also edited and directed with The Sherpas on All.I.Can, he’s a multi-talented genesis. I’m not joking, he’s a style master. His involvement with Into The Mind is amazing and has many layers. Look for a JP urban segment 2.0 including new theme. I would say he’s integral part of the team.