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September 20, 2013
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Adventure Reel premieres Saturday at Breckenridge Festival of Film

On Saturday, the Breckenridge Festival of Film will introduce the Adventure Reel, a series of films and discussions aimed at Summit County’s adrenaline junkies and powder pilgrims.

“The film fest itself is 33 years old,” said Clint Choate, of Epic Mountain Productions in Breckenridge. “This year, they wanted to bring some edge to it. They have a younger crowd directing, and they wanted to get younger people involved.”

Choate said the Adventure Reel provides a platform for more action-intense films to be part of the festival.

“They’ve really talked about the Adventure Reel being a bigger and bigger part of the festival for the next several years,” he said. “They want to spark some local creativity; they want people to really start contributing.”

Breckenridge is one of the most exciting places to live in the country, Choate said, and festival organizers are hoping this year’s Adventure Reel will inspire local amateur filmmakers to generate their own shorts for next year’s event.

“Us being a local production company, we’re really excited to be a part of it from the beginning and see where it goes next year and the years after,” he said.

‘The Scenic Route’

Seven films will screen Saturday as part of the Adventure Reel, starting with “The Scenic Route,” an 18-minute journey directed by Margot Czeropski.

“Basically, ‘The Scenic Route’ follows three young individuals who, after living through the economic recession and increasing competition in work and school, take a more scenic route and pursue their passions,” Czeropski said. “When it comes down to both routes — more stable and traditional or following your passion — both of them have the same uncertainty. There’s no certain outcome no matter what.”

The film was a thesis project for Czeropski, a graduate of Chapman University in California. She said she wanted to inspire and motivate instead of focusing on the economic recession or the unstable future facing people of her generation.

“The American dream is you’ll get the job you want and the stability you want,” she said. “I was inspired by the people around me who took the more optimistic view of a pessimistic situation and chose their passions instead of something else because, either way, there’s no certainty.”

“The Scenic Route” follows the lives of a photographer who took a break from school to follow and photograph pro surfers around the world, a car enthusiast and mechanic from Palo Alto, Calif., and man inspired by old American R&B. Czeropski said she wanted to show the diversity of experience that happens when you follow your passion. The film is a good fit for the new Adventure Reel, Czeropski said.

“The films that follow — they each show a character that does follow the scenic route in their own way in their lifestyle,” she said. “Most people who search for a little bit of change or like to change up their routine can really relate to it, even it doesn’t mean changing their entire career path.”

‘National Ski Patrol’

Choate directs Epic Mountain Production’s contribution to the Adventure Reel, “National Ski Patrol: Life of a Patroller.”

“We shot the film for the National Ski Patrol,” Choate said. “They came to us and I guess their marketing in the past had led a lot of people to believe they were like the police of the mountain.”

The National Ski Patrol didn’t want to be perceived in that light, Choate said, so the film was made to show people that patrollers are friendly, approachable and fun.

“They do their job because they love the mountains as much or more than us,” he said.

Most of the ski patrollers with the National Ski Patrol are unpaid volunteers, Choate said. The film follows their lives throughout the year and took eight months to shoot, including summer sessions filming high-ropes rescue practice and aerial shooting with Flight for Life helicopters.

“They are training year-round,” Choate said. “Most people don’t know that they train during the summertime, and it’s a year-long commitment.”

The Vail Resorts properties in Summit County — Arapahoe Basin, Keystone and Breckenridge — hire paid ski patrols, but Copper Mountain and Loveland Ski Area utilize the National Ski Patrol. The film is a good addition to the Adventure Reel because of its local angle and insight into something only superficially familiar to most local residents, Choate said.

“Of all the aspects of the Adventure Reel, there was nothing specific to Summit County featured,” the filmmaker said. “We thought it would be an awesome fit because the mountains are in our backyard; 90 percent of footage is from Copper and Loveland.

“We really let the patrollers tell the story. None of the interviews were that guided. We let them talk bout their passion and followed a couple of our subjects around for a couple of days at time and really got to enjoy a day in the life.”

Choate and the rest of the team at Epic Mountain Productions is already getting amped up for next year’s edition of the Adventure Reel.

“We’ve already started storyboarding a documentary and are starting filming immediately that should be the best production we’ve ever produced,” he said. “We’re filming specifically for the festival, so we’re really excited to see where it goes next year.”

“The film fest itself is 33 years old,” said Clint Choate, of Epic Mountain Productions in Breckenridge. “This year, they wanted to bring some edge to it. They have a younger crowd directing, and they wanted to get younger people involved.”


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The Summit Daily Updated Sep 20, 2013 09:08AM Published Sep 22, 2013 03:35PM Copyright 2013 The Summit Daily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.