Zack Black’s big air comes to the big screen |

Zack Black’s big air comes to the big screen

summit daily news
Special to the Daily/Warren Miller EntertainmentZack Black in 'Wintervention'

It starts with snow that the winter-obsessed dream about.

It’s almost as if the opening-shot skier is swimming in powder.

It makes you hope for that 3-foot storm overnight.

And it’s the premise for the newest Warren Miller Entertainment production, “Wintervention,” which seems a remedy for those of us smitten with what the High Country has to offer.

“Our addictions to snow-covered hills and the experiences we have there are actually good for us – in moderation,” said Max Bervy, director and executive producer, in a press release. “In a world where the chaotic pace seems to increase daily, it’s the skiers and the snowboarders who actually have it right, guaranteeing they’re never far from clean mountain air, deep powder and the good life lived in the mountains.”

Big air, an amped soundtrack and clean lines on fresh mountain snow – “Wintervention” has all the regular components of a Warren Miller Entertainment film.

But there’s a local twist special to Summit County: the cameo of Zack Black in the Vail Resorts segment – our very own 2009 Summit High School graduate who has entered the national snowboarding landscape in recent years.

Black will be the emcee for the Frisco screening of the movie at 7:30 tonight at Summit Middle School. The event is a fundraiser for Dillon Valley Elementary School to facilitate a read-at-home program for students who don’t have challenging books to read. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and children.

This season’s Warren Miller Entertainment production is Black’s first experience in a major film production, Black said, and he’s psyched about it.

He has enough time between the freeze-frames and slow-motion shots of his halfpipe stunts to comment about last season’s mustache competition between him and renowned snowboarders JJ Thomas and Steve Fisher – who also appear in the Breckenridge and Keystone segment.

“Having a mustache, people treat you less like a teenage kid and more like a creepy old man that’s about to steal their child,” Black says, adding humor to the film. He later comments on how he always valued getting out of school early to go see the snowboarding greats who gather to train at the Summit County resorts.

New Zealander Jossi Wells is also part of the segment. Against shots of eye-popping terrain park tricks, he says, “It’s pretty simple why I come (to Keystone). It’s the best terrain park in the world.” The film also credits Breckenridge as having “the world’s first permanent halfpipe” that continues to attract world-renowned athletes.

Black, Thomas and Fisher were involved in three days of filming at Breckenridge before the film crew moved on to other areas.

“It was pretty fun having everything closed off and open just to us with snowmobile access,” Black said.

He said he was excited for the exposure and opportunity when he was initially contacted by Warren Miller Entertainment. And Black said when it was time to film in February, he was over the pressure – having crunched nine contests into recent months, including the Olympics trials in which he narrowly missed making the U.S. team.

The film crew shoots in other areas as close as Vail – where we see Lindsey Vonn pushing powder as well as cruising through gates – and Beaver Creek, where Warren Miller Entertainment staple Chris Anthony briefly tours us through the “hidden gem.” They even make a stop in Heavenly, a thousand miles away, to complete the Epic Pass circuit and pay tribute to the late Arne Backstrom, who died in a South American ski mountaineering adventure.

It doesn’t stop there. The crew takes us through breathtaking scenery as we watch athletes ski and ride in ways that will take your breath in a whole different way.

Antarctica, British Columbia, New Zealand, Telluride, southern Utah, Alaska, Norway, Austria and Georgia – the mountains of which have historically been inaccessible to the foreign public because of political and civil unrest – are all stops along the way.

SDN reporter Janice Kurbjun can be contacted at (970) 668-4630 or at

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