Local skiers make video premiere with ‘The Golden Age’ showing in Breck No. 21
The Golden Age premiere
What: The Golden Age is the story of six Summit County skiers, told through a grandfather’s memories some years in the future. Filmed in Colorado and Oregon during the 2014-15 winter and summer seasons.
Athletes: Ethan Swadburg, Noah Wallace, Cody Cirillo, Levi Ascher, Kai George, Mark Nowakiwsky
When: Saturday, Nov. 21 at 5:30 p.m.
Where: Riverwalk Center, 150 W. Adams Ave. in Breckenridge,
Cost: $10 pre-sale, $15 at the door
Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with the first showing at 6:30 p.m. The premiere is hosted by Slopestyle Ski Shop and sponsored by Phunkshun Wear. To purchase pre-sale tickets, see the Slope Style website www.slopestyle-ski.com.
It was Christmas break last year when the light bulb went off for Gavin Rudy.
Since he was 14 years old, the Evergreen native had been filming friends in the terrain parks at Loveland, Keystone and Breckenridge. His network of up-and-coming park slayers was growing every season, and soon enough he was filming antics from Summit County’s most promising young skiers to post on Newschoolers.com.
There was Ethan Swadburg, a finalist in Level 1 Production’s Superunknown contest, and his counterpart, Levi Ascher. Both ski for Bloom Outerwear out of Vail and regularly vie for the podium at Rev Tour events. Then there’s Cody Cirillo, another Superunknown finalist, and Noah Wallace, who took second in slopestyle at the FIS Freestyle World Cup in 2014.
“I’d meet someone through a friend, and then through that guy meet another guy and through that guy meet another guy,” says Rudy, describing a typical 6-degrees-of-park-rat situation. “Then I’d film them, and that’s how they end up in the movies I’ve done.”
Then, came Rudy’s breakthrough. While on holiday break — he’s now a sophomore mechanical engineering major at Colorado School of Mines in Golden — the 20-year-old was toying with ways to spice up his latest collection of park and sidecountry edits. He came up with one hell of a hook: “A grandpa reflects on his memories of the past, the stories of a bunch of kids from Summit County skiing and pushing each other to just do cool stuff,” Rudy says.
And so, “The Golden Age” was born. The concept was a major experiment for the self-taught filmmaker, who drew storyboards and wrote a storyline to carry the film along.
“In the past, I would shoot all season and compile things into a movie, just clips,” Rudy said. “Here, I wanted to create something that people could connect with. It takes breaks from the action, and I’ve heard good feedback from people who aren’t even really big skiers.”
All that remained was the meat of the film: Skiing. That was the easy part, at least for the filmmaker. He already had a network of top-tier talent, not to mention access to powder-filled locations across Summit County and the Colorado Rockies.
“Everything in the segments was up to the riders,” Rudy says. “It’s cool watching the guys progress every season, especially when you look at videos from the season before. It’s really interesting to see how far someone can come in just a year.”
The same can be said for Rudy. On Saturday (as in today), “The Golden Age” makes its local premiere at the Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge. It’s the same mini-festival where his short edits (about 15-25 minutes) debuted last season. Now, the show’s sponsors, Phunkshun Wear and Slope Style in Breck, are giving Rudy and his crew the limelight.
“This Breck premiere will be cool,” Rudy says. “This was the project of the season for me. A lot of the guys in the film had to focus on a few different things, with the movie just being part of the bigger season. But I was a one-man band for this. I did everything besides the skiing.”
“The Golden Age” is fascinating for the grandfather framework — that storytelling side feels like features from Warren Miller and Sweetgrass Productions — but the skiing is still the star.
The film features six Summit County locals, plus skiing from a handful of friends. It’s more or less a park film, Rudy says, and the park antics are impressive: Cork 900s, cork 1080s, 270s on and off kink rails, blunt stalls on 20-foot walls.
For anyone who grew up skiing Summit, the locations will feel like a tour of your big, bad backyard. There’s plenty of love for the Breck and Keystone parks, along with several powder-day segments from A-Basin. If you didn’t know better you’d think the boys were charging through Nowhere, British Columbia. Rudy also made a trip to Mount Hood last summer for a sunset shoot — the perfect addition to a thoughtful story about young skiers.
“I wanted to tell the story a bit different than it’s been told before,” Rudy says. “I just did it how I thought would work best, and it turns out it worked well. I just did what felt right with it.”
If you miss the premiere, “The Golden Age” is also available through Rudy’s Newschoolers.com page.
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