Unique ski flick comes to Brecks Speakeasy
Two and a half weeks before renowned big-mountain skier Doug Coombs died in April 2006, he finished up his final film shoot for the Sony Pictures Classic movie Steep. Steep, which opens tonight in a host of ski towns including Breckenridge (at the Speakeasy Movie Theatre), is being billed by producers and featured athletes as a different kind of ski flick.Ive been in more than 20 movies, said Aspen legend Chris Davenport, who climbed and skied off all of Colorados 14,000-foot mountains within a one-year span that culminated in January. But Ive never been in one like this. Its more than just ski porn its trying to tell a story.Steep is about the history of extreme, big-mountain skiing and its pioneers such as Coombs, who fell to his death while skiing in the French Alps.(Coombs) is the thread that pulls the whole (movie) together, said Ingrid Backstrom of Squaw Valley, Calif., who appears in the film. He had a burning passion and energy (for ski mountaineering and guiding) that inspired a lot of people.Coombs, Davenport and Backstrom join an epic cast that includes Bill Briggs, Stefano De Bendetti, Eric Pehota, Glen Plake, Shane McConkey, Seth Morrison and Andrew McLean.The big-mountain big wigs were assembled in part to answer a question, according to executive producer Tom Yellin, president of the Documentary Group, which developed from a company (PJ Productions) Yellin formed with the now-deceased Peter Jennings in 2002.We thought people who take such risks have to have a reason, Yellin said, and we wanted to explore what that was. … We found that these are great athletes who are very careful in what they do theyre not just reckless adrenaline junkies.Davenport was among those devastated following Coombs death.Doug was a big mentor of mine in the sport of skiing, Davenport said by phone on Thursday. I think it made all of us (in the steep skiing community) take a look at why we do what we do.Although Davenport, whos been a full-time extreme skier since 1995, will forever mourn the loss of his friend, it didnt take him long to realize staying on his current path was the right choice.I love the sport of skiing, he said. I was born a skier and I try to make good decisions every day Im out there.The show starts tonight at the Speakeasy in Breckenridge at 8:30 p.m. and will run through Thursday ($7.50 for adults, $6 for kids and seniors). Steep will also be shown tonight in skiing hot spots Aspen, South Lake Tahoe, Calif., Whitefish, Mont. and Jackson, Wyo. to name a few.Steep premiered at New York Citys Tribeca Film Festival in April, but changes have since been made to the ending, according to Yellin.We thought we didnt get it exactly right, Yellin said. Thats our problem, we keep trying to make it better.Adam Boffey can be contacted at (970) 668-4634, or at email@example.com.
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