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• Production Notes • Song & Artists List onlyFeatured Athletes List OnlyFAQ's
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Thank You Warren Miller Entertainment for providing the following
FIFTY SEQUENCE NOTES

Media Note: Direct narration from the script always appears in italics and quotes.

Opening Montage A Sensory Overload of Sight and Sound
Form of Freeriding: Skis and Snowboards
Music: "You Want It Back" by Propellerheads

"For the last 50 years, it has been snowing somewhere."

The film's opening line is followed by a time-machine blitz of the last fifty years' most pivotal events: Bobby Thompson's home run, Nixon's resignation, Vietnam war protests, Mohamed Ali, MLK's "I have a dream…" speech, Beatlemania, the first man on the moon, the Twist, and the Hoola-Hoop are just a few. The images are interspersed with classic memories from fifty years of Warren Miller films. If you get lost in the dazzling rhythm of juxtaposed images, fear not, Warren's wit will bring you back to the mission at hand.

"For the last 50 years I haven't spent a lot of my time watching the nightly news. Instead, I watch for the snow report."

This opening montage sets up a climax of unmistakably current-and cutting edge-footage: big-air cliff jumps, extreme descents, and unbelievable crashes. - Top of Page

Alaska Freeriding: the Last Frontier
Riders: Nate Cole, Johan Olafsson, and Noah Salasnek
Form of Freeriding: Snowboards
Music: "Heavy" by Collective Soul

The last frontier in America provides a backdrop of beauty and grandeur in this sequence of scenic splendor. Add some of the most talented snowboarders who have ever dropped into a bottomless chute and you have a good idea of what transpires in Alaska. The panoramic view of three freeriders throwing up rooster-tails of feathery powder as they shred down this natural treasure is compelling evidence for those who believe "a board is better." Whatever your chosen form of freeriding might be, every Warren Miller fan is sure to agree that "no film called Fifty, would be complete without snowboarding in the awesome Chugach Range of Alaska's Prince William Sound." - Top of Page

Mike Wiegele's Resort; Blue River, British Columbia Heli-Skiing in Virgin Terrain
Riders: J.P. Auclair, Jonny Moseley, and Bob Rankin
Form of Freeriding: Skis
Music: "Particular Place To Be" by Melissa Ferrick; and "Crush" by Dave Matthews

Former Olympic Gold Medallist, Jonny Moseley and new-school master, J.P. Auclair join Bob Rankin (arguably the best heli-skiing guide on earth) in tackling, "some of the best freeriding terrain on the planet." It's a real-life adventure of every freerider's fantasy. Deep, untracked powder and miles and miles of perpendicular play is what Wiegele's backyard is known for today. Even J.P. Auclair's heart-stopping, head-over-heels tumble down the unbroken face of this extreme terrain seems to play flawlessly. As the camera pans away to a postcard perfect view of the arresting beauty of Blue River, B.C., Miller freely admits he "…could easily come back here for the next fifty years and never ski the same run twice." After all, it offers three of his favorite things: powder snow, no lift lines, and frequent flyer miles! - Top of Page

Vail, Colorado Ride Like a Local
Riders: Chris Anthony, Adrienne Gibbs, Mike Gibbs, Ted Gwathmey, Patty Kauf, Scott Kauf, Jason Lalla, and Mike Thomas
Form of Freeriding: Skis and Snowboards
Music: "Got My Own Thing Now" by Squirrel Nut Zippers; "Hit & Run Holiday" by My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult; and "Long Walk Home" by Citizen King

This scene covers it all! Opening shots display a glimpse of the past as eight-year-old Kurt Miller enjoys a vacation with his father at Vail in the early years of the resort's development. Moving into present-time, a half dozen superstars join pro snowboarder, Mike Thomas and Paralympic Gold Medallist, Jason Lalla, as they find the right topography to showcase their amazing talent. Camera crews track a visual symphony on snow as these freeriders zip through Vail's two new bowls. The beauty and harmony of the trees and glades seem to offer skiers of all levels the feel of the wild, untouched territory for which freeriding was born. - Top of Page

Cotopaxi, Ecuador How To Freeride a Volcano
Riders: Chris Anthony, Danny Caruso, Dan Gilchrist
Form of Freeriding: Skis and Snowboards
Music: "Noches Guitanas" and "Chiquilla" by Luis Villages

From the rustic, no-frills train ride to the steamy jungles of Cotopaxi, the challenges in Ecuador never end. After a lung-bursting trek to the 19,347-foot summit of an equatorial volcano, three hardy freeriders make their way down a blanket of snow that "resembles cauliflower, mixed with blue ice." Although Miller jokes that the snow "resembles junk put there by a man running the snowmaking gun on his first day on the job at Mt. Trashmore," the view from the top and the exciting journey to the bottom is well worth the trip. After fifty years of riding or climbing to the top of every snow-covered peak in the world, Warren still believes that "when you ski down a mountain anywhere on the planet, everybody wins." - Top of Page

Crash And Chuckle The Best of Fall-Down Fun
Music: "Better Days" by Citizen King

If you like slapstick humor and spontaneous, fall-down funny gags, you'll love this candid montage of hilarious spills and thrills. Having captured the unskilled and unaware on camera for more than fifty years, this cinematic sequence is guaranteed to bring lots of chuckles. - Top of Page

Crystal Mountain, Washington The Power of Pristine Powder
Riders: Wendy Brookbank, Caleb Martin, Justin Patnode, and Mickey Price
Form of Freeriding: Skis
Music: "Slow" by Collective Soul; and "Under the Influence" by Citizen King

If there is a ski slope in heaven, we can only hope it resembles the deep powder on the northeast side of Mt. Rainier. Skiing under perfect conditions, the fearless foursome of Brookbank, Martin, Patnode, and Price leave nothing to the imagination. They devour big air, steep chutes, deep powder, and groomed runs with the hard-driving tune punctuating the action. After watching this sequence, film fans across the nation will agree with Warren that "there is nothing wrong with the 23 feet of snow at Crystal Mountain." - Top of Page

Base Jumping An Adrenaline Junkie Takes A Dive
Form of Freeriding: Freefalling!
Music: "Vulgar Instrument" by The Kind

What starts as a scenic hike to the top of a majestic peak turns into an unexpected leap of faith. Fortunately, the "backpack" opens into a colorful canopy that allows this stealth base jumper to soar like a giant condor over the surreal landscape. You'll flip out over the somersaults, helicopters spins, and high altitude high jinx. This warm weather para-sailing surprise is the perfect transition into the powerful scenes that follows in its wake. - Top of Page

Heavenly, California Postcard Perfect
Riders: Megan Brown, Ben Hinkley, Suzanne Sawyer Montgomery, and Curtis Tischler
Form of Freeriding: Skis and Snowboards
Music: "Mountain" by Tonic

Even in the wildest of dreams, it's hard to imagine a bigger, more beautiful resort than the one that straddles two states and rises like the Phoenix from the shores of Lake Tahoe. With some of the longest vertical drops in the Tahoe Basin, Heavenly "is the sort of place where a lot of freeriders live." Although it is certainly no secret, the locals seldom mention that their hometown hill has "more skiable acreage than any other resort on the West Coast." Watch pro snowboarder Ben Hinkley and an all-star cast of red-hot skiers perform every legal act possible on a snow covered slope, as well as a few that defy the laws of physics. - Top of Page

Breckenridge, Colorado Nissan Freeride Exhibition
Riders: Garrett Altmann, J.P. Auclair, Vincent Dorion, Mike Douglas, Evan Dybvig, Tim McKeever, Jonny Moseley, Philippe Poirier, Evan Raps, Adam Schrab and Luke Schrab
Form of Freeriding: Skis
Music: "Marijuana" by Reverend Horton Heat; and "Mata Hari" by Atomic Fireball

The final sequence in reel one packs a big one-two punch. Don Brolin, better known as D.B., has been the Director of Photography at Warren Miller Entertainment since 1962. In this sequence, D.B. performs in a rare Chaplin-like cameo role to establish the location. His expert physical comedy quickly gives way to the real headliner in this showcase of excitement Nissan's "Freeride Extra-Progressive Freestyle Exhibition" at Breckenridge.

Set on a course with jumps that would make even the heartiest freerider weak in the knees, this sequence is truly an exhibition on all that is new and exciting in freeriding. You'll see the sport that Jonny Moseley himself brought into the spotlight with his Nagano gold medal. Jonny's mute grab, a crossover move that mixes the style and guts of snowboarding with the flexibility of skis, is just the beginning for these riders. With Jonny as both host and participant, these freeriders showcase the latest moves from inverted take-offs to mid-air contortions previously unimagined. - Top of Page

Sugar Bowl, California The New Donner Party
Riders: Anna Kanarowski, Josh Lieberman, Dustin Lindgren, and Jason Toth
Form of Freeriding: Skis and Snowboards
Music: "Ool Ya Koo" by Dizzy Gillespie; and "Spanish Fly" by Atomic Fireball

The enormous impact of Fifty is clearly displayed in this retrospective of "one of the truly classic ski resorts in America." A masterful mix of new freeriding action, along with some rare footage from WME's priceless archives, is as close as you'll get to "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride" on the big screen. The old school vs. new school theme skillfully chronicles the rise of extreme skiing with highlights from former greats like Jim McConkey and Scot Schmidt right up to the latest fearless freeriders who turn Sugar Bowl into their own private playground. - Top of Page

Booth Creek, New Hampshire Toying Around in New England
Riders: Will Garrow, Kina Pickett, and Donna Weinbrecht
Form of Freeriding: Skis and Snowboards
Music: "Just You, Just Me" by Katharine Whalen's Jazz Squad; and "Happy" by The Getaway People

A smorgasbord of freeriding is the only way to describe what goes on at Mt. Cranmore, Loon, and Waterville Valley. Heading straight to the bumps, Donna Weinbrecht demonstrates the classic grace and style that won her an Olympic gold medal. Not to be outdone, snowboard pro Will Garrow leaves his signature on the face of Loon Mountain's steep terrain and tests out some new snow toys. After watching the fun these freeriders have at Booth Creek, the child within all of us will want to come out to play. - Top of Page

Classic Comedy Funny Footage from Former Films
Music: "It's All Been Done" by Barenaked Ladies

In this comical sequence, Miller's fifty-year legion of fans are treated to one more look at some of the most hilarious moments on film. The fall down funny highlights include everything from the comic capers of Zudnick the Wonder Dog, to the famous "Rocket Man" experiment that must have been engineered by Wiley Coyote. Wild costumes, down hill laughs, and every whimsical shtick imaginable are stitched together with a perfect musical score. - Top of Page

Obermeyer Chasing "The Fox"
Riders: Klaus Obermeyer and Friends
Form of Freeriding: Skis, Snow Kayaks and Other Snowriding Equipment
Music: Library Music

Talk about fun! Chasing eighty-year-old Klaus Obermeyer on skis, snowboard, kayak, para-glider, and sailboard through some of the most dazzling locations on earth is a liberating experience. And, with so many ways to escape, you can't help but be inspired by this sly ol' fox. In perfect Warren Miller tradition, the fit and famous "godfather of outdoor adventure" closes with his secret to perpetual youth: "We play on the frozen snow all winter long and in the summer we play on the unfrozen snow." - Top of Page

Innsbruck, Austria The Mother of All Freeriders
Riders: Youbi Ahmed, Stefen Gimpl, Nikke Gruenewaldt, and Sebu Kuhlberg
Form of Freeriding: Snowboards
Music: "Nicey" by Reno's Men; and "When She Comes" by Tommy Hendrikson

How do you top this? The place: Innsbruck, Austria - the home of two previous Winter Olympics. The scene: Team Burton giving nothing but a world class demonstration of everything you can do on a snowboard. In the deep powder of the Austrian Arlberg, where downhill skiing was invented around the turn of the century, you'll see what some bad boys on boards do to the traditional terrain. No matter what kind of freeriding you favor in Austria, "the only thing that really matters is that the snow is deep, the ski lift is running, and you have enough money to afford to ride it." - Top of Page

Snowbird, Utah A Big Bowl of Powder
Riders: Dave Richards, Michael Roddy, Jim Smith, and Sean Smith
Form of Freeriding: Skis and Snowboards
Music: "Dreaming" by HyperJive; and "Learn to Fly" by Foo Fighters

Warren Miller is certainly not alone in his opinion when he states that "the best powder snow on the planet falls out of the sky less than forty miles from the Salt Lake City International Airport." And, after you see these freeriders take on the big bowls covered with feathery fluff at Snowbird, you'll know why. This talent-rich team of skiers and snowboarders puts on a display of versatility and tackles everything possible under a variety of conditions. With no apparent fear of the consequences of gravitational pull, these freeriders throw themselves into some of the most challenging situations ever attempted by the legally sane. "The number of people watching you try a trick is always inversely proportional to the stupidity of the trick you are trying," is just one of the observations by Miller that will have you nodding in agreement and giggling with delight. - Top of Page

Mont Blanc/Chamonix, France Return Of The Rip Curl Mountain Challenge
Riders: A Variety of Talent
Form of Freeriding: Skis
Music: "Open Your Eyes" by Guano Apes

The Rip Curl Mountain Challenge is one of the most spectacular exhibitions of extreme skiing ever seen on film. The world class talent that tackles the fifty degree faces of Mont Blanc/Chamonix takes some calculated risks when accepting this challenge. While creativity is a gift, the combination of courage and skill is a basic requirement for any freerider willing to take the Rip Curl Mountain Challenge. The dramatic pull-back shots bring this breath-taking peak into view and display the well thought-out lines of those who've accepted the challenge. - Top of Page

Juneau, Wisconsin The Flatland Flyers
Riders: Adam Schrab and Luke Schrab
Form of Freeriding: Skis
Music: "Billhilly" by Citizen King

Right smack dab in the center of this nation's heartland, "about as far away from a big mountain ski resort as you can get and still be somewhere in America," a couple of adrenaline-starved farmers create a ski jump for some home-style fun. Using their grandfather's tractor, 400 bales of "borrowed" hay, and the determination that made this country great, the Schrab brothers chase their dream of being the greatest freestyle aerialists to ever perform on a perfectly flat cornfield. With some charming dialog, this piece of Americana is a tribute to the renaissance spirit that lives in every freerider and a reminder of the extraordinary things that ordinary people do with their lives. - Top of Page

Pacific Northwest A Heli-Boarding Adventure
Riders: Shin Campos, Temple Cummings, Andy Hetzel, Jeremy Jones, Brian Savard
Form of Freeriding: Snowboards
Music: "As Good As You" by Far Too Jones

A group of extreme snowboarders take off and explore the open terrain of the Pacific Northwest. On a North Cascade heli-trip, these boarders demonstrate the pure joy of carving deep turns on the side of a mountain. Join these riders as they cruise down the picture perfect mountainside and show the world how it's done! - Top of Page

Closing Montage Exotica
Music: "Voyager" by Les Nubians

Just when it can't get any better, it does! Saving the best for last, WME pulls out all the stops in this finale that features an avalanche of sights and sounds, guaranteed to give you goose bumps. An ingenious mix of music, exotic locations, brilliant talent, and Miller's poignant thoughts, gives this retrospective a tender feeling of hope and optimism. Having lived and loved every one of the major milestones displayed in this cinematic celebration, Miller closes the golden anniversary film by saying, "However we have changed your life in the last 50 years, in the next 50 years, we look forward to doing the same thing!" - Top of Page

 

Closing Credits
Music: "Hanging Around" by Counting Crows

 

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