By Annie Fast
It’s been two full years since Travis Rice and the Brain Farm crew first embarked on The Art Of Flight. In that time they have changed snowboarding—that was the general consensus among the mixed crowd of industry insiders, riders, and fans at last night's World premiere. Over the years, the images and stories from the making of the movie have risen to the top, gracing the cover of TransWorld with jaw dropping effect, but this super high-resolution movie filmed with state of the art equipment takes it to a whole other level.
The film premiered to 2,800 people at the Beacon Theater, making for the biggest snowboard movie premiere ever. Justin Timberlake, Owen Wilson, and the Beastie Boys' Mike D. were a few of the big names in the hooting and hollering crowd. This was a true premiere—none of the riders in the movie, reportedly even Travis himself, had seen the completed project. TAOF Director Curt Morgan, emerging from the editing bay cave he had resided in for the last four months, kept the sneak peek lid sealed tight.
The movie is laid out, not in rider parts, but in story lines about trips—Alaska, Chile, Patagonia, Jackson Hole, Revelstoke. There are background stories that open the movie up to a bigger audience—exciting down days in Alaska, a couloir adventure in Patagonia that involves swimming across a frozen river, old crusty guides and old crusty bears, injuries, challenges, and plenty of avalanches. But it's the next-level riding and cinematography that pushes the movie into game changer territory.
There's one line that summed up the pace and next levelness of this movie—it's during a session in AK, which stands alone; Travis rides down and takes a seat on the heli’s skid still strapped in to his board, legs dangling off the side. Up it goes. He drops out of the sky, slashes his way down the mountain, nails some airtime, and points it out at mach speed. It happens so fast you don't even realize that he just dropped 20 feet off the side of a heli into that line. And before you really have time to register it, the next clip is blowing your mind. The jib session in Jackson with Mark Landvik, Lago, Pat Moore, and Travis is like a slow motion style guide to snowboarding—watch closely and see if you see a movement out of place. Total snowboarding perfection caught perfectly.
Buy the movie now on iTunes or on DVD or Blue-Ray, but also plan on hitting one of the tour stops over the next three months, because you need to see this big movie on a big screen. Travis and a rotating crew of riders will be at every stop—Seattle, Vancouver, Squaw, Salt Lake, Jackson, Denver, and on and on before heading overseas in late October.
What's next? Travis plans to take this winter off of filming and then get to completing the trilogy. It's not the end.