Last year, Standard Films TB7: North of Heaven was missing one thing: female riders. The lack of women in snowboard films industry-wide was reflected at Transworlds own Rider Poll Awards banquet last March in Vegas, where there was only one category for best video performance of the year, awarded of course, to Peter Line CK. Word on the street was that most the good footage of women was given to Christian Begin for his production of No Mans Land, an all-female ski and snowboard video which didnt quite make up for the lack of footage in other movies, according to Tiffany Sabol, Mistys co-founder and partner. Sabol had spent two seasons living in the middle of Jackson Holes hardcore ski and snowboard scene working for Teton Gravity Research, an action-sports film production company based in Teton Village. She rode every day, and worked every night at a second job waiting tables for the Mangy Moose. “When I moved up to Jackson, I got to meet a lot of people in the scene, like Julie Zell and Allison Gannett. I got to ride with them in Jackson and Alaska, and these girls were charging. I couldnt believe it. I was totally inspired by them,” she says. “But if I hadnt been part of that scene, I never would have known how good they really are. I just couldnt understand why they werent getting more play in the videos.” Between what she saw in real life and the unedited footage that came through TGRs headquarters in Jackson, she knew that an abundance of female talent was being undermined. “There has never been accurate representation of the progression of female action sports athletes. Not to mention I am really sick of waiting tables,” she says, laughing.
No one understood the lack of womens representation in the videos better than Standard Films former assistant Dana Mackie, who took the brunt of complaints from the female riders who confided in her when their segments didnt make the cuts in TB7. All it took was a two-week visit to Jackson and ten consecutive all-time powder days riding with Sabol for the two to come up with the idea to go out on their own. Sabol was tired of waiting tables and dealing with the boys club in Jackson, and Mackie was growing tired of Standards high standards when it came to including women in their movies.
After extending her stay in Jackson three times (it just wouldnt stop dumping), Mackie returned to Tahoe with a mission. She started putting together promo packets and gathering materials to solicit sponsorship with the help of her friend Sky Rondenet. Also a pro rider, Rondenet had experience dealing with soliciting sponsorship, and proved to be as bold and aggressive in business as she is on the hill. Right off the bat, she proved her ability to put the girls ideas into action, creating a web site and getting materials together. “I was just helping out, but things were going well, so Dana said, So, to you want to be a part of Misty? and I was like, Sure, whatever. With her no-bullshit attitude and years of riding in places like Tahoe and Alaska, Rondenet was a perfect addition to the team.
“I was just so sick of seeing all these chick movies where the focus was that the featured athletes are wommen rather than on the level of performance and the raw action of the riding itself. The footage has to be amazing. The fact that this kind of footage even exists is a testament to why the film should be produced in the first place,”she says. “We just want to represent our lifestyle,” adds Sabol, whose standards for her own surfing and snowboarding require doing what it takes to keep up with her friends, some of the best snowboard and ski athletes in the world. The same is true for Rondenet, and most girls who like action sports.
Since hitting the pavement, the girls have managed to sign on sponsors like Nike, Spyder, Boeri, and Volcom. They bought their own 16 mm camera, digital camera and set up a web site. They have already been guests in the homes of people like pro surfers Rochelle Ballard and Malia Jones, and snowboarders like Julie Zell and Victoria Jealouse. Theyve traveled to Costa Rica and Hawaii. Their film, Empress will premiere in Tahoe this September, followed by a film tour with stops in places like Salt Lake, San Francisco, and other venues to be announced. What to expect? According to Rondenet: “Footage held up to the high standards of any productionmind blowing, not token.
For more information Misty Productions, call (530) 546-9378.