"Wait, that's here, right?" Nope. Colorado.
"Dude, that's totally here." Not even close. Looks like Idaho.
But finally you can sit back in your seat when taking in the new Warren Miller film, Children of Winter, knowing full well that you're seeing Bend and Mt. Bachelor up on the screen. The newly released film will show four times this weekend at the Tower Theatre and includes a good eight-minute segment set in Bend and focused on local riders.
Local Steez on film...excellent.There's even some shots of a snow-blanketed downtown Bend (which we all know doesn't look like that all winter or every winter) that makes us come off as a perfect mountain town. Kids sledding in Drake Park, sparkling white river banks and plenty of smiles...we look pretty damn good. And so do our riders.
The Bend segment spins a narrative focused on riders of varying ages, coupling snowboard wunderkind Ben Watts (who also gets to play some guitar in the film) with backcountry boarder Josh Dirksen and legendary surfboard maker Gerry Lopez, who trades the waves for the snow to surf some gracious lines down the mountain. The shots of Lopez and Dirksen feature the two plowing through some of the deepest powder you're likely to see on Bachelor - and this is all caught in classic Warren Miller slow motion style. What's not quite as classic, however, is ski darling Jonny Mosely's slightly dorky narration that will never measure up to the original voice of the Warren Miller himself.
Lopez, who rides Mt. Bachelor about 100 days a year and used to windsurf with the real Warren Miller while living on Maui, says that his favorite part of the production process was getting up on the mountain a few hours before the lifts opened.
"It was nice that we got so much help from the mountain getting into areas before they opened up. Being able to film without a million people coming through there was really nice," says Lopez.
Children of Winter wouldn't be a quality ski film without some quality tunes and during the Bend segment means music from acts like Alkaline Trio, Sigur Ros, Fujiya and Miyagi, Weezer and Hot Chip. While we only got our eyes on the section of the film screened here, the Warren Miller website says the film also features music from Radiohead, Cream, Rilo Kiley, the Mars Volta and Foo Fighters, among others.
Most of the Bend segment is shot at Bachelor, but we also get some off-the-mountain looks at the riders, including Watts on his computer and playing guitar in his bedroom, Lopez shaping a surfboard in his much-storied workshop here in town, and Dirksen literally sawing a snowboard in half with a band saw in order to fashion it into skis for backcountry hiking. Classic big air and big powder porn shots are what draw most viewers to a ski flick, but these non ski moments, at least in the Bend segment, work to show the ground level of Bend's mountain culture.
"I thought they were just going to film the three of us riding, but as we did that they said, 'well can we come and see what you're doing when you're not on the mountain?'" Lopez says.
The screenings at the Tower will let you in on even more of this culture as Watts, Dirksen and Lopz are slated to attend some of the screenings to sign autographs and chat it up with fans. You can also get yourself primed for the season with the free mid-week pass to Mt. Bachelor that you'll receive along with your ticket to any of the screenings.
So, yes what you see up on the screen is Bend, and yes, that's also Mt. Bachelor...finally.