Meathead Films wins with epic Vermont segment in film
chronicling the driest, mildest winter in recent
For the last 13 years, Powder Magazine has been recognizing the
best skiing movies with their annual Powder Video Awards (PVAs).
This award ceremony is likely off the radar for most eastern
skiers. It is held in Park City, Utah and the vast majority of
honorees are film companies from out west with footage from
helicopter-accessed locations in Alaska and British Columbia.
There were 15 categories this year including "best natural air,"
"best cinematography" and "best film" and the judging was done by
45 industry professionals from around the world. Only one award was
won by a company who shoots film on the east coast. But they won by
the largest margin of any of the awards given out. And they won it
for best powder segment.
Proof that not all great ski films are made out west.
Meathead Films has been producing quality movies in the east for
over a decade now. Over the years they have earned a
reputation for finding the best terrain, the best athletes and the
best snow that our region has to offer. Last season the film crew
stepped it up a notch. Amidst the driest, mildest winter in recent
memory, the crew managed to film the best powder segment of any
film in the country. For the first time in the 13-year
history of the awards, an eastern ski film took home the coveted
"best powder" award for a segment in No Matter What, filmed at Jay
It was at the end of February and Jay Peak had been getting
hammered. Co-founder of Meathead Films and Ski the East Geoff
McDonald said "As a filmmaker, when you know it's going to be
really good conditions the next day, you get especially antsy the
night before, planning out the logistics in your head," he said.
"For that shoot at Jay, we were staying at our buddy, Tim Fater's
house near the mountain. We woke up the morning of the 26th and it
was just bluebird, no wind, and tons more fresh snow on top of the
35" that had already fallen in the days prior. The mountain had
gotten about 50" in 5 days. East Coast weather has dealt us many
kicks to the groin over the years and last season was especially
harsh. However, that day at Jay Peak blew us all away and we knew
we'd had the privilege of documenting some truly epic snow." And
McDonald couldn't have been more correct.
This "Best Powder" award is certainly an honor for Meathead
Films, but it is also an honor for local skiers and the whole East
Coast. "We're proud to be a part of the community out here and
psyched to bring home some recognition from the rest of the world!"
the Meathead Film crew says.
The award winning Jay Peak segment is only a part of their film
entitled No Matter What, which chronicles a less than stellar
season. Also featured in the film are some impressive scenes from
terrain parks and urban settings around the northeast.
Killington is again featured in a mogul segment that has become
one of the favorites for fans of Meathead Films. Randy "Hammer"
Grasso, is a local legend who has been skiing Killington for
decades and has appeared in most of the Meathead films. "The day
that the film crew was here last year, the conditions were
atrocious. It was spring but we had just gone through a freezing
spell and everything was rock hard. Somehow Geoff got some good
footage out of that day", Hammer said. "Powder Magazine was
here taking pictures for a feature article they wrote. That article
was the first east coast feature that the magazine had done in 10
years," he said.
When asked if he was at Jay the day of the award winning powder
Hammer says it is a sad story. "I was skiing at Mad River Glen and
we had heard that the storm was going to track south and hit
Killington hard... The storm was tracking north after all. Luckily,
the Meatheads sent a film crew and athletes to Jay Peak as well as
Killington. We didn't end up getting anything down here and we
spent the whole day looking for scraps… It was just ridiculous, did
you see that footage? Imagine how I felt when I saw
But some days are like that and in an industry dependent on
weather and conditions some days it is just a gamble. North or
south, south or north? Flip a coin and the next time it will be the
Powder Magazine themselves may have put it best when they wrote
on their website "To those skiing in Alaska, B.C., or Jackson, big
powder is practically presumed. But sometimes skiers, even on the
East Coast, happen to unexpectedly be in the right place at the
right time. In Meathead Films' No Matter What, the right coasters
capture an all-time dump in the middle of a tragically dry
season. It's a five minute of reminder of just how good
skiing can be to us.
Ski the East and Meathead Films are available on itunes, for
more information visit www.skitheeast.net