Nice Day for a White Wedding: Darrell Miller’s annual ski film is one for the ages

By on December 13, 2017

 

Crews dragged camera equipment 20 miles into the Wind River Range’s Titcomb Basin to film Darrel Miller’s new White Wedding.

By December, Darrell Miller knew winter 2016-2017 was going to be special. By Christmas last year, snow was accumulating at a potentially record-breaking pace. Miller, owner of Storm Show Productions, never knows what to expect when he starts filming his annual ski movie. Shot locally, the conditions dictate the film.

“We are at the mercy of the mountain and what the mountain allows us to do,” he said.

That means his film, White Wedding, shot last year at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, the surrounding backcountry and in the Wind River Mountains, is one for the ages.

“The conditions last year set this movie apart just because of the epic snow,” he said.

Storm Show Studio and Full Room Productions premiers White Wedding at 6 and 9 p.m. shows Saturday at the Lodge of Jackson Hole. Doors open an hour early with music from DJ Vert-One.

It is Miller’s 18th film in as many years. The movies, which have become a season starting tradition, aren’t the same as the big-budget skims films, he said.

“We pretty much have no budget,” he said.

But that is part of the appeal of his film, Miller said. They are authentic Jackson movies, filmed only in the area with local skiers people know or can relate to.

“They have to have a job and work to make this dream happen,” Miller said. “They realize the struggle of what it takes to ski every day in the season.”

The films also showcases the scenery. Miller was born and raised in Jackson and his films are an ode to the landscape he loves. Its why he made his first movie 18 years ago. It wasn’t because he had big dreams of a film career. He recognized he lived in an amazing place and wanted to capture it. That’s always been the goal of his movies.

“The star of the film is the mountain, it’s the Tetons, and the skiers and riders come second,” he said. “That fact that skiers or snowboarders are in the shot is an incredible thing. But the mountains are the big stars of the movie.”

That doesn’t mean he doesn’t document some incredible skiing and boarding, he said. His first film, which he shot at 24, featured a few of his friends and it was mostly “cheeseball powder shots and lots of wrecks,” he said.

He started in the day of VHS casettes and now technology has advanced to 4K. People can wear cameras for point-of-view shots and drones can film from above.

“It’s given us more opportunities to film the same terrain, but with different angles,” he said. “And different conditions every year makes it a brand new mountain every year. As the snow piles up, the bigger lines fill in and more possibilities open to what we are allowed to do on the hill.”

This year the film features Andrew Whiteford, Bryce Newcomb, Teton Brown, Scott Bower, Ryan VanLanen, Halina Boyd and other names recognizable to those in Jackson. It’s always been important to Miller to feature people whose livelihood and hearts are tied to the area, he said.

White Wedding also features footage from a six-day trip into Titcomb Basin in the Wind River Mountains filmed in May 2017. It was “once-in-a-lifetime,” Miller said. He dragged camera equipment in about 20 miles to film.

“There was so much snow, I’m pretty sure some lines got filled in that have never been skied before,” he said.

Miller came up with the title White Wedding for this year in part because he always loved the song. It also fit the film and the lifestyle that draws people to the area.

“You are marrying the mountains,” he said.

He added mock wedding vows into the film to carry the theme through it, along with the soundtrack.

This year the film will screen at a new location at the Lodge of Jackson Hole on Scott Lane. In addition to the movie, there will be a silent auction and raffle which benefits the Jackson Hole Ski and Snowboard Club and the New Foundation. PJH

White Wedding premier, 6 and 9 p.m. Saturday, The Lodge at Jackson Hole, 80 Scott Lane, $12 in advance and $15 day of show. Tickets for both screenings are available online at www.stormshow.com, or at the Liquor Store and Lee’s Tees for the 9 p.m. show only.

 

 


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