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    Opening Night at the Tin Shed on Broadway

    - By Jeff DiNunzio

    NYC PICS 379
    [The crowd gathers at opening night of the Tin Shed on Broadway. All photos: Anthony Garcia]

    The crowd arrived Friday to join us in welcoming Jon Swift. He had been touring steadily, and this was his last performance before a much needed break. He had flown east to help celebrate the opening of Patagonia’s Tin Shed on Broadway—one of two interim stores we opened in New York for the holiday season. Two-hundred people had come, some by accident, to join Swift in the party. The experiment was underway.

    The Broadway Tin Shed sits smack between West 99th and 100th Streets, with Columbia University to the north, another Patagonia store 20 blocks south, Central Park to the east, the Hudson at its west, and a logjam of baby strollers right out front. “Tin Shed” is a reference to the days Yvon Chouinard first built rock climbing tools in his blacksmith shop in Ventura, CA. To see the structure in person is to recognize the connection immediately – a small corrugated shack, it looks like something a couple of the guys might throw together in an afternoon to keep the drizzle out of their beer while they tinkered around with their toys. A carcass of retail space on the Upper West Side was reincarnated in about a month. The Broadway store opened two weeks ago, followed by the Upper East Side this past Sunday.

    Continue reading "Opening Night at the Tin Shed on Broadway" »

    Solitaire: World Premiere in Denver, Sept. 15

    Cleanest Line readers have been joining Sweetgrass Productions on their journey to produce their most ambitious film to date, Solitaire through their series "On the Road With Solitaire." The movie opens this week, September 15th, at Denver's Gothic Theatre. Watch the trailer and attend the premiere if you can, or stay tuned to the Sweetgrass website for the latest on when the film will be coming to a venue near you. Now, here's Nick from the Sweetgrass crew: 

    YoutGreat Scott, the day is nigh! Solitaire, that one confounding cord holding together two long and eventful years, drops on the unsuspecting masses this Thursday, September 15th. Hard for us to believe. Its real. All those 4am struggles with alarm clocks, and sweat-soaked skin tracks, and bus terminals, and luggage, GOOD GOD THE LUGGAGE!-- it all boils down to a 4x6 inch piece of cardboard with a disc inside.

    It's a tough feeling to express-- all of the wonder, all of the mystery, all of the uncertainty of committing to this project in an inhospitable land . . .

    [South America puts a couple wrinkles in your brow. Photo: courtesy of Sweetgrass Productions.]

     

    Continue reading "Solitaire: World Premiere in Denver, Sept. 15" »

    The Dirtbag Diaries: Live from 5Point Volume 2

    Live_from_5_point_logo_small

    Our long-held dream of creating a live performance of The Dirtbag Diaries came true this spring at the 5Point Film Festival. We interviewed filmmakers and people who were in films and let the conversation flow as though we were sitting on the truck tailgate. If you haven't listened to the previous episode, check out the stories from Baybe Champ and Frank Smethhurst. Today we present the stories of the folks behind the camera. A surf photographer who created a viral video sensation that simultaneously radiates sadness and joy. And a young filmmaker who draws a connecting line between skiing and art. The audience has settled into their seats and the mics are on. Mickey Smith and Nick Waggoner join us on stage. Welcome to the 5Point Film Festival. --Fitz Cahall, creator/host of The Dirtbag Diaries

    Audio_graphic_20pxListen to "Live from 5Point Volume 2"
    (41:19 - right-click to download MP3)

    Now that you've heard their stories, check out the work of Mickey and Nick. [Update 6/9/11: Embedded the videos after the jump.]

    Continue reading "The Dirtbag Diaries: Live from 5Point Volume 2" »

    On the Road with Solitaire, Episode 4 - Low Tide

    "When you land in a freeride mecca and things are neither free, nor rideable, what’s a guy to do? It was time to make lemons into lemonade."

    The fourth in a series of posts from Nick Waggoner and the crew at Sweetgrass Productions. They're currently hard at work on their third movie, Solitaire. Cleanest Line readers are invited to join them on their journey to produce their most ambitious film to date. Part Four of this behind-the-scenes series turns an honest lens on the all-too-grim reality that a ski movie is hard to make when the weather doesn't cooperate - and all your shots are earned with lungs and legs. Look for monthly updates here on TCL shortly after they appear on the Sweetgrass website, scheduled for the 21st of each month . - Ed

    [On the Road with Solitaire Episode IV: Low Tide from Sweetgrass Productions on Vimeo.]

    Episode IV: Low Tide: The Sweetgrass family lands in Las Lenas, Argentina, for several weeks of fending off women, beef, and various strains of the common cold in hopes of actually making some turns on snow.

    As the crew puts it, "if you actually indulged the Las Lenas lifestyle to the fullest, you’ll end up a burnt cigarette of a human being, sweating beef and begging for the days when legos were all you needed to have a good time."

    On the Road with Solitaire, Episode 3 - The Raptor

    The third in a series of posts from Nick Waggoner and the crew at Sweetgrass Productions. They're currently hard at work on their third movie, Solitaire. Cleanest Line readers are invited to join them on their journey to produce their most ambitious film to date.This third installment from their behind-the-scenes series focuses on the crew's attempts to balance their desire for a compelling aerial image with their commitment to eschew motorized assistance in the filming process. Look for monthly updates here on TCL shortly after they appear on the Sweetgrass website, scheduled for the 21st of each month . - Ed

    On the Road with Solitaire Episode III: The Raptor from Sweetgrass Productions on Vimeo.

    From the Sweetgrass crew:

    Helicopters have never been part of our fiber. Beyond the economics of flying such expensive birds, we've never wanted our work to be about the noise or the fuel. If a method actor stays up all night before a shoot to play the part of an exhausted character, we feel the need to "walk the walk" up mountains to make films that feel true to our style.

    For us, faster is not always better, and it's the experiences and the time spent going up that ultimately flavor the final film.

    For years, filmmakers have shot aerial footage from helicopters and planes, and as we prepared for a trip to Peru's Cordillera Blanca last June, we wanted to try something different. So we took to the air with paragliding wings for a month, hiking through many nights, and taking huge gasps of air as we attempted a launch from over 18,000 feet.

    So light your mattress on fire, settle down with a nice slaughtered guinea pig, and enjoy Episode III.

     

    On the Road with Solitaire, Episode 2 - In the Cradle of the Cordillera

    Solitaire2
    The second in a series of posts from Nick Waggoner and the crew at Sweetgrass Productions. They're currently hard at work on their third movie,
    Solitaire. Cleanest Line readers are invited to join them on their journey to produce their most ambitious film to date.The second trailer from the upcoming film, this latest installment focuses on the crew's launch point in June of 2010 at the start of the austral winter. Look for monthly updates here on TCL shortly after they appear on the Sweetgrass website, scheduled for the 21st of each month . - Ed

    From the Sweetgrass crew:

    This second episode sets the South American stage, in Huaraz, Peru, and explores the emotions of hopping off a jet plane into a world totally unlike your own… and the challenges and rewards involved with attempting to fully experience and capture it. At the end of the day, most things that go into making a ski film like this often have very little to do with skiing. It's important to acknowledge the many flavors and emotions going on behind the scenes that inform our ideas as filmmakers, and that will eventually give life and texture to the final product– even if none of those images ever show up in the film, directly. So, witness June of 2010, the genesis of Solitaire, and take the leap into Huaraz.


    On The Road with Solitaire Episode 2: In the Cradle of the Cordillera from Sweetgrass Productions on Vimeo.

    On the Road with Solitaire

    Mbrown_Solitaire100722_DSC4349 In the high desert of South America, winter takes hold, devouring bleached bones and abandoned shacks. Into these most inhospitable of lands, a handful of drifters emerge from the whiteout, ready to cast their lot on forsaken peaks both merciless and magnificent. Venturing beyond the frontiers of most mountain films, Solitaire is backcountry riding forged in the tradition of Western cinema. Born in the spires of Argentina’s legendary Las Lenas, a lonely two-year journey begins through an abandoned world, wandering the length of a continent from Peru’s Cordillera Blanca to Chilean Patagonia.

    Lost in the winds of snowbound badlands and the blizzards of primordial forests; seen from a horse’s saddle and a paraglider’s wings; ridden on ski and board and telemark...

    Mbrown_Solitaire100722_DSC4410 [Today, we're pleased to bring you the first in a series of posts from Nick Waggoner and the crew at Sweetgrass Productions. They're currently hard at work on their third movie, Solitaire, and have graciously invited Cleanest Line readers to join them on their journey to produce their most ambitious film to date. The story just gets better as it unfolds; hit the jump to keep reading and check the first trailer from the upcoming film. And don't forget to check back: Sweetgrass will be releasing updates on the 21st of each month. - Ed]

    Solitaire fuses western-inspired tales of backcountry gambles into landscapes never before visited on film.

    Or so goes the elevator speech for our new film Solitaire: fairly romantic, dreamy, concise. But it doesn’t tell the full picture, and neither will the film itself. Because before any polished product meets the light of day, there are a million complications to overcome on the back end, infinite catastrophes exploding on a daily basis that one can only hope to steer in the right direction. South America itself often seems to operate on a similar program, teetering right on the edge of insanity-- more often than not-- but somehow always holding the course.

    [All images courtesy Michael Brown and Sweetgrass Productions]

    Continue reading "On the Road with Solitaire" »

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