“It’s a gigantic jump”
Locally grown and globally known film company Matchstick Productions (MSP) teamed up with Crested Butte Mountain Resort this week to build a monster booter in Paradise Bowl for their upcoming 2009 film release. The idea has always been there but it took until this year for the dream to come to fruition.
Crested Butte residents Steve Winter and Murray Wais are the executive producers and partners of MSP. While the company has done similar projects around the world, their hope was to one day do one in their own backyard.
“We’ve always wanted to do a jump here,” explains Winter. “We contacted Crested Butte [Mountain Resort] earlier in the season but we didn’t think it was going to happen. Then the mountain got behind it.”
Four members of the Crested Butte Mountain Resort Sno-Cat crew—Tom Collins, Alyosha Paden, Mark Voegli and Tim Foley—were called into action to build the jump.
Using photos from similar projects by Matchstick Productions, the cat crew and Christian Robertson designed the jump and built it at the junction of Upper Canaan and Upper Forest Queen adjacent to the Tower 11 area.
“We used all the snow from the Superpipe,” says Paden. “It took a solid week to build.”
“It’s a gigantic jump,” adds Winter. “It’s definitely one of the biggest jumps we’ve put together.”
The jump itself has a 20-foot face and is perched at the top of a steep drop. While that may seem nothing on paper, there’s a bit more to it. For starters, the run into the jump starts at the top of Paradise Bowl with an inrun that lasts as long as 30 seconds in a full tuck before the athletes reach the lip.
Three members of the DC snowboard team and skiers Russ Henshaw and Jacob Wester are in town to hit the jump. Three motion cameramen are filming and two still photographers are shooting images from both the ground and a helicopter.
During the first three sessions on Monday and Tuesday, April 20-21, the snowboarders and skiers were landing 120 to 150 feet down the slope. In fact, the jump proved too big for the athletes to pull off some of their biggest tricks.
“They threw a few fives [540-degree rotation] and a seven [720-degree rotation] over it,” says Winter. “With a jump that big, though, any little gust can throw you off.”
“The thing is so massive it’s even scary to some of the best riders in the world,” says Paden.
According to Winter, Paden is going to make some changes to the jump for another session on Wednesday.
“We’re going to make it a little smaller to do better tricks,” says Winter.
“It’s just a minor tune,” says Paden. “It’s been fun working with Matchstick. I’ve wanted to see something like this happen forever.”
As for the quality of the jump, Winter couldn’t be more pleased.
“We’ve built jumps like this all over the world—and this one’s right up there,” says Winter.
The MSP film is due for release this September.