Strictly Business

Updated: Dec 7, 2018

Its teaser season, and the trailer drop is starting to pile up. Which ones should we anticipate the movie drop, and which ones are just another unorganized long edit? Well, we are going to help you guys decide by giving some of them the ability to talk about their movies. "Strictly Business" is a refreshing teaser. The filming looks extremely professional (somewhat of a rarity these days), and it also stars some very talented skiers. So, lets find the idea behind it all, as I talked with the creator, Andrew Mildenberger, and Ben Smith chimes in. with a couple words!

AD: Yo Andrew, The teaser cut looks good, its filmed well and has some dope skiing shots, pretty much what makes a teaser worth watching. Is there a certain direction with this movie that you are trying to portray with the name and the movie itself?

AM: Ohh man loaded question, but thanks man! We're pretty stoked on it so far...Yeah, so, I played around with a few titles and this is the one we eventually came up with. I guess the short answer is that the more our crew works within the ski industry, the more we (and definitely myself) realize that at the end of the day things have to make sense business wise. Kind of an unfortunate reality from what I imagined the ski world was like as a kid.

I imagined the goal was to have the best group of skiers and minds you could find, and then go out and put everything you have into making something that would get people stoked to ski and enjoy this awesome fucking niche culture that the legends of the past have made and pick up that torch and push it forward. Which, I still think, is alive and well but it's little bit harder to find these days, there's a lot of noise thats gets in the way and sometimes what has cultural value to freeskiers doesn't make as much monetary sense. Especially if you don't have a crazy following or you don't want to push a certain agenda. That being said, it's not wrong of the ski industry to want to be profitable, that keeps it alive, but I just feel like there's a little less heart involved and a little more business sense that comes into play when "creating content." So, with 'Strictly Business", we tried to make something super honest to who we are, there's no bullshit and we just want people to know that we made something because we fucking love skiing. It's our lives. Its what we dedicated our time to, and it doesn't have to make sense it terms of business because it makes sense, in terms of heart, and there's an intrinsic value in that too.

AD: I haven't seen your name yet, but I also kind of live under a rock. Tell us where your coming from and how you established yourself as a Filmer.

AM: I grew up in Conifer, Colorado and I've been filming skiing since I was like 14. I guess I just kept filming and made some really good friends along the way. All my edits, up until this point, v have just been stuff in the park, a few Bad meets Evil's, the Waves edits with PK, and a Walk In the Park with Calvin, Mike, and Sam. I also helped shoot Superunknown XIII and XIV, can't say enough about Josh and the whole Level 1 crew. They've taught me so much and done so much for the ski industry. I shot photos for a summer at Windells and have been working my way up to a bigger project ever since. I've always wanted to help get the people I believe in have the chance to show what they've got, so at the risk of being soft, it's really a dream come true. 

AD: Ben, I noticed yourself and Ethan are both starring in this movie. You guys seem to be an inseparable duo, what connects you two in your skiing?

BS: I guess it started as just real good friends. We met in highschool and both moved to summit county the same year, so we started shredding together. He's really good at pushing me and vise versa. Also doesn't hurt that he skis fast, because I don't like to dilly dally too much haha. From there, we just started skiing together every day. I'm pretty sure I had a small part in convincing him to not go to a university as well because I didn't want to ski alone all winter, so that was dope because he stayed and we just started filming everything together. Now that we are in the BC a lot together its awesome to have a guy out there that you really trust and work well with. Never a dull moment when we're chillin, either laughing, drinking, or skiing!

AD: What are you most hyped about with this film and what can we expect from your segment?

BS: Im really stoked that we made it happen honestly. This film had zero budget, so for a group of guys to pull together like this and not give up halfway through the year, that was amazing. Everyone involved put an insane amount of effort in to make this movie happen. Im also hyped on the fact that there is a lot of pow skiing in this movie. I have to give a major shout out to Andrew as well for making this whole thing happen, I've never met someone so passionate about skiing, and just such a great homie to be around and film with day in and day out.

As far as my segment goes, you can expect to see a lot of pow skiing, and some park shoot stuff as well. I tried to focus solely on getting into the backcounty as much as I could this past year. Also tried to work with the landscape and just ski what it had to offer. I respect the hell out of guys who can not take a shovel to anything and just do what they do on it. Also got up to AK this year so, hyped about that. Stoked for everyone to see it!

AD: Is there anything you see on the film side of the industry that needs to change?

AM: Damn, I mean yeah. I think, more recently the personalities of the people you watch skiing is less and less of a factor. It just seems like there's no time for that now. Like all of the dumb shit that used to be in ski movie's was what gave them a lot of life. Just one of many examples, THall's segment from Guatemalan persuader would never fly these days, I mean it was super ignorant with that song yeah but it was definitely unique, and it wasn't fabricated. That passion for a craft isn't so much in the forefront and I wish skiing was as wild and stupid as it used to be.

AD: Tell us about one of your film trips this season that stood out to you.

AM: Dude, Alaska was nuts. Ethan, Benny, and I drove 63 hours straight through without stopping. We were definitely out of our league. Thanks to Troy, Blake, Hunter and Alex aka "Jerry" for showing us the ropes, for sure, because we would've been totally fucked otherwise. On the second day I fucked my hand up sledding and couldn't really move it for the whole trip, I could barely get my glove on it was so swollen. The snowmobiling there was the hairiest we had ever done by far and we had to do a few repair, and rescue missions. Not to mention, the snow was pretty bad around Valdez, so we didn't end up getting the shots we had in our heads. I also ran out of money so Benny and Ethan had to front me for a lot of the trip... All in all super sobering and I have the upmost respect for anyone that can get it done in Alaska.

I have to say though, the best trip was to Durango for our park shoot. Had the best time with my best friends and it went off. Huge thanks to Chance for building every feature we hit there, it was so sick to have a skier in the mix that can build the same features he filmed on.

AD: Why should everyone watch this movie when it comes out and when is the drop date?

AM: Dang, honestly, I would say that everyone in this movie was either a long time friend before we started or became a long time friend along the way. So if you want to watch a movie with some personality and some really sick skiing from people you might not consider big time, we tried our best to do everyone justice. I'm working on a premiere right now so thats pretty up in the air, but I'll definitely put it out for free online probably late October early November.



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