Red Bull & MSP’s “McConkey Movie” had its world premiere at Squaw Valley, California on Saturday night. Over 4,000 people showed up for the show and as far as we know, no one was turned away.
Red Bull pulled out all the stops for this premiere: a solid band, great VIP parties, food, drinks, over 100 Red Bull athletes, everyone involved in the creation of the movie, many of the most interesting people in the ski industry, and the inevitable Red Bull event smoothness.
“Everyone looked beautiful. Everyone was was just so happy. It felt like a family event.” – Hank DeVre, Senior photographer at Powder Magazine
Hank’s right. Everyone at the show was beaming. Shane simply made so many of us feel good through his words, actions, message, and lifestyle. If you’re a Squaw freak, McConkey validates you. If Shane skied here, this place must be sick. And it is.
People showed up on Saturday properly drug and alcohol infused, ready to party, and frothing for a big show. They exactly got what wanted.
The McConkey movie itself was very well produced. It starts off with a strong description of Shane’s upbringing: ski acadamey high school in Vermont, kind of a weird dude who constantly filmed himself doing goofy shtuff, almost makes US Ski Team, moves to Vail, pro mogul tour, kicked out of Vail, CO for backflipping and skiing naked in a comp, moves to Squaw, becomes pro freeskier, revolutionizes skis & skiing & base jumping.
From there, the movie shifts the focus to Shane’s mom, his dad, his wife, his child, his friends, his ski buddies. Every pertinent detail of his personal relationships is exposed. Of course, they also delve deep into Shane’s credo and why he did what he did and why he loved doing what he did.
The movie entertains start to finish and no matter who you are, you’ll learn a lot about Shane and what made him tick.
The only critique I have of the movie is that I wanted to see a lot more of Shane T-ing off in Alaska on skis. I’m a skier and I want to see skiing. The movie seems to focus more on his BASE jumping than his skiing, which makes sense since it ultimately was BASE the lead to Shane’s final chapter.
The McConkey movie certainly is no pro-BASE jumping movie. Many times BASE is eluded to with skepticism, distrust, and undercurrents of blame. BASE took Shane and you can feel it in the words of the friends and family interviewed throughout the movie. These people are not BASE jumping fans. There are more than a few quotse of this sort:
“In BASE jumping, you don’t get injured. You die.”
“The margin for error in BASE jumping is just so thin. If anything goes wrong, you die.”
I did not walk away from this movie wanting to go BASE jumping.
The overall vibe at the premiere on Saturday night was obnoxiously positive. People were smiling big, they were remembering the past, they were looking to the future. More than anything, people were inspired. They were inspired by a man who refused compromise and focused his life on one solid pillar of truth: fun.
Thanks Shane. It’s obvious that you’re going to continue to change the face of skiing even from wherever it is that you are now.