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Seasons makes world premiere

Mountain biking makes its way into the TELUS Word Ski & Snowboard Festival with The Collective’s newest film, Seasons

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What: Seasons

When: Friday, April 11, doors at 8 p.m.

Where: Sea to Sky Ballroom, TELUS Whistler Conference Centre

Tickets: $15 at Whistler Activity Centre

Skiers and snowboarders are anxiously gearing up for the annual TELUS World Ski & Snowboard Festival, but it looks like gearheads may also have a reason to get pumped about the upcoming festivities.

Jamie Houssian is one of the founders of The Collective, a group of filmmakers, photographers and mountain bikers dedicated to showcasing the progression of freeride mountain biking by exploring the personalities behind the sport.

Houssian started the company with fellow filmmaker, Darcy Wittenburg, and photographer, Sterling Lorence.

Houssian and Wittenburg had worked together on Kranked films, which were the first real freeride mountain bike films to come out. So when the producers of the Kranked films took a bit of a hiatus in 2003, they decided to get together and try their hand at making their own films. They joined forces and organized riders they knew, got in touch with marketing contacts to line up sponsorship, and about a year later their first, self-titled film was released.

The Collective offered a different perspective and style than other mountain biking films, and was well received by the mountain biking community; so in 2006, they followed up with their second film, Roam.

Now, they’re set to debut their latest work, Seasons, during the first night of the TELUS World Ski & Snowboard Festival.

The Collective crew decided to use the natural framework of the four seasons to explore the world of mountain biking, showcasing seven riders with expertise in different segments of the sport — Darren Berrecloth, Matt Hunter, Cam McCaul, Steve Peat, Andrew Shandro, Steve Smith, and Thomas Vanderham — as they progress through winter, spring, summer and fall.

“We wanted to really to get into the lives of these guys and get a little deeper into what they’re all about,” explained Houssian. “In comparison to our past films and most other action sports films, there’s always quite a lot of riders… and we wanted to use less riders in the film so that we could get a little deeper into each guy’s story.”

The Collective seems to be working on a two-year cycle, which is a bit slower than many action sports companies that produce a film each year.

But it’s not surprising that it takes them a bit of extra time — each film is a labour-intensive project. Seasons involved 14 months of filming throughout British Columbia, the UK, Utah, Northern California, and Quebec, which resulted in 90 hours of raw footage for Houssian and the rest of the editing team to sift through.

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