Plot & Purpose: The Recruitment with Sean Pettit
Action-sport films have a hardwired framework that’s difficult crack. History keeps repeating its self and ski films follow suit: Intro, part, intro, part, intro, part — all edited to the beat (see playlist: trendy, obscure, ironic, classic) the wheel goes ‘round and we get dizzy. Flip the script and anything can happen; what Sean and his crew have achieved with Super Proof Inc., The Recruitment, wasn’t easy. A fictional Hollywood style film that seamlessly incorporates raw and progressive freeskiing? Was it possible? Inspired by dark and gritty cinematic images, Sean Pettit has taken the ski film to another level, another genre, by fastening something rare to a ski-porn flick: plot and purpose.
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The Recruitment, Available on iTunes October 15th
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So did you just wake up one morning and think, “I’m going to make a story based ski film”?
I knew I wanted to do something. I didn’t know what that something was going to be. I wanted to do my own video project and I wanted to do something different. For a few years now Leigh Powis had been editing his own segments, he came out with this one where he kills himself at the end of it. It was super gritty and dark, and just this dark and violent theme to it. I was so down. I knew I had to have Leigh to be a part of this project. I talked to him and he was like, “Lets do this.” Then I got Brandon Kelly on as a filmer. I had filmed with him on my previous project and he was like, “Hell yeah!”. Having these two guys on board made all the difference.
You did your own recruitment so to speak…
Yeah, we’d come up with Super Proof when we were filming for this one project idea that we had, and then I got injured at the beginning of January last season. We had to bail on our original idea because it was kinda based around me. A month went by with us thinking, “What are we going to do?” I still really wanted to make a film even though I couldn’t be in it now. So Leigh and I sat down again and tried to figure out what we were going to do. What are we going to call it? We came up with, The Recruitment. We just thought it sounded badass. Lets recruit these guys to be apart of our scene. We took a basic idea and knew we wanted to add a fictional action-story to the film… and we just did it. The skiing was the easy stuff. We’d all done that before. But the Hollywood-style story stuff was something we’d never done before - much more challenging. We found locations and help through different hook-ups. We were working with a pretty small budget and fortunately didn’t have to rent too much. We just swindled and borrowed and made it look like a Hollywood movie.
Where do you find your inspiration? Who’s doing it right in the ski film world?
There are a lot of people doing it right in the ski film world. Just putting skiing to a song, that’s basically all it is. And there are a lot of people doing that well. But the first ski movie I ever had came out on VHS, HeavyHitting films, Parental Advisory. I think it came out in ’99, I was like 10 years old and so stoked on it. It wasn’t just a ski film. They had gnarly shit going on, just gritty and badass. That movie was an inspiration for this project. That style was just something that we were stoked on.
Is there a segment you’re most stoked on? A part we should be looking out for?
That’s the thing! The average ski film you can watch in segments and in parts, this video you have to watch front to back. It starts at the beginning and ends when it ends. Or else it won’t make sense.
Alright, I get it. Lets say, who had one of the best performances? Who would get the best actor nod?
Yeah, Joe Schuster had a break out year. His X-Games Real Ski edit won the online vote. That was something I was definitely stoked to see. He did stuff that he’d never done before and some stuff that’d never been done in the backcountry before.
What’s the next step for Super Proof Inc. and what are you going to be doing this coming winter?
Yeah we have a pretty good idea of next years project already and I’m not going to say too much about it. Kinda gonna pick up where we left off from when I was injured. There’s a little bit of a script coming along and we’ll go from there. At the end of this movie the viewer is left feeling like a sequel is still to come so… maybe it’s not going to be right away…maybe it is. Wait and see what happens. The Recruitment worked out great. We’re not setting anything in stone, you’ll just have to wait and see.
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