Imagineery Ski-bums

Mike Douglas features in On the Shoulders of Giants, Whistler Blackcomb’s new documentary about the PEAK 2 PEAK gondola.

When we developed the script for the story of the Peak 2 Peak gondola, director Jim Budge and I knew we wanted to place the new gondola in the context of Whistler’s long history of attracting innovators and bold imagineers.

Douglas was an obvious subject to feature. I chatted to Douglas for a Skier profile last year and discovered he has been brain-trusting innovative ideas (from the FIS Sucks campaign to the Nippon Open, WB’s Deep Winter Photo Showdown to the 1080 ski) for 20 years, reinventing himself and remaining crucially relevant in the freeski scene. In Giants, he talks about his latest incarnation making online films for Salomon TV and shooting with his helmet cam. Douglas nails tight treelines and his footage offers a perspective to armchair skiers – when you can’t rip it, you can imagineer it.

Budgie is pretty imagineery, too. He’s worked as WB’s filmmaker for over 28 years and has an archives of sensational retro footage, much of which we were able to squeeze into the documentary. This summer, in addition to putting together 2 years worth of footage to commemorate the PEAK 2 PEAK project, he also worked with Pemberton screenwriter Cindy Filipenko to direct When Hugh Met Joe, a short film for the Whistler Film Festival’s Whistler Stories program, about Hugh Smythe and Joe Houssain’s unlikely partnership.

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