Best Segment in a Ski Movie – Behind the Scenes of All.I.Can’s street segment with JP Auclair

JP Auclair Street Segment (from All.I.Can.) from Sherpas Cinema on Vimeo.

Sherpas Cinema’s All.I.Can has been winning serious props since its premiere in the fall, but one segment of the film is making a profound impression. JP Auclair’s urban skiing sequence, shot in Rossland, Trail and Nelson BC, received more than 200,000 hits in 48 hours when it was released online.

Which makes me wonder about instant karma. Here’s a few things I discovered when I interviewed JP for  this story on the Sherpas for SBC Skier magazine that suggest guy has a pretty solid credit rating with the bank of Good Attitude.

1. He taught himself to edit, so he’d have better control over his stuff. He didn’t want to be that athlete walking out of the screening, bitter, because the segment that he had put his heart, soul and body on the line for, was disappointing.

It’s really hard for the production company to keep track of everyone, especially in a 2 year project, things get lost. So one year, 2003, I think, I decided, ‘I am going to go edit my part.’ I learned the software so I’d understand the whole editing part and wouldn’t annoy the editors knowing nothing, and then I asked Poor Bpyz to send me all my footage for editing to learn on. Next thing I knew, I had a finished product, because it’s super fun to edit.  My philosophy has always been, don’t bitch if you didn’t work hard.

2. He got his part because he lived next door to the Sherpas in Whistler one summer. (Casting call happened in the backyard.)

I met the Sherpas last year on this cat ski trip with Fresh Sports Calgary. Mica had hired Dave to shoot it. One night we all started talking about the environment and the movie and I just thought it was a great project. By coincidence, we met again in Alaska. I was still shooting for PoorBoyz, but all my crew had burned out and left, so I was by myself. Chad Sayers got hurt on their first day, they were looking to fill a seat on the helicopter and I was looking for people to ski with and film, so we agreed to trade. Then, last summer I was working on a PoorBoyz segment, next door to Dave’s house. He was cutting the teaser for All.I.Can and wanted to revist the dialogue we’d had at Mica, the whole “do more, not less” thing that I’m pretty passionate about. It had resonated for Dave and he wanted to include it in the trailer.

3. He can’t fake it.

I’ve had to find new ways to get inspired, because ‘ski-porn’ can get old. I don’t really work until I find something that drives me, and this film, I was like, oh my god, I’ve got to be part of this. Dave had seen my urban segment for Revolver and was like, you’ve got to be that guy for my movie. I was like, no way. I didn’t have the drive to do that. No way, I’m finished with that. But I thought about it later on, and thought, if it’s Dave, he probably has got some insane thing in mind and I can’t pass on that. He wants to do what I do, so I was like, okay, let’s try and do something.

4. Complete strangers trust him.

We’d knock on people’s doors because we were in their backyards, jumpbing over their cars. We’d feel like little kids, “uh, can we build a jump in your backyward?” One lady, we asked, “Can we jump on your driveway?” Dave was like, “I swear, he’s really good, he won’t land on the car.”

5. He starts things, because risk-taking and passion are part of the make-up of mountain people.

Auclair helped launch the 1080 ski for Salomon in 1998, founded Armada skis in 2002, and founded Alpine Initiatives in 2008.

Our whole take at Alpine Initiatives is you can’t really have a healthy environment without having healthy commmunities, and vice versa. It’s about trying to make the snowsport community stronger, so we can reach out and embrace the global community and people who are wanting to uplift their own community, no matter where in the world they are. We call ourselves mountain lovers, winter enthusiasts, people who love to explore, have drive and passion, risk taking people, and that can make a community really dynamic. We all get our inspiration pretty much from being in the mountains and hanging out with beauty, basically. If we had the resources we wanted, we’d be all around the world. But we’re super committed to doing every project really well and not having loose ends.


All of which makes me think, JP Auclair deserves every “like” he gets.

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