Mark McMorris wants to show people that his slick snowboard moves are about more than winning medals.
“In Motion” documents the Canadian snowboarder’s 2014-15 season, in which he competed less so he could take his snowboard into back countries around the world. The movie combines McMorris’s mad skills and media savvy with stunning visuals.
The film premieres Tuesday in Vancouver followed by showings Oct. 16 in Toronto and Oct. 17 in Montreal.
McMorris will accompany his movie to each of those cities, and RedBull.tv will air it Oct. 15. The trailer can be seen on McMorris’s website.
Many Canadians remember the drama of McMorris winning the country’s first medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Competing with a fractured rib suffered at the X Games just weeks earlier, the Regina boarder fell on his first run of the final, but nailed his second to claim bronze.
A five-time X Games champion, McMorris’s desire to launch himself off ramps not made by man took him to the mountains of Switzerland, Japan and closer to home to B.C. to shoot his movie last winter.
“All I’ve ever been to most people is competitive and going for gold and competing all the time and working on crazy tricks,” McMorris told The Canadian Press.
“In snowboarding, a lot of respect comes from learning how to ride the big mountains and doing things naturally. I chose to do about half the events I normally would and film as much as I could in between for this project.”
The 21-year-old credits the mental break he took with helping him win both slopestyle and big air gold in February’s X Games in Aspen, Colo.
McMorris executed a frontside triple cork 1440 and backside triple cork 1620 to win the big air title. For those unfamiliar with those terms, he launched himself several metres in the air to spin like a top three times and land clean.
“With me taking time off — because I really wanted to film and be in the back country — it made for better results this year because I was having such a good time and doing exactly what I wanted to,” he said.
“I really wanted to perform at X Games because it was one of the few events I was going to do.”
McMorris is comfortable in front of the camera. MTV’s eight-part docu-series “McMorris and McMorris” features the adventures and misadventures of he and brother Craig, who is also an accomplished snowboarder.
But Mark McMorris was heavily involved in the logistics and creative vision of “In Motion.” He’s joined in the film by Craig and snowboarding buddies such as Mikkel Bang of Norway and Nicolas Mueller of Switzerland.
“I chose every single location because it really is out in the mountains and the snowboarder kind of runs the show in a weird way,” McMorris said.
“Doing freestyle on big mountain faces and building your own stuff isn’t easy, but it was so fun when it worked. It’s so beautiful when you get those shots. It’s the same as that amazing feeling you get performing under pressure.”
Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press