“The Revelstoke Diaries” is the latest project by Holmlands, as their new film and web series goes behind the scenes of life in the mountain town of Revelstoke, in British Columbia, Canada.


Described as “a ski movie that isn’t a ski movie” we were intrigued to find out more, so we recently caught up with the film’s Director and Producer, Cameron Hall, to learn more about the concept ahead of its online release in October 2020 …

Revelstoke Diaries Trailer

 

Tell us more about the idea behind The Revelstoke Diaries Project?

We love ski films and Holmlands have been hosting screenings for Matchstick Productions annually in the UK and in Europe for several years now.

Inspired by their amazing work - and because we also work in adventure productions - we felt it was a natural step for us to make our own ski film - but in doing so, we wanted to come at the genre from a different perspective.

Obviously, lots of ski films focus on big mountain skiing action, with athletes dropping cliffs and skiing powder.

It’s all very spectacular but often you don’t learn too much about the people who feature in the films or the places where they are filmed.

That’s where the idea for this project started, to get to know a place through the people who live there.

Ultimately, we wanted to speak with different members of a mountain community who reflect different aspects of mountain life – providing more of a ‘behind the scenes’ look at life in a ski town through the gaze of the local and not just the ski pro.

We do spend time on the mountain too, and the film will primarily be of interest to skiers – but it’s definitely not your typical ski film.

Why Revelstoke?

If you have ever been to Revelstoke, it’s easy to understand why we chose it as the location for the project.

The natural environment is simply stunning. It’s simply a dream location for any film maker.

Not only is Revelstoke naturally beautiful, but it is a hardworking town too. It sits on the Canadian Pacific Railway, which in many ways is the lifeline of Canada.

Revelstoke is not an easy place to get to, so lots of people who live there have taken interesting journey’s in making it their home.

There’s a lot of industry taking place within the township, alongside a range of new enterprises and start-up businesses, as people try to find a way to earn a sustainable living - so they can be in the mountains and enjoy an active lifestyle all year round.

As such, it definitely feels like a very authentic town, which only reinforced our views in it being the right location for the concept

© Holmlands - Captured by Matt Grayson Photography

Who features in the film?


There are nine chapters in the main film, with a standalone episode of each interviewee also part of a complimentary web series that will run alongside the film itself.

We chatted with a wide range of people from a local entrepreneur and local train driver, to a retiree and a glass blower – with the aim of reflecting different aspects of mountain life through each personality.

We also spotlight mental health awareness through one of the interviewees (Kelsey Adam), which is obviously a poignant conversation, but not something you would perhaps expect from films in the genre.

Kelsey’s story just goes to show that even when you live in an adventure paradise, taking care of your mental health is still vitally important.

We were also lucky to spend a day in the Revelstoke backcountry with local ski pros Greg Hill and Izzy Lynch, discussing their work with Protect Our Winter Canada on a local and national level.

Greg is famous for ascending two million vertical feet in 2010, climbing 71 mountains (in both North America and South America). which earned him the honour of becoming one of the “Top 25 fittest guys in the world”, according to Men’s Fitness.

He’s an incredible skier and has amassed well over 200 summits gained throughout the world but recently, has taken to deeply looking into sustainable adventure – which is how we spotlight his story.

Having sold his F-350 and snowmobile, he no longer heli-guides and travels to all his mountain adventures in an Electric car and has now climbed 40 mountains without the use of fossil fuels – so we jumped in Greg’s Chevrolet Bolt and joined him for a mini electric adventure, as he met up with Izzy to discuss their work with POW Canada ahead of the new season.

Izzy is a phenomenal skier too and has featured in classic ski films like Into the Mind, as well as making her own films like Kindred and her upcoming project Motherload. She current heads up programme coordination nationally for the POW Canada network.

Overall each person has a theme, from entrepreneurialism to environmentalism – there’s a rich tapestry of people in such a small place, and hopefully we’ve done our best within the parameters we had to reflect as many different people from the community as we could.

What can we expect from the web series?


The main film starts in the morning and ends at night, so it’s sort of like “a day in the life of” experience – but the web series will allow viewers to spend a little more time with each of the characters and pick and choose the order they watch the episodes.

In order to weave everyone’s segments together in the main film, there was lots of extra footage we had to leave out, so by creating a series of individual episodes, it allowed us to spotlight standalone stories in a different way.

© Holmlands - Captured by Matt Grayson Photography

Did you get any time to ski in Revelstoke outside filming? Any tips for Ski Club of Great Britain Members looking to visit Revelstoke?

The film itself was shot over a very intense six day period in December 2019. We then spent the following six weeks editing the film, so we could hold a special screening for the local people of Revelstoke first, before the online release this autumn.

Whilst many hours were spent locked away behind the screen putting the film together, we definitely found time to enjoy the mountains too.

Revelstoke Mountain Resort itself is huge – and whilst there are groomed runs and areas for learners and intermediate skiers - it is largely a steep and challenging mountain with endless amounts of tree skiing; perfect for expert skiers and people looking to push themselves.

The snowfall last winter was phenomenal, with plenty of great days spent skiing power and exploring the backcountry – with lots of great backcountry terrain quite easily accessible from the top of the Stoke Chair (just to be sure to carry all the relevant safety equipment and know where you’re going – so skiing with locals or a guide if you’re not familiar is strongly advised).

If you are just getting into backcountry skiing, Revelstoke is a great place to start – as you can easily ski back in-bounds to the resort from lots of touring routes on the boundary of the resort itself.

The whole Rogers Pass area around Revelstoke has excellent backcountry too – but I’d recommend heading to Mount MacPherson. It has a selection of touring routes and if you get there early enough on a pow day, it won’t disappoint. I can honestly say I enjoyed the best powder run of my life there in January after a three-hour hike of “Burnt Knob” with a friend, where we had fresh untracked powder barrelling over our heads - so I may be a little biased.

Mount MacPherson is also the location of the Revelstoke Nordic Ski Club, with lots of great trails to explore if you are into or interested in trying cross country skiing.

For time off the mountain, I’d recommend a visit to Big Eddy Glass Works, who offer drop in glass blowing sessions for beginners. It’s lots of fun and it’s cosy and warm inside too, so a great way to warm up after a day skiing – as winter in Revelstoke can get very cold!

 

Where and how can our members watch the film?

The Revelstoke Diaries film and web series will be available on our Vimeo and YouTube channels – as well as Amazon Prime.

The main film drops on Sunday October 4th with web series episodes dropping daily the following week. People can stay tuned to updates via our website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels too.

The film has been selected for a number of film festivals in Europe too, where we will also plan to hold a special preview screening in London ahead of our UK Premiere of Matchstick Productions “Huck Yeah!” at the Soho Hotel on Friday October 2nd.

“The Revelstoke Diaries” features Chris Pawlitsky, Greg Hill, Izzy Lynch, Bill Pollock, Kelsey Adam, Mark Baron, Shred Kelly, Leah Allison, Faron Ling, Kristy Whale and Gnorm the Powder Gnome.

Holmlands would like to thank Tourism Revelstoke, Revelstoke Mountain Resort, Somewon Collective, Sutton Place Hotels, Revelstoke Powder Rentals and Protect Our Winters Canada for their support of the project.