The Ski Channel premiered “The Story” to a packed house in Hollywood, California on Sunday night as some 1500 athletes, celebrities, skiers and new found snow sport enthusiasts braved pouring rain (which naturally turned attention to the thought of snow falling in the mountains) to fill the Mann’s Chinese Theatre for the sold out world premiere.
In true Hollywood fashion, there were an abundance of stars walking the snow-covered red carpet including Donna Mills, Lisa Loeb, Dawn Lewis, Linda Thompson, Ernie Hudson, Don Felder, Brandon Jenner, Shari Headly, Greg Louganis, Michael Johns, Sinjin Smith, Tara Lipinski, Vijay Amritraj and Chris “Uncle E” Ernst among the actors, musicians, athletes and entertainers who came out for the premiere. And they were just the beginning of the entourage. There were Grammy winners, Academy Award winners and Writers, Actors, Directors and Hollywood Powerbrokers. All in all nearly 100 celebs walked the Red Carpet.
And while the Hollywood celebrities looked at home on the snowy carpet, the night definitely belonged to snow sport stars Bobby Brown (2-time X-Games Gold Medalist), Mike Douglas (Godfather of Freeskiing), world-class skiers Chris Benchetler, Eric Pollard, Kristi Leskinen, Lynsey Dyer, Reggie Crist, and the rest of “The Story” cast and crew.
Photo: A natural on the mic, Mike Douglas is interviewed on the “white” carpet before heading inside
The 7 p.m. showing saw premiere-goers spilling into the aisles for an opening address by Ski Channel founder and the films Director, Steve Bellamy. After a rousing introduction of the cast and crew, the 1300+ people turned their attention to the jaw-dropping talents and captivating story-lines documented within the flick.
Photo: Ski Channel Chairman and CEO Steve Bellamy addresses the crowd before introducing the cast and crew
Countless moments throughout “The Story” incensed cheers and applause from the audience including Mike Douglas and Cody Townsend getting towed into big waves on skis in Hawaii, Reggie Crist’s first descent of Rainbow Peak in Haines, AK; Leif Whitaker successfully summiting Mt. Everest, and Jamie Pierre skiing off a 255 ft cliff and surviving. Mike Tierney’s riviting story of overcoming internal demon’s mixed with his near 45 degree rock wall ski descents had the audience’s jaw on the ground. And two-time Paralympic Gold Medalist Stephani Victor’s tale of courage and perseverance was so powerful, it drove many an audience member to tears.
“In a world where action sports, YouTube, and a wildly fast paced X generation demand more and more from each week, it was nice to see the Ski Channel bring the human interest element back to the forefront,” said X Games commentator and voice of skiing Chris “Uncle E” Ernst. “The Story is a multi level, personal journey that anyone can relate to, regardless of their knowledge of mountain sports. My kids and my mother in law were all inspired and in awe…a refreshing, moving and well-designed story.”
Photo: Dressed to the 9′s, X Games champion Bobby Brown takes to the stage
Following the success and warm receptions at the world premiere it is clear that the tales “The Story” tells are infectious and The Ski Channel Film Tour message of mountain sport infatuation is spreading quickly.
“We took a chance on making a different kind of film,” said Bellamy. “Although this film had all the action and craziness of any ski/action film, it was the antithesis of the traditional ski porn film and we can’t believe the reactions. We were getting hugs and high fives from 3 year olds to 93 year olds, park skiers to discerning ski travelers. We couldn’t be happier.”
Over 1000 people attended the after party at the Highlands in Hollywood and were treated to an array of amazing artists playing music from “The Story’s” soundtrack. Bryon Friedman, Sara Mancuso and Jason Powers, Professor Calculus, Sleeping Naked and David Baron all killed, but the highlight was an extended set by American Idol’s Michael Johns who mixed in originals, classics and after being taunted by Bellamy – an acapella version of Bohemian Rhapsody that drew a standing ovation.
The night was sponsored by a healthy amount of companies including Mammoth Mountain, Sony, Red Bull, Clif Bar, Head, Salomon, Leiki, Ski Hoe and the HIghlands.
“The Story” is currently touring the country, with the movie soon to be available on DVD and high definition Blu-ray.
More information on The Ski Channel Film Tour is available at www.theskichannel.com/filmtour.