When I purchased Poor Boyz Productions’ X, back in 2004, I had understandably high expectations after 1242 and Ready Fire Aim. But after a viewing or two, the only segments that left me wanting more were Anthony Boronowski’s opening masterpiece and Dave Crichton’s last full segment. The rest was just repetitive trick-after-trick and a little too cliché. It was a familiar disappointment, but I dutifully went to the bonus features; much to my surprise, I found a little gem that changed the freeskiing world as we know it: U.P.1. What?!
The product of JP Auclair, Julien Regnier, and Anthony Boronowski, UP1 (Untitled Project #1) seemed, at first viewing, to be just a random bonus movie. Initially it wasn’t that promising, with party footage and what seemed like just B-shots of tricks you might have seen in X. But as it got going, and they mixed in obscure/random lifestyle shots with skiing, really creative editing, and original music selections, it all seemed to make more sense. For the first time you were getting the glimpse of the ski world through the eyes of current skiers, not filmmakers and editors living vicariously.
There has never been a shortage of lifestyle footage in ski movies, but these guys put a different spin on it; self-deprecating scenes were not off limits and they showed how ridiculous their partying lifestyles were, the industry bickering, and the laziness of skiers. The best examples include scenes of the Armada crew awkwardly listening to a heated Tanner Hall ask Chris O’Connell if he got the shots from earlier in the day, and JP Auclair and Philou Poirier vomiting after an Oakley mandated fitness test, both of which were surprisingly entertaining.
Even with all the lifestyle shots, the movie flowed really well with segments for each skier and brilliantly edited transitional sections. The segment featuring Kenna’s “Freetime” draws you in at just the right moment with the visuals and music. JP’s segment, featuring the Pixies “Where Is My Mind”, and Anthony Boronowski’s music were revelations to me that indie music and strange editing could work in a movie. A sprinkling of indie-rock songs may not seem earth-shattering now, but they broke with the status quo in skiing by using indie bands, French music, metal, or even Aaron Carter in later movies.
UP1 was the first ski movie that gave me hope for the direction skiing was heading. It broke the usual ski movie format and showed me that skiing should be fun and creative. I couldn’t take another movie that was one individual segment after another. They laid the groundwork for Nimbus to make their documentary style movies, Traveling Circus to create edits that are full of creative tricks (see Team Pizza), Chug Life to beat each other up, and the rest of the ski community to just have fun skiing.
After UP1 they followed it up with UP1.2 and then UP1.2.1, both bonus movies that accompanied WAR and Ski Porn. To this day, I still believe that if given an budget, JP, Julien, and Ant could make the greatest ski movie of all time. Take the UP1 series, put some money behind it, grab the most interesting skiers today and have those three document it. UP1.3 When!?!?
Editor’s note: A huge thanks goes to JP and Anthony for allowing us to put their creations on the internet. There are many more gems from the UP1 series, and we’ll be releasing new ones weekly. Stay tuned!