Ski Film Pioneer Warren Miller Dead at 93
The man who basically invented the action sports film has died.
Warren A. Miller, the pioneering snow-sports filmmaker whose infectious zeal for the “pure freedom” associated with skiing, snowboarding and other pursuits inspired multiple generations of adventure seekers around the globe, died Wednesday at his home on Orcas Island. He was 93.
A quick-witted, self-taught filmmaker who first filmed his own scenes for an annual self-narrated ski movie shown in small venues, Mr. Miller produced more than 500 adventure-sport films. His name, carried forward in a sports-media company, Warren Miller Entertainment, from which he was disassociated in his later years, became synonymous with snow sports across North America.
To his legions of fans, Mr. Miller’s annual ski flick amounted to cinematic manna from heaven — an overdue shot of cold air and deep snow to stoke the fires within winter warriors who had suffered through the long, hot months of snowless summer. The films, most of which began with jaw-dropping alpine-ski sequences, featuring top skiers and snowboarders delivered by helicopter to some knee-knocking heights and set to a pounding rock-music beat, never failed to produce hooting, shouting and delirium among the snow-deprived faithful.
The pumped-up atmosphere, Mr. Miller told The Seattle Times in 1985, was like “showing a porno film on an aircraft carrier six days out of port.”
The record will show that the day Warren Miller died, it snowed 19 inches at Mount Baker.
Though I never went to any of the legendary screenings where Warren Miller narrated the film live and played music on a record player for the soundtrack, I have seen my fair share of Warren Miller films in the fall. He created a holiday for us snow starved adrenaline junkies. He was really good at bringing out the sense of excitement of a new winter and those ethereal moments of sliding down a snowy mountain with long wooden blades attached to our feet. A giant in the skiing world has passed. He was the GOAT.
One of the greatest moments of my life was when I heard Warren Miller say my name in one of his movies. It still gives me chills. His impact on my life and many skiers lives cannot be overstated. He will be remembered forever. RIP to the legend. pic.twitter.com/MdGLmChtCu
Warren Miller just passed away peacefully at 93. His influence on my life cannot be understated. I’m forever grateful that my family and I got to know him. May his mantra for seizing the day become yours:
“If you don’t do it this year, you’ll be one year older when you do.” pic.twitter.com/JLm2sbcsLi