Unlike previous ‘day-in-the-life of’ videos, this documentary film gives an original insight into the lives of the ski patrollers, capturing the true personalities of the men and women who work on the mountain every day in winter. The vast amount of work that goes on behind the scenes in ski resorts really is incredible and Beyond the Pistes offers a fascinating behind-the-scenes glimpse into this world. Focusing on the role of the pisteurs secouristes (ski patrol) keeping the mountains safe in the French ski resort of La Clusaz, we are able to step into their lives.
Filmed in an organic style, and with beautiful aerial footage and action-packed point-of-view shots, the film focuses on the team’s bond, their drive and passion for a job often fraught with danger.
It shows the La Clusaz ski patrol as they carry out daily tasks to ensure safety on the mountain, such adrenaline-fuelled avalanche blasting and preparing the pistes for skiers in the morning.
Other shots show the team transporting injured skiers off the mountain in emergency sledges and enjoying one of the perks of the jobs: freeskiing.
Another section shows dog handler Nicolas Coutelle training his three-year-old Belgian Shepherd, Loustic, in search-and-rescue for avalanche victims.
Made up of 40 team members, with ages ranging from 21 to 64, the La Clusaz ski patrol work in four smaller crews to cover the four ski areas in the resort, which has 77 miles of slopes.
Beyond the Pistes was produced, directed, filmed and edited by GlobalShots team Bethany Mercer and Jay Haysey in January 2019.
The 12-minute film has been selected to be screened at the Four Seasons Film Festival in London on 23rd March 2019.
Bethany Mercer, Creative Producer at GlobalShots, said: “Having spent a lot of time working in the mountains, we’ve always been intrigued by the ski patrol and the amazing work they do.
We wanted to tell their true untold story and offer a real insight into the people and personalities behind the job. Our aim was to create something real, organic and raw – not just your average ski movie.”
Jay Haysey, Filmmaker and Photographer at GlobalShots, added: “I was in my element chasing the ski patrol down the mountain with the camera. The hardest part was keeping up while loaded with camera bags full of kit – they were all such great skiers! My favourite filming moment was when the team let us stay up at the summit at 2600 metres when the pistes had been closed. We had the mountain all to ourselves – I won’t forget that moment.”