About Fire on the Mountain
Improvisation is the silver thread that weaves this film together. Just as the Grateful Dead did not ﬁt their music into an established category, this short ﬁlm ﬁnds a cast of some of the world’s best athletes on an improvisational journey of skiing, snowboarding, surfing, and music, complete with a soundtrack comprised of only Grateful Dead music. Shot during a snow and surf road trip, the journey starts in California where the athletes embark on a mission into the mountains. Mid-ﬁlm ﬁnds the cast caught in the remote waters of the North Pole followed by a psychedelic dreamscape as they appear as skeletons shredding under the moonlight at Mammoth Mountain, and surfing in Indonesia. Similar to a Grateful Dead show, they start and end in the same place but each of their respective experiences is a journey of their own.
Narrated by Hall of Fame basketball player and television sportscaster Bill Walton with music supervision by David Lemieux, audiovisual archivist and legacy manager for the Grateful Dead, Fire On The Mountain features some of action sports’ most legendary athletes: snowboarding’s Jeremy Jones, Danny Davis, Kimmy Fasani, surfing icon Rob Machado, and skiers Michelle Parker and Chris Benchetler. Captured over the course of the winter by cinematographer Tyler Hamlet the visual journey features never seen before visual effects within nature and original artwork by Benchetler and Skye Walker.
“Grateful Dead and action sports have always been kindred spirits, both celebrating life and the beauty of experimental improvisation,” says Rhino President Mark Pinkus, who also oversees Grateful Dead Properties. “After years of hearing many action sports athletes cite the Dead as their soundtrack of choice, it’s exhilarating to see these worlds come to life together on screen in Fire On The Mountain. Add in Bill Walton’s iconic voice on commentary and you have a one-of-a-kind experience, not unlike going to a Grateful Dead live show.”
Adds Bill Walton, “this project is one of the coolest things that I have ever been involved with, and it validates my criteria for why I do things—people, passion, and purpose. I love the edge, and beyond. Fire On The Mountain takes this notion to incalculable heights, and spectacular places.”