If you haven’t watched Dash Longe’s latest DPS Cinematic short – shot and edited by Sweetgrass Productions – we suggest you do so. Right now. It’s an ode to skiing close to home, pushing the limits of what’s possible in new ways, and balancing daily “real” life with getting after it in the mountains. In truth, it’s something we can all relate to, no matter the life we live.
Aside from being a one-of-a-kind look at skiing in the Wasatch, Stone’s Throw also took some unique legwork on both Dash’s part and that of Eliel Hindert and Zac Ramras who directed, produced, shot and edited the short film. We caught up with Hindert, Ramras, and some of the other characters from DPS and Stio behind the scenes to hear what went into its creation.
Checking in with Zac Ramras on how the shot looked. Chris Whitaker photo.
Eliel Hindert and Zac Ramras, aka Sweetgrass Productions, were the force behind capturing Dash’s skiing in the Wasatch, using some innovative and immersive filmmaking techniques. Here’s what they each had to say about putting together the short film.
Eliel: Working with Dash was something I’ve always wanted to do for a project like this. We’ve known each other for years, and when he approached me about creating a video close to home, needless to say I was excited. All three of us are on tight schedules with other work and family these days, so we got most of the filming done early in the day, so that Dash could go to work or bring his kids to school. Luckily, the Wasatch provides such great access to do this, and of course that was a huge part of the storyline of the project.
We tried to make this video an immersive visual experience for the viewers, so we spent a lot of time capturing follow cam shots. Keeping up with Dash isn’t easy, just imagine blasting down scary lines with a huge metal contraption attached to you, skiing sideways, and trying not to fall! Dash and I even collided at one point, which put me out of commission for a few weeks and put the show on hold for that long. In the end, we got it done, and we’re stoked on how it turned out.
Chasing Dash Longe with a camera is no easy task. Rocko Menzyk photo.
Zac: For us, this was really a chance to create a film that was an ode to the Wasatch, a place the three of us have spent so much time enjoying life. It’s somewhere to balance your larger life in the city with skiing or just being in the mountains. You can spend your mornings or days in the wild and 30 minutes later you’re back in the thick of it, doing your “normal” thing. It’s really special, and we know a lot of us can relate to that.
To go along with that, there’s an underlying tone here in the Wasatch that I’ve learned to appreciate. It’s about the beauty of the public land we have access to and shedding light on how important these places are and not take them for granted. The Wasatch Area is one of the largest wilderness areas near a major metropolitan area in the world, and man, does it gets used! But that’s a good thing.
Dash Longe used some new, cutting-edge gear in the film, namely a full outerwear kit from Stio and DPS's new Koala skis. He shared the following about what went into the development of this gear and how it helps him perform in the field.
Dash: When I signed with DPS as an athlete, I was pretty pumped for a new beginning and getting the chance to work hands-on with a smaller brand. DPS has always made high-end powder skis, but nothing ever came close to what I like to ski: big, stiff skis that rip in all sorts of conditions. So, I helped them design a ski that stood up to those requirements. Their athlete team is called the Koalas, and it’s kind of cool that it isn’t a single athlete’s pro model, but rather a collaboration between a bunch of us, and yeah, these skis rip.
Dash's Stio kit: the Environ jacket and bib.
I’m also obviously a huge fan of my Stio outerwear kit, it keeps me warm and dry when I’m out working hard in the mountains. They're an awesome brand out of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, so they definitely know how build tough and warm apparel. We did a lot of early morning shoots, and it was definitely pretty cold working before sunrise, so the Environ jacket and bib definitely stand up to the test.
Another one I’m a huge fan of, especially in the backcountry, are Tender Belly snacks like their Jerky. They do this thing where they make delicious jerky out of pork belly, which is pretty unique. I’m always a proponent of staying fed in the mountains.
Dash is stoked on his Stio outerwear and TGR Optics goggles. Chris Whitaker photo.
Last but not least, I'm so pumped to work together with TGR on the TGR Optics project. You'll see me wearing them in the film, and I can truly say these things are the future of goggle design with magnetic lenses, good ventilation, and style that I can get behind.
Alexandra Taft Longe is Dash’s wife and the mother of their two daughters. She has been a driving force in his career, and shared the following words about Stone’s Throw:
Alex: It’s been such a pleasure to see Dash balance his life with a successful career and keep skiing at such a high level. He is one of the most dedicated people I know, and for years his dedication to skiing was his focus. These days, he’s just as happy dedicating himself to other things in life, but that’s not to say skiing has lost any allure. Maybe I’m just happy we get to see him more around home now! We also think it’s really funny that every time our daughter watches a ski movie, she thinks it’s Dash on the screen!
Dustin Swan is a musician and close friend of Dash, who wrote much of the music featured in the film. We asked him about his connection with Dash and what it meant to be a part of the project.
Dustin: What can I say? Dash is a blast. We met while working in a mutual friend’s furniture shop, where we hit it off from the jump. I think we just checked a lot of each other’s boxes in that initial conversation…. Music (check), design (check), skating (check), skiing (obvi), ...dick jokes (check).
I’ve been a musician and a skier for the better part of the last 25 years, along with that comes countless hours of watching ski flicks and being obsessed with parts. So, in walks Dash. A good buddy with the same passions and tastes as me. Seems legit. Right away the conversation starts rolling and a lot of “what ifs?” come up. That was probably four or so years ago. Since then Dash has been trying to work my music into the nooks and crannies of what he’s been doing. The first one happened last year. It was a song I wrote and recorded with a couple good friends called “Wanderer.” Kind of a blues/rock thing that went in the tail end of an INSANE video of Dash dropping into (not jumping over) what looks like about 200 feet of sheer rock and riding it out like a G. The vid was called “Moment of Inquiry.” I’ve been fully hyped since.
Dash "riding it out like a G". Chris Whitaker photo.
Stone’s Throw was a little different. This one, I wrote the songs specifically for the movie, got the whole band together and recorded the songs over three sessions. It’s one thing to write songs for yourself, but another when you have to keep all those parameters in mind. We were pumped on the process and hoping we get the opportunity again. It was special to keep this whole thing Salt Lake-centric. From the production crew, to the iconic ski spots, to the shots of downtown, Dash and myself thought it to be important to keep the music local as well. There’s a lot of amazing talent in this city, and we’re happy to be at the same party.
Alex Hunt is the PR Manager for DPS Skis, Dash’s new ski sponsor. Dash helped DPS with the development of their new big-mountain ski – the Koala.
Alex: Our entire team was excited when Dash joined the DPS crew last season as a Koala team skier and product development consultant. He's an absolute beast on the mountain with a penchant for fluid, stylish skiing that epitomizes the DPS ethos, this is evident throughout "Stone's Throw". His enthusiasm for skiing – and as he puts it: 'doing cool stuff with cool people' – is contagious. His vision reaches way beyond that of an athlete and ski designer, I can't wait to see what develops this winter!
Crew vibes in the field. Rocko Menzyk photo.
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