For the ﬁrst time ever, action sports and the Grateful Dead are merged together in a ﬁlm of eclectic style in Fire On The Mountain.
Manifested from the mind of director Chris Benchetler, 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, and surfing, all set to the transcendent music of the Grateful Dead.
Shot during a road trip seeking both snow and surf, 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 the culmination of the film in 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 its own.
The short film is narrated by Hall of Fame basketball player, sportscaster, and Grateful Dead devotee Bill Walton, with music supervision by the esteemed audiovisual archivist and legacy manager for the Grateful Dead, David Lemieux. 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 one winter by cinematographer Tyler Hamlet, this captivating journey features never seen before visual effects within the film’s natural surroundings, 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.”
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.
The short film will be available to stream worldwide December 13th on www.dead.net/FireOnTheMountain
The soundtrack to the film is available now on all streaming music services.
Fire On The Mountain is directed by Chris Benchetler and Tyler Hamlet; Executive Producers Justine Chiara, Brian Francis and Chris Benchetler; Producers Chris Benchetler and Kimmy Fasani; Co-Produced by Steve Jones, Todd Jones, and Shane Treat from Teton Gravity Research.