The Art of Flight Movie Premiere IMAX, London

Posted on Monday 21st November, 2011 Times Viewed: 5116
I tried to save myself, but failed. In fact, I'd got on the download mix before the sun had set on the day of release. The release of the Art of Flight had been so hyped up that it was impossible not to watch it, after being teased by some spine-chilling teasers.

But then I was afraid it would be like opening your Christmas presents a day early – and I'd then be disappointed on the big day. But how wrong I was.

Words Kaz Willmer Images Will Bailey
The difference between my 13-inch macbook and the 20-metre-by-25-metre IMAX, aka the biggest cinema screen in Britain, was just the start, and by the end of the night I had decided that witnessing this night was the reason I was put on this planet. Cheesy? Yes, but when it comes to the Art of Flight, I'm allowed to be.

Click to view full image

We've already reviewed the movie, and the fact the voiceovers contain more cheesy lines than a French fromagerie, was enough to make some sceptics sceptical. But the movie premiere was a night to remember – an experience which sent every sense snowballing into an uncontrollable oblivion. And that's not an understatement.

It all began at all began at Red Bull HQ - at the epic press conference organised by Quiksilver and Red Bull, decorated with immense art work and Travis Rice's signature Lib Tech boards. I'd tried all day not to be excited, but once mates' statuses started flowing through my newsfeed with their excitement too, I realised it was impossible to contain. Add a free bar with unlimited beer and Red Bull, and by the time Travis entered the studios, I was hopeless.

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Tim Warwood led the question time, comfortably chilling with Travis, just a couple of metres in front of me on the sofas. To be sat so close to the man, the legend, who's touched hearts all over the world with The Art of Flight, and listening to him talking about the highs and lows, completely blew me away. Two hours later and I'd be seeing this same legend, stretched to the size of five double decker buses, watching him visit some of the most enviously epic locations known to man.

The whole Art of Flight experience was one to remember, and just like the movie budget, they spent a lot on making sure every person who came to the movie felt the love. From the free beer and popcorn, to the Red Bull air stewardess outfits and the bulging Quiksilver goody bags for all, we all could leave with more than we arrived.

But it wasn't all materialistic – we left mentally converted too. Watching the Art of Flight on the IMAX screen allowed us to enjoy every little detail – whether or not we'd saved ourselves for the flight. Every panoramic scenic shot, every ice ridge, every avalanche could be seen, heard and felt from every angle. The deep rumble of the avalanches shaking your body as you watched the snow ridges pop. The slowest powder turns sending a milky ocean of white waves towards you. The tingles down your spine through the slow-motion grabs, gapping ridiculous crevasses.

Click to view full image

The Art of Flight definitely does what it says on the tin – showing you every little detail from start to finish. You get the slow-motion take-offs with jackets flapping in the winds like a bird of prey, watching the riders build up – you get the sense of speed and power, before they've even taken off the ground. Then on take-off you are led through the epic air time, the slow-mo pausing just long enough for you to grasp the scale of the gap, while still engrossing the panoramic background. Then there's the landings, mostly fast, smooth. And when the landings went wrong, we felt them too.

I'm glad I didn't save myself for the premiere as it was almost a different movie to the one I watched on my mac those few months ago. Every sense was just transported and nothing could've distracted me through the whole premiere. My entire vision was fixed on the screen, my ears blanketed in 11,600 watt digital surround-sound, my speech uncontrollably muttering expletives, and the tingles in my spine came and went like waves. A combination of the epic soundtrack, watching insane snowboarding, and drinking a lot of Red Bull, meant my cheeks were painfully fixated into a continual gurn – I felt like a child who'd eaten too many blue smarties. We got the sense of fun, the sense of danger, the sense of adventure – three things that life's all about.

They said nothing could beat That's It, That's All, and they proved us wrong with the Art of Flight. But if the Red Bull team keeps getting bigger and better, and keep putting on such massive events, they'll not only continue making immense movies, but they'll prove to many more people that snowboarding's not just a sport – it's a lifestyle, a passion, a fun but potentially dangerous game, which has changed people's lives all over the world.

Yes, it was cheesy, yes it was 'epic' – but after experiencing every megapixel in HD IMAX glory, it's hard to fault The Art of Flight, deservingly reinforcing it as The Best Snowboard Movie of All Time.

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Comments (401)  
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