Eat, Sleep, Breathe Skiing: Breaking Boundaries with Jack Price
by Angie Ripple
When Jill Koford heard about the Breaking Boundaries // 2019 Snowboard, Freestyle and Freeski World Champs Youth Film Contest, she knew her son Rodney’s friend Jack needed to know about it. Jill had seen some of Jack’s videos of friends skiing, and edits of him skiing, and she knew he was into filmmaking. Rodney, known to his friends as AK, lives in Park City, Utah, and he and Jack Price had skied on the Park City Ski Team together in early 2018. Jill told Jack “you and AK should really look into this, and there’s a $2,500 prize, and all the exposure possibilities, but the catch is that the final due date is in 14 days.”
The Youth Film Contest was looking for young filmmakers (21 and under) to tell stories about breaking boundaries, wherever that may apply in their lives. In the world of elite competitive snowboarding, freestyle and freeskiing, athletes challenge themselves to push the boundaries of creativity and difficulty to be the best in the world in these sports. It seemed like a really good opportunity for not only AK and Jack to get some exposure, but for Jack, who plans to attend Montana State’s Film Program next fall, to also make his first ever documentary-style film.
Since Jack had torn his ACL at Mammoth two days before the end of the season, his recovery time gave him plenty of time to focus on a Breaking Boundaries film, which took him 30-40 hours to complete. So, AK and his mom drove up to Bozeman from Park City, the guys shot a bunch of interview footage, and AK brought up a big flash drive of all of his favorite skiing shots. The two talked about the vision, how they really wanted to lay out their focus, and how the video was going to play.
Jack’s take on ‘Breaking Boundaries’ had a lot to do with coming from Montana. “My side of breaking boundaries in slopestyle skiing was the pursuit of becoming a slopestyle skier coming from Montana because, like I said in the movie, Montana is known for world class powder skiing, or the big mountain lines, or a tourist destination, but really doesn’t have ample venues for slopestyle skiers to train on.
Being able to come through Bridger Ski Foundation (BSF), huge shout out to them; they were one of the biggest reasons why I was able to continue pushing my skiing abilities and keep professional skiing in my scopes because they were giving me the opportunity. Coming from a place not Park City, or not Breckenridge, Colorado, or an East Coast ski academy, but coming from Montana but still bringing a lot of ability to the table and a lot of drive definitely set me apart.
Even though AK and I come from different introductory backgrounds with slopestyle skiing, he had a lot more of a world-class experience off the bat, and I had to do a lot more learning on my own. The venues I have around me weren’t as good as AK’s [for slopestyle], but in the end it’s the same sentiment towards the super intense pursuit. It’s such a crazy sport, you want to throw yourself off a jump every day and try a new trick and a new spin; it’s so addicting.”
Jack finished his Senior year of high school in the fall of 2017. He took nine classes from Bozeman High School, going to school from 7:30-3:30 with an online class on top of that, so he could graduate in January. The very day he graduated from high school, he drove to Park City to live with one of his best friends, Charlie Stott, and join the Park City Ski Club.
Living in Park City before embarking on his most competitive season was crucial for Jack. “My parents were very supportive, and they gave me the resources to be able to finish school early and supported me living there for a good amount of time. Being in that scene where you are skiing next to Olympians every day, you’re skiing next to people who you aspire to be, that are in your top 5 favorite skiers, or just being around your best friends in the nation. Nationals were in Park City this year, and two of my biggest competitions were in Park City this year and being able to ski on those venues was pretty important.”
Jack skied with the Park City club five days a week with a coach and a group. In the morning, they would talk about tricks they wanted to train or try, and the coaches were able to critique tricks on the spot. “I’d do a trick and it was like they’d see it in slow motion and they’d break it down: how I took off the jump, what part of the trick I grabbed my ski, and how I should wait 90 degrees more for that and where I should look down. They are breaking down tricks in the moment, and they can do it so well.”
All the hard work and fun filming paid off big when Jack’s film was chosen as the WINNER of The 2019 Breaking Boundaries Snowboard, Freestyle, and Freeski World Championships Youth Film Contest! Winners were selected by a panel of judges including contest partners The Park City Summit County Arts Council, the Park City Film Series, U.S. Ski & Snowboard, and Park City freestyle/freeski athletes and other leaders in the arts and film community.
Jack will sit out the 2018/19 ski season because of his knee. “I had to do a 180 with my focus this year off. Making ‘Breaking Boundaries’ was the first wave of many sets of waves of me slowly getting into my craft of film. I’m putting energy into doing freelance video around Bozeman and working part time as the assistant editor for Meateater, a Netflix show based out of Bozeman centered around hunting and prepping food. This March, I will be going to Atlanta for 3-5 months working on the set of Ozark, the Netflix show. I’ll be a PA - Production Assistant, a great entry level job to introduce me to the whole film world. I’m planning on learning a lot there.”
AK and Jack are splitting the film contest money. Jack said, “I am saving a little bit of it, but I do have my eyes on this Gimble by DJI, a camera and drone company. A stabilizer for my camera is definitely my next camera purchase. The one thing about skiing and filming (it’s like tricks and camera gear are the same) once you get a trick you just want the next trick and once you get a new camera piece you want a different one. One is risky financially; one is risky physically. It’s going to be good to have some gas money in the bank account.”
Calum Clark, U.S. Ski & Snowboard chief of systems and operations said of the ‘Breaking Boundaries’ contest, “This has been a fantastic project for the Organizing Committee for the 2019 FIS Snowboard, Freestyle and Freeski World Championships. Our hope was to connect with a different aspect of our community and celebrate the diversity and creativity of young filmmakers to blend arts with sports. Our community partners of the Park City Summit County Arts Council and the Park City Film Series were amazing to work with coming up with this competition and motivating young filmmakers to submit films. We were so impressed by the number of responses that were submitted and amazed at the quality of the films that were produced.”
Congrats to Jack and AK for their winning film. Jack would love to make videos for anyone in Bozeman. Find him on Intagram @Maze_Creative or shoot him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org/
Special shout-outs from Jack go to his mom and dad for all of their support and to his little brother Luke. “If I have a chance of going professional, he has an even bigger chance than me, and unfortunately he wasn’t able to be involved in this film, but my brother pushes me. Watching him ski makes me ski harder.”
Pushing the Boundaries by Jack Price is available to view online: https://vimeo.com/282409841