CHANGING UP A MORNING ROUTINE IN THE FRENCH ALPS

Richard Permin is not your average skier. In the Banff Mountain Film Festival film, Good Morning, we see Richard expertly navigate the rooftops of Avoriaz (in the French Alps) to get his morning baguette. At only 4 minutes long, you’d be forgiven for thinking this was a ‘quick’ shoot. However, this particular film project took around 3 years from start to finish!

Filmmaker, Maxime Moulin explains, “We started this project in January 2016. But on the second day of the shoot, Richard got severely injured and broke his two heels.” In fairness, the project is ambitious and to make it look so effortless, it’s a bit more difficult than it looks to ski those roofs, even for an accomplished and talented sportsman like Richard.

Richard Permin is an exceptional skier. He is part of a new generation of sportsmen who have taken skiing and modernised it in an acrobatic way. Richard started skiing from when he was a young child and at 15, he became a ski instructor. From then he started taking his free time to experiment with the pipe and big air. Since then, he’s competed in contests, been part of films and experimented further with what he enjoys doing – taking it all the way to the backcountry! “Backcountry is my favourite discipline because it really mixes freestyle and freeride. It’s a perfect form of fusion,” Richard says.

Following Richard’s injury, the team sat down and reassessed what they wanted from the film and how they were going to achieve it. The four minutes of footage they ended up with came from 70 days of preparation, filming and post-production work, over the course of 3 years. Accompanied by a killer soundtrack, Bang a Gong (Get it On) by T-Rex, this film turned out better than they originally imagined.

In regards to the objective of the film, Maxime tells us, “The Good Morning project was launched three years ago. Riding roofs has never really been achieved. We chose Avoriaz for its unique aesthetic architecture. Our ambition was to film lines drawn by man’s hand in an unnatural setting.” When you watch the film, you can’t help but notice the beautiful way in which skiing those snow-laden rooftops allow Richard and Maxime to play with the idea of a those simple habits that we all go through every morning. In this case, it’s taken to the next level, literally!

After the injury Richard sustained the second day of shooting, it took 2 months in a wheelchair, several long months of rehabilitation and after a whole year in total, he was back in his skis and filming could resume.

Maxime reflects on that first day back on the shoot, “For me, the first best day of the shoot was when Richard skied again the roof where he got injured 2 years ago, and stomp it. To me it was like seeing someone reborn. After this big step, Richard was able, and more free in his head to ski all the other spots he had in mind.”

An absolutely incredible result, considering the shoot started out with a devastating injury. When you watch Good Morning, it will be more magical, more amazing and more impressive as you reflect on the journey that it took for everyone involved, especially, Richard… and you might find yourself craving a fresh baguette!