DOLLAR SHORT IS LIVE!
Before we get into the making of, nitty gritty, BTS with the brain trust behind the picture, catch the full 12-minute flick featuring pillow lines, backcountry booters and bank robberies below!!!
Boom! If that doesn't get you excited for winter, nothing will. Wondering how they came up with such a concept and what in fact goes into executing a project like this - all while Covid is knocking on the northern Hemi's doorstep? We were too.
Below, hear from the creators Caleb Chicoine and Alex D'Agostino, directors and masterminds from Benshicreative as well as Le Bent team riders Parkin Costain and Jake Hopfinger.
Jake Hopfinger presumably admiring his handiwork. Photo: Jonathan Finch
Caleb Chicoine (director):
Thinking about how this film came to fruition is pretty funny to reflect on. During the summer of 2019 Alex and I we’re both working as editors at TGR in Jackson Hole. We were fresh off releasing our first ski series “Before Tomorrow” the winter prior. That project was what really kicked off Benshi, but we felt like it was just a small taste of what we wanted to do and what the Benshi crew was capable of.
We started a really strong relationship with Jake Hopfinger with Before Tomorrow and knew we wanted to all work together again the next winter, and on one of our last days shooting that project we linked up with Parkin Costain. We all hit it off instantly and started scheming the next film.
All aboard the company car/metal steed. Photo: Jonathan Finch
Since Alex and I were living in Jackson Hole, Jake was in Bozeman, and Parkin was in Whitefish, we would have daily facetime group calls to brainstorm film ideas. We knew we wanted to make something that wasn’t just action ski porn, and was able to integrate a story into a ski film without beating it over people's heads.
Lots of bad ideas came out of these facetime sessions (mostly by me…). When we would talk about coming up with ideas, we played with the concept of creating a totally random scenario and saying “what would happen if... “ and seeing where that would take us. Jokingly as an example, someone (I don’t remember who) said “What if we robbed a bank”.
We all laughed and thought that was a ridiculous idea and a funny joke. As we bounced around a bunch of other ideas over the next few weeks, we eventually circled back to this joke idea and just said “Screw it, what would happen if two skiers robbed a bank?” Haha...
Two skiers walk into a 7/11, a bar, a bank... Photo: Jonathan Finch
After that summer Alex and I moved back to Bozeman and we started to really pick this idea apart with the whole crew. We just kept playing off of the “what if” idea and let it roll, and eventually we came up with what you see in the film.
I couldn’t be more grateful for this crew and all the hard work everyone dedicated to making this happen and for all of our sponsors. I feel like this is still just 5% of the way to where we want to take things as a crew and am psyched to get to work on the next one.
Alex D'Agostino (director):
As a kid growing up on the east coast I remember watching all the big ski films and thinking: Wow, I’m never going to be able to do things and go to the places these guys are going. Even though I now have been lucky enough to experience those once far off dreams, those childhood thoughts still resonate with me. Caleb and I wanted to make a film that touches on that idea. Sure nice sleds and big trucks are epic, but the true heart of skiing is just going out with your friends whenever and however you can. This film was a blast to make - it was hilarious making two pro skiers act for us all year. The Benshi crew is just getting started - we are incredibly excited for what’s next!
Alex on the tools. Photo: Jonathan Finch
What a season last year was! I was more eager than ever to be more involved in the ski industry. Just a few years ago I would have never guessed that goal would lead me to help create a short ski film as part of the Benshi Crew. I’ve continued to embrace my ever growing urge to never have a real job and last season was the logical next step in that direction.
Parkin repping our lightweight balaclava for heavyweight pillow domination. Photo: Jonathan Finch
While navigating the Covid ridden season, the crew and I were able to continue production all the way up until March when the whole world went into lockdown. Before this I was able to win the Kings and Queens of Corbet’s, score a segment with Warren Miller Entertainment and continue on with the everflowing good times with the Benshi crew.
So much went down last season but by far the most gratifying and rewarding moments were spent with our tight knit team scouting and shredding lines in the backcountry. I couldn’t be more stoked on forming such a strong relationship with the team. Our minds are turning for the upcoming season and I can’t wait to show the world what we’re scheming.
Parkin prepping to drop... Off what, we ain't sure. Photo:Jonathan Finch
Ever seen two backcountry skiers rob a bank? We did - kinda…
The fall before shooting this project was spent with many hours on the phone brainstorming concepts for a backcountry skiing short film with a strong narrative backbone. Something that would bring a fresh tone to ski industry media. “Dollar Short” is certainly something unique that I hope people will appreciate.
Jake Hopfinger minding the gap. Photo: Jonathan Finch
Being the second season with the Benshi Creative crew, I had some high expectations for my personal skiing. With such a strong crew, it allowed me to really focus on my task at hand: ski hard and stay healthy. Luckily that is how it played out, which made for one of the best seasons of my life.
We are all really psyched with how “Dollar Short” turned out. We hope everyone will keep an eye on our crew for what’s to come in the future!
Can we be in the next one boys? Looks like a bloody good time! Photo: Jonathan Finch