Sean Pettit makes it all look really easy.
He’s standing on a high mountain peak in Alaska, the world at his feet, an endless sky stretching uninterrupted for 360 degrees. A helicopter has just dropped him there and now he’s alone, with about four-feet to play with before the mountain drops off on either side of him. He’s freaking out a little. Not the ‘scared senseless’ kind of freaking out; rather, the kind of freaking out that comes when you’re confronted with your own total and utter insignificance.
“It’s not a very comfortable feeling, feeling like the smallest thing out there,” he says.
And then he just starts skiing… and the whole world falls away.
It’s just another day in the office for the 23-year-old pro freeskier as he goes about making his new ski movie The Masquerade, which had its world premiere in Whistler this week, kicking off the fall ski movie season to an amped up crowd, giddy at the success of their hometown boys. Back in September of 2014 we told you that the new Super Proof Inc. ski movie would blow your mind, and their latest addition, The Masquerade, is sure to follow suit.
The other thing about Sean Pettit, aside from his willingness to stare his own insignificance in the face, is that he’s a perfectionist: “You can’t just half-ass it.”
Indeed — half-assing it on a four-foot ledge could be… well, deadly. You don’t get to be a pro skier at 11 years old by not doing things over and over and over again until they’re perfect.
To top it all off, Pettit isn’t content to follow the rules. He wants to break new ground, push the limits and show us things we’ve never seen before.
So when you have a guy like that as the driving force of Super Proof Inc., just wrapping up its second season of filming with The Masquerade, a movie unlike any other ski movie, the results… well, the results speak for themselves.
Gibbons Life Catch Up With Sean Pettit
GL: So what does it feel like when you’re standing on top of what seems like the highest point on Earth?
Sean: Pretty insane. You feel very small — very, very, very small. Uncomfortable almost.
GL: You never get used to?
Sean: Nope. I’ve stood on top of lots of peaks and I always want to get down really quick.
GL: What was your first ski movie?
Sean: First/most memorable still to this day is Parental Advisory by Heavy Hitting Films.
GL: Why Parental Advisory?
Sean: Have you ever seen it?
GL: (Point taken).
Sean: I was really young when I first saw it. I probably shouldn’t have seen it! It’s all about partying really hard… It was a stereotype of the professional athlete and that’s kind of what it is. They kind of nailed it… That’s what I was introduced to, pretty much, and thought it was the most bad-assed thing out there.
GL: What do you take from that and put in your own movies?
Sean: I don’t know if I do take exactly from that for our movies, other than at the time they were doing something very different… That’s kind of what our mentality is as well, just doing something very different.
GL: What makes The Masquerade different?
Sean: There are definitely no other ski movies in this genre. Obviously the skiing is the skiing — every ski movie has skiing in it. But that’s the thing — most ski movies just have skiing in it and don’t really tell much else of a story, especially a fictional story…. We’re adding new values to ski films and opening up new doors to how endless it can be and finding tasteful ways to integrate a story into the ski action.
GL: The story revolves around an underground gambling scene in Whistler. Anything we should know about?
Sean: No, it’s based off no reality. We come up with a theme and a style at first and think how we can use these kinds of things and inspirations from other Hollywood films that we like… and a crime/thriller is always one of my favourite type of genres in any Hollywood film so I said ‘we should try to make our own.’
And so they did.
Check out the trailer and stay tuned for more ski premieres in Whistler this fall, as we get ready the upcoming season.