Work in Progress: California Snow Documentary

Synopsis: Californians, infatuated in the 1930’s by the spine-tingling derring-do of dashing young European ski instructors, built a thriving industry around snow. Now, global warming is altering snowfall and a way of life in California’s majestic Sierra Nevada and San Gabriel Mountains. From thrill seeking skiers, dedicated snow scientists and corporate ski resort big wigs to minimum wage grocery clerks, maverick motel owners and mom and pop ski areas, they must confront the new reality of shorter snow seasons which they depend on for their livelihoods and recreation.The El Nino on the West coast may redeem California skiing in the short term but the question remains, what is the future of snow in California.

Genre: This is a film which follows its main participants, sharing their stories, situations and challenges of life in the snow business. The film will use aerial footage of the Sierras and San Gabriel mountains to illustrate the snow conditions as well as skiing footage on the slopes and in the backcountry. It will include interviews with the main and secondary participants impacted by snow, archival photos and footage from the exhilarating skiing obsession of the 1930’s in California.

Themes: Man’s relationship with the natural world, attempts control the natural world, use its resources and recreate in it.

Topics and Issues: Skiing, recreation, California history, small-town economics, environmental science, El Nino, fossil fuel companies, politicians, and lobbyists, pollution, climate change, water, global warming politics and climate change deniers.

Format/Length: The format is a 60-minute high-definition video.

As an avid telemark skier and mountain biker, California holds a special place for Ms. Bonnie. Witnessing the recent changes in California’s climate and environment has been a call to action. So the California Snow Documentary project was launched in spring of 2014. It is anticipated that the documentary research and shooting will continue over winter and summer 2016 – 2017.