Beat the summer heat with a quick trip back to winter.
Our short film of one man's return to skiing...blind.
Director: Ryan Ross
Producers: Lou Laste & Skyler Williams
DP: Matt Silton
Editor: Lam Nguyen
Commissioned by Cox Automotive with support from No Barriers & Vauto.
We had the opportunity to film with first time blind skier, Dale Pollak, as he got back on skis for the first time without his sight. Blind adventurer, Erik Weihenmayer, inspired Dale to give skiing another shot and was there to mentor him on the slopes.
Dale has ironically been called a 'visionary' in the auto industry and it was so inspiring to watch him apply his fearless business approach to a new challenge. The courage these blind skiers exude is truly contagious. Edit coming soon.
Back in the winter of 2008 I was lucky enough to be an cameraman for a documentary called Blind Skiers Edge. It is a film about Erik Weihenmayer, the first blind man to ever climb Mount Everest, his technique for skiing, and the state of blind skiing today.
I had met and worked with Erik on many projects before so I was used to regularly being inspired by him and his audacious adventures. What was really unique was the day we filmed a group of newly blinded Iraq & Afghanistan war veterans as they stepped into skis for the very first time. These wounded soldiers, who had giving their sight for our country, nervously approached this new challenge. They were learning to deal with their new disability in real-time, before our very cameras. When they each skied down the hill alone for the very first time and with arms raised triumphantly, realize they could still do anything they put their minds too, blind or not, I don't think there was a dry eye in the house. It was one of the most truely inspiring things I've ever witnessed.
This is a preview of that film, in a poor resolution, that has nothing of the soldiers in it, but I hope it at least gives you the basic idea of what it means to ski blind.