Tony Harrington likes things big. Not Big Banana big. Really big.
For over 25 years, Harro has shot the biggest waves, the biggest conflicts and the biggest mountains in the world. He’s also created and runs one of the biggest snow riding events in the Carlton Dry World Heli Challenge which pits riders against each other to find out who is the best all rounder in a heli based competition. His movie Snow Collective uses the World Heli Challenge as the backdrop for some huge rides, jaw dropping scenery and interesting insights from the worlds greatest freeriders.
The Carlton Dry Snow Collective is the first of a trilogy and if this film is any indication of what’s to come, we’ve got some mind blowing experiences ahead of us. The story of these riders coming together and pushing each other to the limit makes for awesome viewing. If you need any kind of inspiration to crawl out from under your doona and run to the mountains, this is it. The movie is shot in iconic locations around the globe including Alaska, France, Japan and New Zealand, and the terrain covered is both impressive and terrifying.
The lines these guys choose to get to the bottom had people at our screening hooting. As one of the competitors says “It is so easy to lose your shit”.
The next screening is at the Steyne Hotel in Manly on this Thursday June 14th, and it’s FREE. More screenings around Australia are to follow. Check out the dates here.
After the movie, Harro and I sat down for a fireside chat.
What makes for a good snow movie?
A good snow movie has to have a story. There are many great snow films out there but for whatever reason a lot of them lack vitality of a having a rich story line. That something that we have in our sights for the trilogy of the Snow Collective. The current movie touches on this and we are excited about starting the filming of the second one for release next year which will up the ante again.
What do you dream for the future of the World Heli Challenge?
My dream is to have a title sponsor who embraces the event as much as the athletes who have been part of it and made it is what it is today. The athletes set benchmarks in performance and the staking out of the boundaries of the sport. Now the event is established, we are adding exciting sub events including an annual movie and international tour, we are going to continue to build on the Showcase Awards night with a live webcast, making a bigger feature of the “Shootout” between photographers and the filmmakers, further developing the Young Gun program and we are working on a northern hemisphere sister event. We will get there, one way or another.
And really….who should win? The skier or the snowboarder?
The best athlete should be the one who blows the minds of their peers in skiing and boarding during the event. The World Heli Challenge has pioneered so many aspects of competitive free riding that it’s not funny. People may laugh this concept off at first, but the sport will embrace it in time. It simply takes everything to a whole new level. In reality this competition will get really serious when there’s good prize money, until then we will just chip, chip and chip away at creating a grander profile that will turn the vision into a reality.
To see more of Harro’s work both in the waves and on the mountains check out www.harroart.com