Level 1 Productions dropped the trailer for their new film, "Sunny," which will premiere on Sept. 8 in Denver, Colo. The film features a host of freeskiing's top athletes: Tom Wallisch, Ahmet Dadali, Will Wesson, Torin Yater-Wallace, Parker White, Chris Logan, Mike Hornbeck, Wiley Miller, LJ Strenio, Tanner Rainville, and more. Despite last winter's relatively dismal snow conditions, the crew found the goods by traveling to places like Idaho, Colorado, Alaska, Arizona, Washington, British Columbia and overseas to Austria, Switzerland, Finland, Japan, Sweden and beyond. ESPN.com caught up with director Josh Berman for more on what to expect from his thirteenth film in as many years.
ESPN.com: There's literally a night and day difference between the trailer we saw at this time last year for "After Dark" and the new "Sunny" trailer you dropped yesterday. What did you set out to do differently heading into this year's project?
Berman: Last year's concept was entirely different from anything we'd done in the past and we went in looking to make a very stylized film that would be a real creative departure for us. This year the focus was on really going back to why we all do all of this in the first place: skiing is fun and ski filmmaking is fun.
Are there specific people in this year's film who you hadn't shot with before and who really stood out?
One of the most interesting additions to this year's crew was Eric Pollard. We've all been huge fans of what he's been doing with his skiing and his approach and his style, so we jumped at the chance to work with him. He was able to get on a couple of trips with us, and we also have a lot of the filming he did on his own with the Nimbus crew. We were able to take all of that content and put it together into what I think is going to be his best stand-alone segment in years.
What was the most surprising place you got to this season?
I spent most of March in Alaska, which wouldn't be surprising except that I was actually shooting urban, not in the mountains. I was kicking myself for the duration of the two trips that I was there because AK had a banner year at all the traditional big-mountain venues and conditions were just going off. But these were two trips that really needed to happen with some of the urban jibber kids, and Alaska was the only place anywhere that had snow in the city at that point in the season so we really didn't have much of a choice to go anywhere else.
Where are you in the editing process?
At this point in the process I'd say we have 20 percent of the film edited and 80 percent left to go, so there's lots and lots of work still left. Year in and year out we are running up to that world premiere date as our deadline, one way or the other. Last year was the second year in a row that I hadn't even watched the final edit of the film from start to finish until we pressed play at the actual premiere.
Those Denver parties have gotten to be pretty over-the-top affairs.
They've really taken on a life of their own. When we first sold out the Bluebird Theater five years ago, I showed up late and was shocked to see a line around the block. I'd been stressed thinking we weren't going to get enough people in the door to pay for the projector and venue rental, and, lo and behold, here's this huge line. Now we've had to look for bigger and bigger venues. I guess over the years our reputation for throwing a good premiere party has preceded itself and created this environment where now our fans know what's up.