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Before GoPro, There was Warren Miller

This month Warren Miller celebrated his 91st birthday.

Some of our customers probably have never heard of him, but if you love to watch skiing, skateboarding, surfing and sailing videos online, you largely have Miller to thank.

Though long since retired from filmmaking (he still writes and lectures), Miller annually produced at least one feature film over the course of his storied 50-year career. He directed sailing, surfing and off-road racing films, but is most renowned for his work on the mountains.  

His voice narrated the movies which were a blend of the athletic (slo-mo shots of acrobatic skiers jumping off clips), the humorous (bloopers) and the attractive (ski bunnies). Miller added his own color to the pieces, as noted in this article on the legendary filmmaker. “All the elements that fans had come to rely on year after year are there: extreme skiing, exotic locations, silly sequences, and hokey but earnest narration, peppered with the bons mots fans call Warrenisms – “Whatever resort you are at, that is the best one in the world.”

Any avid fan of Miller’s films will tell you that he set the stage for what arrived with the advent of cable television - think ESPN, the X Games and Fox Sports 2 - and eventually the Internet and specifically, YouTube.

Miller never intended to become a pioneer. He simply wanted to shine a light on the sports he loved, like skiing, and the top talents in the world who shared Miller’s passions. “And by obsessively and playfully documenting that world, and by making it all look so damn fun, he helped the sport grow,” writes Neal Thompson.

“I gradually became a storyteller,” Miller told Thompson. “I don’t know whether I became the story or the story became me. But the desire to share ‘what I did this weekend’ really became an important part of my life.”

Today, most of us have the capability to do what Miller initially set out to do – share our weekend exploits, whether on the water or on land thanks to advancements in technology. “Anyone  with a smart phone or a GoPro can film, edit and distribute their own movie for free – except of the price of lift tickets, of course,” writes Andrew Rubenstein in his piece that tackles the evolution of the ski movie, partially (and aptly) titled, “From Warren Miller to Shane McConkey To You.”

As colder weather arrives, we encourage all of our readers to channel their inner-Warren Miller and start documenting their own winter adventures. Begin with the camera and then explore our mounts, chargers and tripods that will help YOU tell YOUR STORY.

With the holidays fast-approaching, the GoPro and its accessories are the perfect gift for loved ones who have a passion for not only exploring the outdoors, but capturing high-quality images of those experiences they’ll never want to forget.  Help them find their inner Warren Miller!

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