OGDEN — If the weather is turning cold, it must be time for another Warren Miller winter sports movie.
Each fall since 1950, Warren Miller Entertainment has produced a feature-length film about skiing and snowboarding. This year’s offering — the company’s 69th, for those who are counting — is called “Face of Winter.” And the double meaning is fairly apparent.
Miller, who produced, directed and narrated the annual films for decades, died this past January at the age of 93. Miller hadn’t had a hand in the movies since 2004, although he continued to lend his name to them.
Still, for many who follow these cold-weather sports, Warren Miller had become the unofficial face of winter.
The Ogden premiere of this year’s film will be held at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 23-25, at Peery’s Egyptian Theater, 2415 Washington Blvd. Tickets are $21.
Salt Lake City native and resident Marcus Caston is one of the professional skiers featured in “Face of Winter.” He’ll also be on hand next week for the screenings in Ogden.
Caston says the impact of Miller on the ski industry can’t be overstated.
“‘Face of Winter’ is kind of a tribute to Warren,” Caston told the Standard-Examiner in a phone call from Portland, Ore. “He’s the iconic face of our sport.”
Miller’s death was a “big blow” to the entire ski community, according to Caston.
“He was such a big presence in the ski world; I’ve never known a world without Warren Miller,” he said.
Caston was in Portland on Friday, waiting for the world premiere of “Face of Winter” that night. Although advance copies have been available, Caston said he hadn’t seen the film yet — he prefers to see it on the big screen. So he was waiting for that night’s premiere.
But Caston also knew what to expect from the film.
“I kind of have an idea, because I was there when they shot my segment, but sometimes it ends up totally different than what you think,” he said. “It’s so many amazing skiers, and traveling to amazing places.”
Also, Caston said Miller died before “Face of Winter” was completely shot and edited, so he suspects “a lot of these segments were shot with the idea of going into it as something of a tribute.”
“I haven’t seen it, but I would expect to see a lot of old Warren Miller footage in this one,” Caston said. “He’s really the legend in all this.”
A news release from Warren Miller Entertainment confirms the film will “celebrate the man who became known as the face of winter throughout the industry, and the places and people he influenced along the way.”
The 30-year-old Caston has been skiing — and watching Warren Miller ski movies — longer than he can remember.
“Every year growing up I used to go to Warren’s movies,” he said. “It’s the official kickoff for winter for me and a lot of other skiers.”
Caston grew up skiing at Snowbird and Alta, and started racing when he was 12 years old. After high school, failing to make the U.S. Ski Team, Caston attended Westminster College in Salt Lake and earned a degree in marketing.
He happened into professional skiing strictly by accident. He was on the tram one winter day when he saw some friends shooting skiing footage. They told Carston he should try it, so he did. His skiing photos started getting published in magazines, and it snowballed from there.
Caston admits he’s lost count, but says “Face of Winter” marks his fifth or sixth appearance in a Warren Miller movie. When he’s not off at a Warren Miller shoot, the 30-year-old is running the all-summer-long Party Beach Ski Camps on the glacier at Mount Hood, Ore. Caston says he couldn’t ever have predicted he’d make it into a Warren Miller movie.
“I think as a kid you dream big, I guess,” he said. “I’d go to these movies and say, ‘One day I’ll do this.’ And maybe when you’re a kid, you believe it. I mean, I never knew I was going to do this, but I also thought it would be super cool to be in a Warren Miller movie.”
Today, Caston can’t imagine doing anything else.
“I joke about it, but it’s kind of true — I have no other skills,” he said. “I started skiing at 2 years old; I don’t remember a time I didn’t ski. I don’t honestly know what else to do.”
Caston admits he’s not getting rich as a professional skier, but then, that’s not what he’s after.
“As far as making a living goes, you’re not making baseball money, that’s for sure,” he said. “But if I was making a million dollars as a doctor, it wouldn’t change the fact that I had to get up and actually go to work, which I would not enjoy. I enjoy getting up every morning to do what I do.”
Caston’s advice to young people? Do what you love, no matter what it is.
“Whatever you love, the world is big enough and weird enough now that you can find a job doing it,” he said. “Don’t just go into finance because you think you have to. Do what you love even if you don’t have a clear path, and it will work out.”
And the best part about skiing? Caston says he’ll be able to continue the sport for decades to come, even into his old age.
“As long as the powder’s soft,” he jokes.