Ski Filmmaker Warren Miller Dies, Began Career In Sun Valley

Jan 26, 2018

Filmmaker Warren Miller died on January 24, 2018, at age 93 at his home on an island in Puget Sound. He made his name in Sun Valley, Idaho, as the master-creator of ski films and as a pioneer of sports movie-making. 

Zach Crist of Sun Valley appeared in a half-dozen Warren Miller films, back when Crist was one of the country’s top skiers. He spent eight years on the U.S. National Team, competing in World Cup events, as well as three X-Games medals: gold, silver and bronze.

Crist explained how Miller arrived in Sun Valley at age 22 and set up in a small trailer in the resort’s parking lot and began filming in the late 1940s.

"Sun Valley was the pulse of winter sports at the time," said Crist. "So he came here and fell in love with the sport and started documenting it. Think about that for a second, on how he was the original action sports filmmaker."

At a time now when average skiers have portable Go Pro cameras strapped to their helmets, Miller was capturing amazing freestyle tricks, especially with his break-out films from the 1980s. When Crist is asked about his favorite time with Miller, he doesn’t point to any film appearances, but to "being backstage with Warren talking about the sport and life."

"The highlights for me," recalled Crist, "were being around him and just listening to his commentary. He was just an upstanding character, who brought a lot of dreams to a lot of kids’ minds, including myself."

Miller directed and produced more than 70 films featuring skiers and snowboarders in Idaho and on mountains across the world.

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