Fall in the Upper Peninsula signals an impending lifestyle change. It’s when Frisbees and footballs are changed out for hockey sticks, and skateboards are replaced with snowboards.
Thanks to a joint effort between Casualties Skate, Snow and Surf and Rome Snowboards, NMU students will get a chance to celebrate winter. On Tuesday Oct. 7, Rome’s latest snowboarding movie, “No Correct Way” will be premiered at 7 p.m. in Jamrich 102.
Following suit from last year’s premiere, Casualties and the NMU Skate and Snowboard Club will be promoting the event. Their promotions have been successful in the past, according to club officer and Casualties employee Mike Forester, who said they have had no trouble filling the room in the past.
“Two video premiers ago, we were second to San Diego and Sacramento in terms of attendance,” he said. “We had record numbers, and I expect no different this time.”
This year’s film is “No Correct Way,” a film put together by the Rome Snowboarding Company. Also premiering is “Double Decade” by Mack Dawg, a company Forester touts as “the biggest snowboard video production guys for the past 25 years now.”
Portions of “No Correct Way” were filmed in Marquette and the Houghton-Hancock area the local flavor should add to this year’s event,
And if the videos themselves don’t draw students in, the array of prizes may. They will range from smaller items like gloves and goggles to brand new snowboards and jackets and the grand prize of a scooter.
“It’s usually five to ten-thousand dollars worth of stuff,” said Forester.
The smaller prizes will be thrown out to the crowds, while larger prizes like jackets and snowboards will be raffled. The $3 admission includes one raffle ticket and additional tickets are $1 more.
Two years ago, the grand prize was a snowmobile. Forester said it was won by a student who didn’t snowboard, but happened to snowmobile.
And when students do see the movie, thanks to NMU alum Dustin Bollinger, they’ll notice some familiar landmarks. Having spent a summer interning for Rome Snowboards, Bollinger convinced Rome film director John Cavan that the Upper Peninsula had snowboarding opportunities worth filming.
“I was talking to John about all the stuff that we have up here,” said Bollinger, who graduated from Northern last May and currently works at Casualties. “I had shown him a bunch of pictures of the handrails that we have here in the area, and he was really excited about it, but he wasn’t really sure because we’re quite a ways away from typical snowboard spots being all the way up in the U.P..”
Bollinger said the film crew did eventually make a trip, and, according to the film’s director John Cavan, it was a positive experience.
“In January, I drove to Chicago and we filmed some stuff in the Grand Rapids area,” Cavan said. “I was about to head back, and then I noticed that it snowed a bunch up in Marquette.”
Cavan then drove to Marquette with professional rider Yan Dofin, meeting up the next day with fellow pro snowboarder Laurent Nicolas Paquin (LNP) and a photographer who flew in. They then filmed for several days in Marquette and Houghton and Hancock.
Before leaving, the riders also helped out at the Casualties snowboarding boot camp, and footage was shot of the pros and novices boarding together. Although these shots did not make the final cut of “No Correct Way,” those and other scenes filmed around Marquette will be released by Rome in October in a short web film.
Dofin and LNP are both planning to attend the premiere.
Filming for the actual movie did not take place on the usual runs at Marquette Mountain or Houghton’s Mount Bohemia, however. Careful observers will be able to spot regional locations like the roofs of Marquette Senior High School and Houghton city streets.
“For what those guys wanted to do, Marquette Mountain wasn’t going to fit what they needed. Typically when filming a movie like that, they don’t go to too many resorts,” said Bollinger. “They were more excited about going around town and finding interesting things to snowboard on.”
It is from this unorthodox style of riding that Rome’s film derives its name. Forester said the title means: “there’s no correct way to express your style, no correct way to ride a snowboard, that’s kind of their whole thing.”
Part of the reason Bollinger pushed for filming in the Upper Peninsula is to generate excitement for the snowboarding opportunities it has to offer.
“I think that it might be able to draw more outside people like the Rome guys,” he said. “I think that it might draw in some more people from the snowboard community outside of our own.”
Cavan, on the other hand, said he just hopes that the movie will get kids excited to go snowboarding. And even if kids can’t emulate the exact moves seen in the film, he hopes they will have as much fun as the film crew had.
“The biggest thing is how much fun we had just cruising around,” Cavan said. “If kids start riding down the streets of Marquette and riding down the roads when it snows and have as much fun as we did when we were there, then mission accomplished.”
Forester also said the film will allow students to prepare for the upcoming snowboarding season.
“The video kicks off the year,” he said. Three weeks after the movie premier, Ski Brule in Iron River, Mich. opens to the public, which will make it the first open snowboarding runs in the Midwest.
“I’m claiming it: This is the biggest video premiere in the Midwest,” Forester said.
Whether for the movie itself, the prizes or just the novelty of something fun to do on a Tuesday night, all students are welcomed and encouraged to attend. So gather a few friends and join in Jamrich 102 at 7 p.m. to prepare for the winter spirit.