Tough Guy Productions--
Running time: 47 minutes
Fall, 2004-- The
fourth video in the Total Telemark series, Incognito is easily
the best of the bunch...by a mile. The format is familiar, a
long list of some of the hottest tele skiers in North America--more
than 30 in fact--rip it up in various segments, individually
and in groups, all to a fun and varied soundtrack. What sets
Incognito apart from the past efforts though is the awesome powder.
There's tons of sweet fluff, captured on video, while the TGP
crew was out filming last year in Alaska, Norway, China, Russia
and other locations in the U.S. and Canada.
The pacing and structure
of Incognito is also totally different from what we have seen
in the past in any freeheel flick: gone are the interminable
and uninterrupted rail and park scenes. Don't get me wrong, producer/director
Nat Ross includes plenty of this fun stuff in his latest effort,
but in Incognito they serve to punctuate the big mountain and
powder action rather than dominate the film. Ross accomplishes
this by, for the most part, sprinkling the park stuff throughout
much of the video in small doses, rather than concentrating a
couple of dozen rail slides and park airs in long, multiple segments.
Its a strategy that works very well in this new film. The big
line, tele turn and powder stoke stays strong from beginning
Incognito also benefits
from a diverse cast of freeheel athletes, most all of whom simply
kill it, demonstrating one of the more attractive aspects of
tele skiing, that is the diversity in styles and approach that
make our sport so unique. There are the familiar names: Max
Mancini, Lorenzo Worster, Ben Dolenc, Luke Miller, Steve Leeder,
Kasha Rigby, Taiga Young, Heather Paul and Sarah Clemenson, among
others. And Incognito also features a strong cast of up and coming,
less famous, but very talented tele skiers such as Cody Smith,
Eron Turnispeed, Andrew Still-Baxter and Mark Tieszen. The newest
generation of freeheel rippers also get some significant screen
time. Teenage tele-er Rayce Singer is seen spinnin' and grinnin'
his way to early stardom in some of the more charming Incognito
Then there are the Powderwhores.
Those of you who have seen these guys in action recently on our
TeleVision page and have been interested in viewing the 'whores
in full DVD glory should be stoked to learn that Andy Jacobson,
Joe Cooley, Rob Nachtwey, Andy Rosenberg and Noah Howell, have
a nearly 4 minute appearance in the film, showcasing some of
the best action from their award winning film seen here on Telemarktips,
as well as some new footage. It's a segment that could have easily
been twice as long, or more.
With a fun soundtrack featuring
bands and recording artists from many different genres, Incognito
keeps the viewer engaged sonically as well as visually. Modest
Mouse, Billy Idol, Death Cab for Cutie, Blondie (yes, Blondie!),
Madness, WookieFoot, the Beastie Boys, even Journey, and more,
keep things aurally interesting all the way through.
Thankfully there isn't
a single song that sticks out as being annoyingly out of place
or way grating, as was the case with that really terrible death
metal that was laid over Steve Leeder's segment in last year's
In addition to the 47 minute
feature film, the DVD also includes nearly 45 minutes of what
TGP calls "Snip-Its," a series of ten really cool and
fun mini-feature videos. At $29.95 the Incognito DVD from Tough
Guy Productions delivers a lot of bang for the buck.
Conclusion: Two tips
enthusiastically way up. The
quality of Nat Ross' Incognito came as a big surprise to us.
Quite frankly we've never been huge fans of the TGP videos, so
it was kind of a shock to see how far Nat and company have come
as filmmakers. Incognito simply blows the doors off of TGP's
previous efforts, and more than that, in our opinion, it stands
on its own as one of the better freeheel films. If you throw
down for just a single tele video during the 04/05 season, this
should be the one.
Incognito is a reflection
of the passion and work ethic of its producer/ director, as such
it succeeds on many levels. At once inspiring, and entertaining
as well as eye opening, it would
make a nice addition to any ski video collection.