Warren Miller (director)

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Warren Miller
Born(1924-10-15)October 15, 1924
Los Angeles, California, US
DiedJanuary 24, 2018(2018-01-24) (aged 93)
Orcas Island, Washington, US
NationalityAmerican
OccupationSkier, film producer and director
Years active1950–2004
Known forSkiing films, Warren Miller Entertainment

Warren A. Miller (October 15, 1924 – January 24, 2018) was an American ski and snowboarding filmmaker.[1] He was the founder of Warren Miller Entertainment and produced, directed and narrated films until 1988. His published works include over 750 sports films, several books and hundreds of non-fiction articles.[2]

Biography[edit]

Early years[edit]

Warren Anthony Miller was born in Hollywood, Los Angeles, to Helena Humphrey Miller and Albert Lincoln Miller. He had two older sisters, Mary Helen Miller and Betty Jane "BJ" Miller.[3]

As a young man he took up the hobbies of skiing, surfing, and photography. At the age of 18, with the U.S. ten months into World War II, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served in the South Pacific.[4] On Christmas vacation in 1944 he first filmed skiing with a borrowed camera in Yosemite.[5]

Upon his discharge from the Navy in 1946, Miller bought his first 8mm movie camera. He and a friend, Ward Baker, moved to Sun Valley, Idaho where they lived in a teardrop trailer in the parking lot of the Sun Valley ski resort, and worked as ski instructors.[4] In their free time, they filmed each other skiing to critique and improve their ski techniques. During the summers they shifted to the California coast where they filmed each other surfing.[6]

Later work[edit]

After Miller showed his skiing and surfing films to friends, with accompanying commentary, he began to receive invitations to show and narrate them at parties. In 1949, he founded Warren Miller Entertainment [WME] and began producing one feature-length ski film per year. He borrowed money to rent halls and theaters, and charged admission to his shows. He booked show halls near ski resorts so that he could film the next year's footage during the day, and show the current film in the evening. Before long he was showing his films in 130 cities a year.[7]

Miller continued to head Warren Miller Entertainment until the late 1980s when he sold the company to his son, Kurt Miller. Kurt later sold the company to Time, Inc., which sold it in 2007 to Bonnier Corporation, which was itself acquired by Active Interest Media in 2013.[8] The company still produces a new film every year, but Miller himself has not been actively involved since 2004.[citation needed]

While transitioning out of his executive role, Miller still maintained his creative role as director and narrator for the films into the 1990s. The makers of later films, including Warren Miller's Higher Ground (2005) and Warren Miller's Off the Grid (2006), used Miller's narration from previous films rather than recording new narration.[9][10]

In late 2010, Miller presented 'An Evening with Warren Miller' to two sold-out audiences at Seattle's Benaroya Hall.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Miller and his wife of 30 years, Laurie, lived on Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands north of Seattle.

In September 2016, Miller self-published his autobiography, Freedom Found: My Life Story.[citation needed] Andy Bigford, former editor-in-chief and publisher of Ski Magazine, co-authored the book, and Miller's wife contributed as well. After a sold out first printing, a second printing was released in December 2017.[citation needed]

Miller died January 24, 2018, at his home on Orcas Island.[2]

Filmography[edit]

# Year Title
1 1950 Deep And Light
2 1951 California Skis
3 1952 Wandering Skis
4 1953 Ski Fantasy
5 1954 Symphony On Skis
6 1955 Invitation To Skiing
7 1956 Have Skis, Will Travel
8 1957 Anyone For Skiing?
9 1958 Are Your Skis On Straight?
10 1959 Let's Go Skiing
11 1960 Swinging Skis
12 1961 Many Moods Of Skiing
13 1962 Around The World On Skis
14 1963 The Sound Of Skiing
15 1964 The Skiers
16 1965 The Big Ski Show
17 1966 Ski On The Wild Side
18 1967 The Ski Scene
19 1968 No Boundaries
20 1969 This Is Skiing
21 1970 Sound Of Winter
22 1971 Any Snow, Any Mountain
23 1972 Winter People
24 1973 Skiing's Great
25 1974 The Color Of Skiing
26 1975 There Comes A Time
27 1976 Skiing On My Mind
28 1977 In Search Of Skiing
29 1978 Ski A La Carte
30 1979 Winter Fever
31 1980 Ski People
32 1981 Ski In The Sun
33 1982 Snowonder
34 1983 Ski Time
35 1984 Ski Country
36 1985 Steep And Deep
37 1986 Beyond The Edge
38 1987 White Winter Heat
39 1988 Escape To Ski
40 1989 White Magic
41 1990 Extreme Winter
42 1991 Born To Ski
43 1992 Steeper And Deeper
44 1993 Black Diamond Rush
45 1994 Vertical Reality
46 1995 Endless Winter
47 1996 Snowriders
48 1997 Snowriders 2
49 1998 Freeriders
50 1999 Fifty
51 2000 Ride
52 2001 Cold Fusion
53 2002 Storm
54 2003 Journey
55 2004 Impact

Movies released since 2004, while bearing Warren Miller's name, were not directed by Warren Miller, nor was he involved in their production in any way. See the complete list for all films bearing Warren Miller's name.

Bibliography[edit]

  • On Film in Print (1994) Vail, CO: Ritem and Printem ISBN 978-0963614414
  • Lurching from One Near Disaster to the Next (1998) Deer Harbor, WA: Pole Pass Pub. ISBN 978-0963614421
  • Wine, Women, Warren, & Skis, (2001) Warren Miller Productions; 14th edition; ISBN 978-0963614407
  • Warren's World, (2002) Mountain Sports Press, ISBN 978-0967674780
  • "The Good New Days" Ski (Jan 2004) Vol 68 #5:152
  • "A Taste of Freedom" The Ski Journal (2010) vol 4.2 ISSN 1935-3219
  • Bigford, Andy and Miller, Warren (2016) Freedom Found: My Life Story Warren Miller Company ISBN 9780963614469

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Warren Miller". U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame and Museum. U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame. n.d. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Judd, Ron (January 25, 2018). "Pioneering, Inspiring Snow-Sports Filmmaker Warren Miller, 93, Dies at Orcas Island Home". The Seattle Times. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  3. ^ Bigford and Miller (2016). Freedom Found: My Life Story. Warren Miller Company. ISBN 0963614460.
  4. ^ a b "Whistler remembers filmmaking legend ". Pique Magazine, By Joel Barde. February 01, 2018
  5. ^ Miller, Warren (2012) "Warren's World", The Ski Journal Vol 6 #3:22, theskijournal.com; accessed February 3, 2018.
  6. ^ Lund, Morten (March 2004) Warren Miller profile, Skiing Heritage Vol 16 #1:8-14
  7. ^ Fry, John (2010) The Story of Modern Skiing Hanover: University Press of New England ISBN 978-1584658962 pg 278-280
  8. ^ Blevins, Jason (2013) "The Balance Sheet", The Denver Post; retrieved June 3, 2014.
  9. ^ "Warren Miller’s Off the Grid: The world’s largest winter sports movie announces 2006 U.S. tour", Skinet.net; retrieved August 19, 2007.
  10. ^ "Warren Miller's Higher Ground", PR Newswire, 2005-08-31, via highbeam.com; retrieved August 19, 2007. Archived May 16, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ Thompson, Neal (2011) "Ski Movie Mogul Warren Miller Refuses to Go Downhill" Seattle Met; retrieved August 6, 2018

External links[edit]