Rob Machado Gets Psychedelic in “Fire on the Mountain”
For the first time ever action sports and the Grateful Dead are merged together in a film of eclectic style: Fire On The Mountain.
Improvisation is the silver thread that weaves this film together. Just as the Grateful Dead did not fit their music into an established category, this short film finds a cast of some of the world’s best athletes on an improvisational journey of skiing, snowboarding, surfing and music, complete with a soundtrack comprised of only Grateful Dead music.
Shot during a snow and surf road trip, the journey starts in California where the athletes embark on a mission into the mountains. Mid-film finds the cast caught in the remote waters of the North Pole followed by a psychedelic dreamscape as they appear as skeletons shredding under the moonlight at Mammoth Mountain and surfing in Indonesia. Similar to a Grateful Dead show, they start and end in the same place but each of their respective experiences is a journey of their own.
Narrated by Hall of Fame basketball player and television sportscaster, Bill Walton with music supervision by David Lemieux, audiovisual archivist and legacy manager for the Grateful Dead, Fire On The Mountain features some of action sports’ most legendary athletes: snowboarding’s Jeremy Jones, Danny Davis, Kimmy Fasani, surfing icon Rob Machado, and skiers Michelle Parker and Chris Benchetler. Captured over the course of the winter by cinematographer Tyler Hamlet the visual journey features never seen before visual effects within nature and original artwork by Benchetler and Skye Walker.
“Grateful Dead and action sports have always been kindred spirits, both celebrating life and the beauty of experimental improvisation,” says Rhino President Mark Pinkus, who also oversees Grateful Dead Properties. “After years of hearing many action sports athletes cite the Dead as their soundtrack of choice, it’s exhilarating to see these worlds come to life together on screen in Fire On The Mountain. Add in Bill Walton’s iconic voice on commentary and you have a one-of-a-kind experience, not unlike going to a Grateful Dead live show.”
Bill Walton adds, “this project is one of the coolest things that I have ever been involved with, and it validates my criteria for why I do things—people, passion, and purpose. I live on the edge, and beyond. Fire On The Mountain takes this notion to incalculable heights and spectacular places.”
The short film will be available to stream worldwide December 13th on www.dead.net/FireOnTheMountain
The soundtrack to the film is available now on all streaming music services
Fire On The Mountain is directed by Chris Benchetler and Tyler Hamlet; Executive Producers Justine Chiara, Brian Francis and Chris Benchetler; Producers Chris Benchetler and Kimmy Fasani; Co-Produced by Steve Jones, Todd Jones, and Shane Treat from Teton Gravity Research.
Prerelease screening tour dates:
November 4th: New York, NY – World of McIntosh Private screening event presented by GQ Magazine and featuring original art installation from artists Todd DiCurcio and Chris Benchetler
November 8th: New Smyrna Beach, FL Florida Surf Film festival – Short film competition Open to public and ticketed event
November 12th: New York, NY The Gramercy Theatre Screening with Teton Gravity Research film Roadless Open to public and ticketed event
November 19th – Solana Beach, CA – Belly Up Tavern Open to public and ticketed event for Rob Machado Foundation benefit concert featuring a musical performance from Bill Walton and the Electric Waste Band
November 21st – Santa Monica Pier, CA Teton Gravity Research Presents Winterland Film night – Open to public and free
November 22nd: San Diego, CA Wonderfront Music Festival – Open to public and ticketed
December 12th: Jackson Hole, WY Live Stream Screening of film and Q&A on TGR YouTube
December 14th: Mammoth Lakes, CA Mountain Nights of Lights
Fire On The Mountain Soundtrack Track List
- “BrownEyedWoman”(Live)–FromEurope‘72 2. “TheOtherOne”(Live)–FromEurope’72Vol.2 3. “NewSpeedwayBoogie”–FromWorkingman’sDead 4. “DarkStar”(Edit)–FromSteppin’OutWithTheGratefulDead:England‘72 5. “PlayingInTheBand”(Live)-FromEurope’72Vol.2 6. “FireOnTheMountain”(Live)–FromCornell5/8/77 7. “Ripple”–FromAmericanBeauty
ABOUT Grateful Dead
Grateful Dead is a social and musical phenomenon that grew into a genuine American treasure. In 1965, an entire generation was linked together by common ideals, gathering by the hundreds and thousands. This movement created a seamless connection between the band and its fans. As the band toured, Dead Heads would follow. Not because it was a part of popular culture, but because it is a true counterculture that exists to this very day-one that earnestly believes in the value of its beliefs. By 1995, Grateful Dead had attracted the most concert goers in the history of the music business, and today remain one of the all-time leaders in concert ticket sales. Eventually, the caravan evolved into a community with various artists, craftsmen and entrepreneurs supplying a growing demand for merchandise that connected them to the music. Today, the connection is as strong as ever. The band was inducted in to the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 1994 and received a Grammy® Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007. Their final tally of 2,318 total concerts remains a world record.
ABOUT Chris Benchetler
A native of California Chris Benchetler grew up skiing at Mammoth Mountain. By virtue of his surroundings and peers he was heavily influenced by snowboarding and art, which seemed to shape him into one of the more stylish skiers in the industry. Caring more about how a ski turns and glides through the snow, led Chris into designing and developing his own pro model ski with Atomic; The Bent Chetler, which has been a leading ski for the past decade. Chris has built his career by filming segments chasing his true passion; deep snow and creativity.
Between creating the GoPro Series ‘Chasing El Nino’ and followed by the series ‘Chasing AdVANture’ along with multiple other edits for GoPro’s channels, he has been featured in films with Nimbus Independent, Teton Gravity Research, Sweet Grass Productions, Warren Miller, MSP and Poorboyz Productions.