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Lynsey Dyer Reveals the Creative Vision behind Pretty Faces
Posted on September 29, 2014

Tuesday night at the Boulder Theater in Colorado is the world premiere of Lynsey Dyer’s pioneering Pretty Faces effort. We’ve backed the all-women’s ski movie from the beginning, from the first creative concept through the Kickstarter campaign and the long summer season of editing, Facebook postings, and blowing off creative steam. But as the ladies launch the final edit with much anticipation, fanfare, expectations—and apparently big white balloons and a massive unicorn dance party—we wanted to hear the reasons that motivated the effort from Dyer herself. So we tracked her down for a six-question interview on the genesis of Pretty Faces. —LYA Editor

Dyer charging at Eagle Pass Heli

“In the mountains, there are no mirrors. There are no beauty magazines to judge you. It’s just you and the mountain and conquering your own fears and challenges.” —Lynsey Dyer



How did your creative work evolve into what you’re doing now as a filmmaker and a producer?

My work has evolved from print and 3D into a full movie for the first time. I’m trying to make what we feel and all the lessons that the mountains teach us accessible to more people, especially young girls and women who might not think that they have a place in the mountains. It started with a project called Pretty Faces, which is actually a reference to the mountain faces.

It’s putting a feminine touch on places that people think are so rugged or so extreme, and showing them in a way that makes them accessible and, hopefully, gives girls everywhere an opportunity to say, “Hey, I could go do that. I could get away from the beauty magazines and all the influences we have in society of trying to live up to a certain standard.

In the mountains, there are no mirrors. There are no beauty magazines to judge you. It’s just you and the mountain and conquering your own fears and challenges. And we’re trying to wrap all that into a compelling, moving, meaningful action sports film for girls.

When you set out to make the movie, why did you feel it was so personally important for you?

I remember being little and sitting with my family at Warren Miller movies, watching how the simple act of skiing powder on film could bring whole communities together. I think most of the world would ask, “Why would you go a different way? Why would you commit yourself to the mountains?”

It’s something against following the rules of society. You know: Get a good job, go work in the city so you can find a good partner, and raise a bunch of kids and live in the suburbs. The people who commit themselves to the mountains in the mountain towns are more challenged in every way. From the elements to economics, it’s hard. But there’s a reason why we do it. Every ski filmmaker has tried to capture the heart of that, to show people that they can follow their dreams and that anything’s possible.

A lot of ski films that I’ve been involved in are fairly one-dimensional. It’s how big or how rad you can go. And though that’s incredibly inspiring, I feel there’s so much more of the sport that hasn’t really been tapped into — why we really do it. We do it because there is this incredible feeling that you get with your friends in pushing yourself, in helping families communicate, and just getting fresh air and remembering who you are. I’m hoping that I can capture that and bring an even broader audience to what we love about the mountains.

Did you feel like women weren’t being represented in the ski movies that were out there?

People will say that women aren’t very well represented in action sports films and, statistically, there’s only about 7 to 13 percent right now, as opposed to the market that’s actually following them.

About 40 percent of all skiers and people who watch ski movies are female. However, there are only about nine percent of women in ski films, and that’s actually up three percent from last year, which was pretty good for a year. So it’s showing that things are really changing. However, there’s still a big need to diversify.

What I’ve found this year is that in all my interviews, girls ask: “Why aren’t there more females out there?”

I think one of the biggest things is overcoming our own doubts and fears about what we’re capable of, and if we deserve it. It doesn’t have to do with ability level. It has to do with what we decide we can do. If we can show more girls that they can follow their dreams, then I think this could be a better world.

Was there anything about the whole process of making a film that really surprised you?

One of the biggest challenges, and one of the biggest surprises that I encountered in attempting to create this thing that I’ve had in my head my whole life, is that even some of your best friends will laugh at you, will not believe in you, will talk behind your back, and so you have to be even stronger. You have to believe, more than anyone, and you will have your own doubts. I think part of my own journey with this is learning to move beyond my own doubts and move beyond others’ and to show people that we can do this, and we’re going to succeed.

I think that’s universal: whenever anyone steps out to try and do something that they believe in, they’ll encounter that. I think that’s part of the journey of really succeeding – the choosing to succeed – period.

What’s the one thing that you really want girls to take away from Pretty Faces?

The main thing that I’d hope all audiences take away – this isn’t just for girls – is that anything is possible. And it’s not a boy versus girl thing — this isn’t some feminist “rah, rah.” It’s touching on some themes that we all can relate to. The biggest one is overcoming our own doubts about what we are capable of, what we deserve, and even failure. Are we willing to try?

Pretty Faces tour dates

Author: - Monday, September 29th, 2014

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