Based in Crested Butte, Colorado, Matchstick Productions was founded in 1992 by Steve Winter in partnership with Murray Wais. MSP brings you – the fans – the most intense and exciting ski films year after year by traveling all over the world in search of the deepest pow and steepest lines. Our annual film tour brings the stoke to over 200 locations worldwide, and MSP is the most award-winning ski film company in history with eight “Movie of the Year” awards, “Best Documentary” award, three Emmy nominations for outstanding camerawork, “Viewers’ Choice” runner-up at Tribeca Film Festival, and countless honors for editing and cinematography.
MSP’s work has been featured across every modern distribution medium, including high-profile appearances on “Good Morning America,” “60 Minutes,” and other mainstream TV programs. Our extensive client list includes production assignments for global brands like Red Bull, Subaru, Swatch, Bud Light, and American Express.
MSP tells the stories behind the adventures that most of us could only hope to live. There is always another adventure to be had in the mountains, on sea, or in the air – and MSP’s experienced and innovative team will be there to weave the plot and the action into a compelling narrative for any audience.
Matchstick Productions (MSP) is the brainchild of Steve Winter, who in 1991 invited his friend Murray Wais to join him in launching a film company. Today, MSP is not only the world’s most awarded ski film brand but extends its services outside the ski scene as a fully equipped production boutique. The Washington State native while in line to pay his tuition at the Seattle Art Institute Film School, instead walked out and spent the tuition to finance his first film project. He’s been making films ever since.
As a partner and executive producer, Winter has led MSP to produce more than 25 films, over 120 TV episodes, three series and numerous commercials, garnering six Sports Emmy nominations.
Murray was born in Seattle and developed an undying passion for skiing in the deep corners of the Cascades. As a partner in MSP for over 20 years Murray has traveled and shot skiing nearly everywhere there are mountains. It’s true that falling snow haunts his waking thoughts. A Colorado transplant and proud father, Murray’s entrepreneurial spirit thrives in running not only a successful production company but a global distribution company as well. Despite the hype and the corporate speak, his true love of life is the natural world and the joy that having fun outdoors brings. Murray considers it a great honor and a life long accomplishment to work side by side with some of the most talented crews in the world.
After graduating from Ithaca College, Scott headed west – first to Colorado where he would meet and start filming longtime friend Shane McConkey (pictured here) then ultimately to Squaw Valley, California. Scott has been a partner with MSP since 1996. When we asked him to write a bio for the website he simply sent “Scott Gaffney is one bad ass mother fucker,” and we would have to agree. Scott knows more about ski movies than perhaps anyone else in the world. His ultimate passion for the sport of skiing, combined with his camera skills and editing capabilities, has led Scott to become a renowned legend in the ski film world. Together with MSP, Scott has helped to produce, shoot, and edit over 100 TV episodes and nearly 20 feature-length movies.
Mike Hans, or “Hansee” among friends and colleagues, originates from the cold, dark woods of Maine. Following turns in different locales between Oregon, New York, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada, Hansee finally established roots with MSP in Crested Butte. His dual titles as Producer and Director of Operations keep him on his toes throughout the year, and on any given day his desk is the mission control center for MSP’s operations in the field – helping to develop new avenues for production, keeping contact with athletes, maintaining relationships with sponsors, and much more. And while he hasn’t been with Matchstick since its inception by founders Murray Wais and Steve Winter, Hansee has been an integral part of the team since he was first hired to travel across North America during the film tour for “Focused” back in 2003.
Eben is a designer, artist, husband and father. He is the creative marketing and design guy here at Matchstick. Wearing a lot of hats is nothing new for Eben. Working as event staff, photographer and art director in action sports for the last 16 years has been the perfect setup to be a part of the MSP team.
He has previously worked with many clients to expand their brands and create unique visual styles. That means that along with his creative direction and team management he is responsible for making everything look good.
When he has time to get away from the office, you can find him skiing, biking, camping and spending time with his family. He is originally from New Hampshire and moved to Colorado seeking the opportunities that come along with the Rocky Mountains.
Jason grew up in the small town of Hurley, NY surrounded by cornfields and the mighty Catskill mountains. He spent his early days skipping school to go skiing at Hunter Mountain and dreaming of one day traveling the world filming professional skiers. After acquiring a degree in Communications & Visual Effects, he made the move to Silverton, CO where he worked at Silverton Mountain Ski Area as a videographer, ski patroller, and guide. When MSP rolled through town in 2011 looking for some help, he was more then willing hop in and help out. He enjoys stunts, jokes, jumping out of airplanes, and a nice pair of slacks.
“One of my biggest inspirations growing up was watching Matchstick films, especially Shane McConkey’s segments. Being part of the ‘McConkey’ movie was a huge honor for me and even though I never had the chance to meet Shane, being part of the movie was the next best thing because I felt as if I got to know him through his family, friends, and all the awesome footage he collected over the years. Thanks MSP and Shane for the inspiration!”
Mikey Curran was raised in the suburbs of Chicago. At the age of 12 he learned to ski on the trash dumps and hills that were available. Migrating west for college, Mikey attended Western State University. Western’s close proximity to Crested Butte helped fuel his passion for skiing and filming. Skipping class to ski and film with his friends inevitably slowed the traditional education process for him. However, in 2013 Mikey graduated with a degree in business and resort management. his addiction for skiing and filming has kept him in Crested Butte.
Ben hails from the coast of Maine where he spent much of his time on the ocean and in the woods. Skiing the mountains of Maine and New Hampshire through high school and college provided an icey base for Ben to develop his love for skiing, but like many New Englanders, it left him craving more. Following in the footsteps of his brother who taught him to ski, Ben sought the last great American dream, the life of a ski bum. After finally settling down in Crested Butte, Ben snuck in through MSP’s back door and never left. Ben stays busy working and producing film shoots, producing the film tour and developing business relationships. Ben’s love of the outdoors keeps him in Crested Butte and forever stoked to be a part of Matchstick.