Connery Lundin and Xander Guldman film with Scott Gaffney

Connery and Xander scope a line.
Connery and Xander scope a line.

In early March MSP cinematographer Scott Gaffney called up a few young guns to join him for a film shoot around Squaw. Connery Lundin, who is fresh off of winning the Freeskiing World Tour, and Xander Guldman, who was ranked 1st in 2015 by IFSA, both got the call and geared up to go shred with Scott.

They look at the mountain differently and attack it with ability beyond their years. The future sure is bright with the young guns keeping Squaw true to its rad roots. – Scott Gaffney

After hearing that, we got in touch with these guys and asked them some questions about this season and filming with Scott. Here is what they said.

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CONNERY LUNDIN

What’s up Connery? 2015 was a pretty big year for you after winning the Freeskiing World Tour, and a Sickbird award at Snowbird. Did any of that affect this season, or was 2016 business as usual?

Ticking off those two lifelong goals in the same year was inexplicably awesome. At the same time, filming and producing ski movie segments have always been at the top of my bucket list. The success I had last winter has absolutely played a huge role in turning those dreams into realities!

What have you mostly been doing this season?

This season I stepped away from the competition scene to focus on filming and skiing for myself. I’ve been filming with Powder Magazine and KGB Productions on a project highlighting the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. So far we’ve shredded in Yellowstone National Park, Yosemite National Park, and the Grand Teton National Park and it’s been incredible.

How did you and Scott Gaffney connect to go filming?

While I was in Jackson Hole I saw that Squaw Valley was forecasted to get 5+ feet of snow over the next couple days. Naturally I packed my car and sent it. I met up with JT Holmes, a super good friend and also somewhat of a mentor. He mentioned that Scott Gaffney might give me a call…I was flabbergasted. After receiving that magical phone call we ended up shredding around Squaw in semi-miserable conditions before the skies parted and it was time to break out the camera.

What were you guys filming?

The palisades had been untouched for 5 days because of the storm, so naturally we went straight to the Chimney. The energy was high and each of us nabbed variations of lines off the Palisades before heading over to Granite Peak. To finish off the day we skirted on over to Mainline Pocket, sent a few backflips and called it a day!

What was it like working with Scott? Did he give you a lot of direction, or did he just let you do your thing?

Scott’s leadership as a cinematographer blew me away. Not once was there pressure to step up to anything too big or uncomfortable. With just the right amount of direction from Scott, we’d unanimously agree on what zones to ski and when. You could really feel the synergy.

Have you participated in any gelande quaffing competitions in Jackson?

Haha, I have yet to dabble in any gelande quaffing. Competitive drinking sounds like it could end badly.

Is there any particular place you are itching to go ski?

I’d love to spend some time in the Italian Alps, specifically Courmayeur.

If you could go on a ski trip with any skier who would it be?

C.R. Johnson

Best costume to wear on closing weekend?

Birthday suit.

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XANDER GULDMAN

Hi Xander, looks like 2015 was a succesfull year for you ranking 1st in North America by IFSA! Has that result affected your season in any way?

My goals for this season changed greatly after having checked my largest one off the list last year. I was a lot less worried about winning the tour, and instead focused more on doing stuff that would make me happy and help me grow as a skier. This year wasn’t business as usual in the sense that I wasn’t as focused on my results as I have been in the past, and instead focused more on my skiing.

What have you mostly been doing this season?

December and January were mostly spent shredding around the home resort, Sugar Bowl, with the free ride team there. A few of us filmed some fun lines and shenanigans over those couple of weeks and released a little edit that’s intended to be a part of a webisode series, ShinBangers. The rest of the season I spent competing, traveling to places like Andorra for Freeride Junior World championships, Snowbird, Crystal Mountain, and Whistler, as well as staying local. The highlight of every trip is always the big group shred after the comp wraps up.

How did you and Scott connect to go filming?

Scott Facebook messaged me saying that he was interested in going out and doing some shooting with me at some point in the spring. After talking to him for a few days, he was able to tack me onto a shoot that he already had planned out with Ross and Connery just a few days after he sent me the message.

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What was it like working with or being filmed by Scott? Did he give you a lot of direction, or did he just let you do your thing?

Working with Scott was rad.  I felt lucky to be working with someone with so much experience and knowledge under his belt.  The two days flew by and the whole process was super smooth.  He let us do our thing and choose our own lines, but he always double checked to make sure we felt confident about what we were doing and made sure we had an understanding of the risks associated with each line.

Have you seen a lot of MSP movies, and if so do you have a favorite?

The very first two ski movies I ever watched were Seven Sunny Days and Claim and I’m pretty sure I’ve seen every MSP movie since then.  Claim is definitely my favorite, and I try to emulate the fun energy of that movie in my skiing every day.

If you could go on a ski trip with any skier who would it be?

There are way too many wonderful people out there to choose.

Best costume to wear on closing weekend?

Board shorts and a Hawaiian shirt.  But that goes for every day.

What is your favorite summer activity?

Whitewater rafting and kayaking trips are always the main thing I look forward to once ski season wraps up.