The Little Things is not your typical powder shredding snowboard movie. In addition to featuring professional snowboarder, Marie-France Roy, and a cast full of environmentally-conscious pro riders all shot in epic locations, it’s woven together in a series of emotionally powerful vignettes that reveal how we can all help save the planet in small ways every day. We spoke with filmmaker Darcy Turenne after its premier in Montreal to get her take on what she learned in the process of shooting the non-profit project (all proceeds go directly to Protect Our Winters and the David Suzuki Foundation).
Johnathon Allen: What inspired the making of The Little Things Movie … where did it all begin?
Darcy Turenne: Pro snowboarder Marie-France Roy had been thinking about doing a movie for a while. But she wanted the film to have a strong environmental message and involve riders who are doing great environmental work and living their lives uniquely. So one day she gave me a call to see if I could make the movie and I said ‘yes!’ It was that easy.
JA: How long did it take and where was it filmed?
DT: The film took about two and a half years from conception to finish. It was filmed mostly around British Columbia—Whistler, Golden, Terrace—but we were given shots of some of the riders in many different locations. One of our main goals was to fly as little as possible while making this film, and we accomplished that by only taking one plane ride to go to Tahoe to interview Jeremy Jones. Staying local really made me appreciate my surroundings more.
JA: Given your background in skiing, environmental studies, and filmmaking—this project seems like a perfect fit for you. Is that by design or was it more of a happy accident?
DT: My background suiting this film was definitely the reason that Marie called me in the first place. She knew it would be the perfect thing for me to unleash my creativity on and still have a solid perspective of what needed to be done without straying too far from the message.
JA: Was there one moment in particular where it all came together for you? Where everything just clicked and you knew it was going to be great?
DT: I’m not sure that moment has even happened yet! Haha. I guess after our hometown premiere in Whistler I felt some sense of relief and pride, but I’ve been invested so deeply in the project that it is hard to have any perspective beyond my own intuition as to what is “good” or not! That’s what happens when you spend months alone in an edit cave.
JA: Do you have a favorite segment in the film?
DT: My favorite segment is Meghann O’Brien’s. We spent several weeks living with her in Prince Rupert, BC, and did a really fun hut trip together. She shares a lot of wisdom in her segment and it was such a challenge editing it down to a manageable segment length because everything that comes out of her mouth is profoundly beautiful! She has so much spirit and it really shows on screen.
JA: The movie’s theme draws on some deep wisdom and philosophy. What’s the most profound thing you learned in the process of making it?
DT: I learned a lot of things in the process of making this film, but more importantly, every rider I worked with inspired me to be a better person and live a better life in some small way. They are all very inspirational humans. Live simply, move slowly, enjoy it all.
JA: What’s the one thing you most want people to take away from the movie?
DT: I want them to leave inspired to challenge the status quo and make their lives more meaningful.
By: Johnathon Allen
– Photo by Marie France Roy