Canyon Critters: The Filmmakers

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The Filmmakers

Andy Gardner and Jeff Moore sleep like sailors in one room of a two-room dorm in the basement of the Peruvian Lodge, which houses guests and employees. The dorm's down at the end of a soiled hallway known as Drunk Alley. They share a room so that the rest of the space can serve as a film-editing studio. After 10 P.M., Andy and Jeff (known collectively as WaHsatch Powder Productions) are usually hunched over a pair of Mac G5s while their buddies hang out and beat on the controllers of their Xboxes. "DrunK Alley can get pretty nasty but, with all of Alta out the back door, the location couldn't be better," says Andy.

Tall and wiry with bright blue eyes and scraggly sideburns, Andy, 23, grew up in Salt Lake and skied on the Alta junior team. In 2000, he enrolled at Montana State University, in Bozeman, but only lasted a semester - bad snow year. He's been at Alta ever since, scraping wax in the Peruvian's tiny ski shop. "There's no money to be had here, but the hours are convenient, and my managers are super supportive. They help pay for some of our travel expenses and whatnot."

Jeff, also known as Surfboy, is 25 and grew up skateboarding in Orange County, California. He has a head of nappy brown curls, a SoCal stoner drawl, and a loose skiing style that works best in deep powder. After a few post-high-school seasons in Hawaii, he took a job as a line cook at the Peruvian. He sold his red '76 BMW 2002 so he and Andy could buy their first three-chip digital camera.

Last spring, at the Cold Smoke Awards, a grassroots film festival in Bozeman, Andy and Jeff debuted a trailer for their second film, tentatively titled Highway 210, and took home three awards - Best Powder Segment, Best Huck, and Best Overall Movie. "We don't just want to make another ski movie," says Andy. "We want ours to kill it."

OCTOBER 2005