The Filmmaker, 35
Since he started Reel Adventure Films in 1991 (which became Matchstick Productions in '98), Steve Winter and his pals have churned out a dozen ski films—including Global Storming, Sick Sense, The Hedonist, and Fetish—and helped spur skiing's long overdue image makeover. "The industry was run by old guys in Bogners, says Winter. "But then snowboarding started taking money out of their wallets, and we were there, making movies about what we thought was cool: real skiing. In August 1997, just as the business was gaining traction, Winter was paralyzed from the waist down in a helicopter crash in the Chilean Andes. He's since rehabbed his way back to walking—and shoots most of his footage from the open door of a heli. "I don't wake up in the morning and say, 'Shit I almost died.' I wake up and hope that I can keep delivering the goods.
The Vision: "We're moving toward documentary-style movies. We need to get the general public to know these athletes. The future of ski movies is removing the attitude and showing these athletes as people—not freaks who jump off cliffs.