By Doug Hare EBS Staff
Warren Miller might be skiing’s greatest ambassador. For over six decades, his films have been a harbinger of winter. So it comes as no surprise that he’s been called the “godfather of adventure sports film.” With the publication of his autobiography, “Freedom Found: My Life Story,” we now have a chance to take a closer look at the man behind the lens.
Miller grew up in Southern California during the Great Depression in a dysfunctional family; even today, at 91 years old, he still eats a peanut butter sandwich everyday. With a disarmingly candid narrative, Miller recounts how the hardship and failure of his early childhood helped develop his work ethic and value system.
It was this work ethic and these values that helped Miller go from selling $1 tickets to his first movie, “Deep and Light,” in 1950, to becoming a filmmaking mogul and universally recognized name in winter sports.
Although Miller’s personal journey closely parallels the evolution of winter activities and the birth of an industry, this isn’t just a book for skiers and snowboarders. On a deeper level, it’s a story about how a kid with a scofflaw father making a few pennies a week managed to bootstrap his passion for the outdoors into an empire. It’s a tale about adventures, mistakes, betrayals, entrepreneurship, and philanthropy.
“Freedom Found” holds an appeal even for those who don’t ski 100 days a year. His irrepressible drive is an inspiration to anyone who has struggled with life’s setbacks; his integrity as a businessman is an example for those aspiring to be successful.
The most enjoyable parts are the anecdotes. Whether he’s skiing with the best riders in the world off an active volcano or surviving a sinking ship amidst a typhoon during WWII, Miller’s vivid recollection of his odyssey from beatnik pioneer to ski icon is as enjoyable as any of his 58 films.
Doug Hare is the Distribution Coordinator for Outlaw Partners. He studied philosophy and American literature at Princeton and Harvard universities.