The Fourth Phase: Review

Over hundred people were spotted crowding into the upper level of Exeter’s Hole in The Wall this Sunday evening for a spot of late summer apres courtesy of Redbull. Familiar faces from the university Snowsports and Surf club amongst others mingled together civilly; that was until the food came out. Quickly, the drinks which had been sat around rippling full Jurassic Park style to the DJ’s bass were leached from their vessels to wash down the pizza, nachos and more bags of popcorn that even the biggest fiend could possibly go through in a life time.
The Occasion was the latest film from Travis Rice (world famous snowboarder) and friends creators of the ‘Art of Flight’ all brought to us by Redbull TV.
When it was time for the film to start, rears tactically clad themselves in sofa, beanbag or the occasional deck chair making sure to stay within sight of the screen and reach of the snacks.
The first thing that struck me about the film was its ambitiousness of what it was portraying. It visited different continents in pursuing low pressure fronts of the North Pacific Gyre. This nomadic way of travelling, boarding and indeed shooting requires a mammoth amount of time and resources and with them me the pressure and frustration endured by the cast and crew alike.


But was it worth it? In short, yes, absolutely. This is a visual film first and foremost, it is in every way a celebration of the aesthetic of snowboarding. The cinematography headed up by Greg Wheeler (see also The Art of Flight) was the epicentre of focus certainly for me and those I spoke to. Nothing, not the music (though close) nor the interviews or voiceover could assemblage to match the visuals. For me The Fourth Phase smashed the fourth wall. I don’t mean in its self-awareness, but a quick scan of the audience revealed that they, like me felt the heights, the speeds, the crashes; you’re simply put there. With the mixture of personal GoPro, helicopter and standard handheld footage there was a diverse range of shots which were edited in a fairly flawless fashion, giving time to the long range summit descents but with plenty of fast cuts of close up technical performances. The short scene shot at night with artificial lighting was by far my favourite. Interlaced, rather welcomingly amongst the stunts, were scenes of down time, from hospitals to helicopters, cabins to planes. I felt this brought a really nice human element to individuals who appear – when on the slopes – to be anything but.


So there we were, bellies full, tongues moistened, minds blown, the 90 minutes of shear snow porn flew by and we were then left with the rest of the evening, crumbs and beats. One could not help when treading between it all, bathed in a warm fairy lit half-light, that Redbull do these things well.
“It was amazing to see the strong turnout for ‘The Fourth Phase’ screening at Hole in the Wall… It was really cool being able to transform the room for comfortable viewing, have plenty of snacks to hand and some chilled vibes. Shout out to Pro Sound and Light for the screening equipment and Hole in the Wall for having us!” – (Adam Bayfield, Redbull student brand manager).
Ditto! Huge thank from us at Exetera Magazine to Redbull for inviting us and likewise for Hole in The Wall for hosting it.