Never Summer (teaser)
The filmmaker follows the story of the seven original members of a Korean-American Snowboard Organization in the United States for 6 years, capturing their devotion for the sport and community. This sports club has been a homelike community for over 6,000 Korean-American members to find heritage and identity since 2003. Recently, the organization is in a great struggle to preserve their existence, threaten by a conflict between the elected officials and the founders over a club policy amendment. Now, on the verge of this crisis, the members are putting everlasting effort to run and preserve their safe haven, Never Summer.
Director of Photography: Danny Yoon, James Bang
Stock footage contribution: KASO members
Art Director: Stella Min
DIT: Mark Kim
Editor: Mee Yeon Han, Stan Min
CAST & CREW
Writer, Director: James Bang
Producers: Stella Min, James Bang & Minji Kang
Projected Runtime: 1:30 minutes
Shooting Format: HD
Kio, Dreamy, Thumb, Dolbae, David, Kay, Dakbo, Torri + Members of Never Summer
This documentary tells the story of Never Summer and its members. Having over 6,000 Korean-American registered snowboarders, it is the biggest riders organization in the United States. The club has become a community for its members where they get to find their heritage and identity for the past 16 years. The storyline follows the ups and downs and challenges they face as an organization. The seven original members’ perspective in life, identity and friendship are documented over the course of 6 years, documenting their devoted passion for the sport, community, and heritage.
It's 5:30 AM, a cold Saturday morning at a Dunkin Donuts off Route 46 in New Jersey. The members of Never Summer gather to travel to Belleayre resort in Catskills, NY. Hot pink, bright yellow, neon green, their colorful snowboarding outfits have been their fashion statement since the beginning and it's no different today. Forty-plus colorful snowboarders are excited and looking forward to a day in the mountains.
Every member makes an effort to invest time on oneself. A father of two teenagers, who has a full-time job, carves out a Saturday every two weeks to come and snowboard with the group. A salesman, working 6 days a week, comes to snowboard on his only day off. An investment banker, working 50+ hours a week, hasn't missed a Saturday. There must be a great reason to get up before dawn on Saturday mornings for this hard working New Yorkers.
Why do they ride? What are the reasons for choosing this daring sport? The characters in this documentary reveal their desire to ride consistently, the reason why they love to ride with the group and what they get out of this sport and the community. The storyline explores and how the snowboarding helps to rejuvenate their spirits. The conflict in this storylines is the sacrifices they have to make to go ride, as well as the injury that comes from constantly pushing the boundaries of this daring sports.
Snowboarding is an individual sport, but not for the warriors of Never Summer. It's a team sport. As the sun rises, 14 cars travel in unison through the highways. They stop at rest areas together; then the journey continues until they reach the destination. They gear up together at the parking lot. Once ready, they move as a unit. They all meet at the summit for the first run. This is one of their biggest rituals. They ride the longest and the easiest trail together. Over the years, they have mastered a way to ride together. Regardless of their riding skills, there is a high dosage of adrenaline pumping in their veins, floating in pure and positive energy – an inexplicable rush. They feed on each other vibes as forty or so comrades carve down the mountain as one. What united them is not just snowboarding, but their Korean heritage, their determination to balance life with activities that help rejuvenate their spirits.
Their occupation, age, social status, political and religious point of views, which defines them are set aside, and they accept each other as brothers and sisters. They have an active fellowship on and off the mountain. And on paper, they have nothing in common except for their Heritage. This club is a Korean-American Snowboard Organization, and the majority of its members have Korean-Americans. Thus the third storyline explores the fellowship, the community, and the identity that gets formed by riding with the Never Summer.
Never Summer is at crisis entering their 17th season, The current (3rd) elected officials made amends to the organization's policies, moving away from one of the core values, family. The founders have always strive to create a family atmosphere, but the current officials are moving away from this value, due to the demand of its newer members. Now, as the 3rd elected officials' term is coming to an end, there isn’t anybody who wants to run/take over the club, due to the current political climate at the leadership level. Now, as Never Summer days are numbered, members are putting everlasting efforts to preserve the organization that has provide so much to the community.