[Q&A] with Wiley Miller
What inspired the On Scene web series?
Ed Clem and I collectively wanted to do something . . . either a film for the fall releases or a web series. We landed on the web series cause we just don’t see it as much as the film all winter-release in fall project. Personally, I’ve always wanted to try a web series. I used to do one myself. I hosted it on my Vimeo channel. It was called Miller Time. I shot and edited it myself while filming with Teton Gravity Research (TGR) and Level 1. On Scene is kinda like that but with Ed and Sean, still trying to make it run and gun style, kinda scripted but more let’s see what happens.
You refer to Shika as an underground ninja. What made you so fascinated with his skiing?
It was his IG account. We ran into it after meeting him that day. You know how IG puts people’s profiles in front of you if mentioned their names or have been near them? Some weird app or iPhone listening or tracking thing . . . anyway, we came across it and we were like “WTF! This dude is getting some big stuff around here!” He was also on Sweet Protection already and I was able to connect him with RMU over the summer. In the end, it was a pretty easy decision to want to go try and shoot an episode with him.
In Episode 3, you were able to stick to the mountain while an avalanche passed right over you. What was going through your mind at that moment?
Things were happening fast . . . my initial thought was to move left and then point out, but I realized I couldn’t see the complexities in the terrain with all the snow pouring over it. I made a split-second decision knowing it was an 8-12 in storm slab, kinda soft, not too deep, to just bear down and try to hang on. I got really lucky and stopped right above some terrain that would have been pretty messed up to go through.
It appears that randomly meeting Shika in a parking lot has turned into a great friendship. What’s next for you and Shika? Where do you guys plan to ski together in the future?
We are hoping to get Shika down to our neck of the woods here in Montana. We just received 3 ft of snow since yesterday morning. Winter carries on here. Yeah, I’m actually gonna call him now and tell him to get packed up and hit the road . . . IT’S ON AGAIN!