Ben Ferguson’s Fleeting Time Delivers

Is it too early to call it a classic?

It had been a minute since there was a proper movie premiere in Southern California, and with the anticipation surrounding what Ben Ferguson and Homestead Collective had been up to for the past two years, Fleeting Time was the perfect video to let things loose again in North County San Diego.

Over the past two winters, Ben Ferguson had teamed up with Aaron Blatt and Ryan Runke of Homestead Collective, as well as Red Bull Media House, to make Fleeting Time. There had been plenty of buzz around the movie over the past two years, but other than the trailer which had dropped in September, the crew had kept everything all buttoned up (not an easy task, especially for two winters). Considering the loaded roster of riders and cinematographers that were involved in the project, now that the movie was finally premiering, the level of excitement was first big storm of the season high—or actually, higher.

So on Saturday, October 8th, the entirety of the snowboard industry in Southern California, plus a ton of out-of-town visitors, descended on La Paloma Theater in Encinitas. A big portion of the Fleeting Time roster was in town, too, just a week out from the world premiere in Bend. Ben, Gabe, Jared, Danny, Mark, Hailey, and Brock, along with producer Runke and co-director and producer Blatt, filmer and assistant editor Malachi Gerard, and director of photography Justin Eeles. Everyone streamed into the theater for a packed 7pm showing. No spoilers here; the movie’s so good and we don’t want to ruin your first watch.

Fleeting Time starts in a thoughtful high gear and stays that way for forty minutes. The opening credits of the movie are a gut check: the pitfalls and hazards of the mountains—injury, ragdolling, avalanche—cut with the moments that draw us out there despite possible danger. All set to a ticking clock. The dedication is clear. The tone is set right away. Fleeting Time is full on.

Ben Ferguson is the nucleus of the project, both on screen and behind the scenes as co-director, and his snowboarding sensibility drives the movie (though he’s the first to credit all of his friends alongside him who bring their style and abilities to the project to make it what it is). Overall, Fleeting Time is a movie of the moment, a crescendo of the current state of snowboarding, specifically in the backcountry, that features some of the most talented, easy-styled, and innovative riders setting the pace for what’s to come. But equally important, Fleeting Time also pays homage to the canon of films that have influenced its existence through its music, its style, and its pacing. (Leonard Cohen, Samiam, and The Melvins are all on the soundtrack, vetted by Ben to connote exactly the aesthetic that he and Blatt were going for.)

As a whole, not only is Fleeting Time a tour de force of boarding, loaded with Alaskan lines, BC kickers, PNW sessions, and an indoor pipe session in Japan, it’s an ode to snowboarding cinema itself. Ben and crew have captured the essence of what a snowboard video felt like to watch in the early aughts and applied it to 2022. It’s hard to describe what exactly this feeling is, but it comes down to the fact that while you’re watching Fleeting Time, like while it is currently playing in front of you, you’re already looking forward to watching it again. Considering the deluge of videos that we have literally at our fingertips—streaming, autoplaying, doing whatever it is TikTok does—for a movie to have staying power amidst so much stuff competing for our attention at all times is really something. This is a video you want to have on while you’re getting ready to head to the hill, drinking coffee, putting on your socks, eating some cereal.

Of course, the riding is an enormous reason for this. The assembled cast is, to put it lightly, heavy: Ben, his brother Gabe, Red Gerard, Jared Elston, Travis Rice, Curtis Ciszek, Austin Smith, Danny Davis, Mark McMorris, Zoi Sadowski-Synnott, Hailey Langland, Raibu Katayama, Kaishu Hirano, Mikey Ciccarelli, Luke Winkelmann, and Mikkel Bang. And while Ben’s trajectory in snowboarding so far is the nucleus of Fleeting Time, it is true to the collaborative nature of the Bend, Oregon native that he fully uses this as a foundation for the crew in its entirety. Everyone shines. In Encinitas, Hailey’s flawless front seven was one of the biggest topics of discussion outside La Paloma. And the whole movie is like that. Zoi’s lines in Alaska. Mikkel. Kaishu and Raibu. Red on Mother. The whole section to that Samiam song with Ben, Gabe, Red, Jared, and Austin. Technically, we could just list out every part, really. There’s so much that’s so good.

But back to the soundtrack. Ben exemplifies a raw and powerful riding style that is fluid and loose but always in control. His riding has been like this since he was young, though most of us outside of The Cascades just weren’t privy to it until he was a mainstay in halfpipe contests, always putting finesse first, and frequenting events like Snowboarder Magazine’s The Launch, always sending the most kicked-out methods to the moon. Over the past handful of years, as Ben has transitioned to spending the full winter in natural terrain, his unleashed-and-fully-pinned-yet-meticulously-controlled breed of style has continued to deepen. Joy was a first peek. He has since excelled in Natural Selection. Fleeting Time reinforces not only where he’s been and where he is at, but provides a glimpse at where he’s going.

As a co-director of the video alongside longtime friend and collaborator, Aaron Blatt, Ben is furthering his intention in snowboarding. He’s always had the vision and now he’s executing it not only with his riding, but beyond, as well. When it comes to balancing the duality of starring in and directing a movie, Ben is decisive. “I definitely want to make more films,” he says immediately. “It is super fun because you just get to come up with these random ideas—sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t—but you can just figure it out as you go and take risks, and sometimes you strike gold. It’s a blast.”

That’s the best way to put it, really. Ben, Blatt, Homestead, and the entire crew of Fleeting Time added something enduring to snowboard cinema. If this write up seems effusive, it’s because Fleeting Time is that good. Throughout the film, the sound of ticking returns, underlining the moments, the visceral feelings of being in the mountains, the choices we make to pursue what we love, and the rewards we can get with the right amount of dedication. Fleeting Time delivered, entering it fully into the canon of videos that demand a rewatch time and time again.


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