Warren Miller (director)

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For other people of the same name, see Warren Miller (disambiguation).

Warren Miller (born 15 October 1924) is an American ski and snowboarding filmmaker. He is the founder of Warren Miller Entertainment and produced, directed and narrated his films until 1988. His credits include over 750 sports films, several books and hundreds of published non-fiction stories. His annual films on skiing and other outdoor sports are known for their photography, narrative humor, and broad appeal. He is noted for the promotion of skiing through his films spanning over 60 years and is an iconic figure in ski movie filmmaking.[1]


Early years[edit]

Warren Anthony Miller was born in Hollywood, Los Angeles, and as a young man he took up the hobbies of skiing, surfing, and photography. At the age of 18, with the U.S. ten months into World War II, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served in the South Pacific. On Christmas vacation in 1944 he first filmed skiing with a borrowed camera in Yosemite.[2] Upon his discharge from the Navy in 1946, he bought his first 8mm movie camera. He and a friend moved to Sun Valley, Idaho where they camped in the parking lot of the Sun Valley ski resort, lived in a teardrop trailer and earned money as ski instructors. In their free time, they filmed each other skiing to critique and improve their ski techniques. During the summers they shifted to the California coast where they filmed each other surfing.[3]

Warren Miller Entertainment[edit]

Warren Miller would often show his skiing and surfing films to friends, making jokes about their exploits throughout the showing of the film. When he began to receive invitations to show and narrate his films at parties, it occurred to him that he could turn this hobby into a business. In 1949, Miller founded Warren Miller Entertainment and began a long-standing tradition of producing one feature-length ski film per year. He rented out halls and theaters, usually with borrowed money, and charged admission to his shows. He booked show halls near ski resorts so that he could film the next year's footage during the day, and show the current film in the evening. Before long he was showing his films in 130 cities a year.[4]

Current work[edit]

Miller continued to head the company both creatively and executively until the late 1980s when he sold the company to his son, Kurt Miller. Kurt later sold the company to Time, Inc., who then sold it to Bonnier Corporation in 2007, and then acquired by Active Interest Media in 2013.[5] The company still produces a new film every year, however Miller himself has not been actively involved since 2004.

While transitioning out of his executive role, Miller still maintained his creative role as director and narrator for the films into the 1990s, but Miller has distanced himself from production in recent years. The makers of recent films such as, Warren Miller's Higher Ground (2005) and Warren Miller's Off the Grid (2006), opted to use Miller's narration from previous films rather than recording new narration.[6][7][8]

Recent films have been criticized as a departure from the traditional Warren Miller films. Miller himself has indicated that he is not content with recent productions, and has been actively discouraged from involvement in the films bearing his name.[9] "I have not been involved with my old company's films in any capacity for many years now, and I will not work with WME again."[10]

In late 2010, Miller announced the re-launch of the Warren Miller Company, an organization representing his professional and philanthropic interests established nearly two decades ago. He made a return to stage, presenting 'An Evening with Warren Miller' to two sold-out audiences at Seattle's Benaroya Hall.

Personal life[edit]

Warren Miller currently resides with his wife, Laurie, on Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands north of Seattle, Washington, and enjoys cruising on his 47' Bayliner Yacht.[citation needed]He is officially retired from filmmaking but remains an active writer. He has announced plans to publish a book about life in retirement called, "What Are You Doing with the Rest of Your Life?"


11950Deep And Light
21951California Skis
31952Wandering Skis
41953Ski Fantasy
51954Symphony On Skis
61955Invitation To Skiing
71956Have Skis, Will Travel
81957Anyone For Skiing?
91958Are Your Skis On Straight?
101959Let's Go Skiing
111960Swinging Skis
121961Many Moods Of Skiing
131962Around The World On Skis
141963The Sound Of Skiing
151964The Skiers
161965The Big Ski Show
171966Ski On The Wild Side
181967The Ski Scene
191968No Boundaries
201969This Is Skiing
211970Sound Of Winter
221971Any Snow, Any Mountain
231972Winter People
241973Skiing's Great
251974The Color Of Skiing
261975There Comes A Time
271976Skiing On My Mind
281977In Search Of Skiing
291978Ski A La Carte
301979Winter Fever
311980Ski People
321981Ski In The Sun
341983Ski Time
351984Ski Country
361985Steep And Deep
371986Beyond The Edge
381987White Winter Heat
391988Escape To Ski
401989White Magic
411990Extreme Winter
421991Born To Ski
431992Steeper And Deeper
441993Black Diamond Rush
451994Vertical Reality
461995Endless Winter
481997Snowriders 2
522001Cold Fusion

Movies released since 2004, while bearing Warren Miller's name, were not directed by Warren Miller, nor was he involved in their production in any way. See the complete list for all films bearing Warren Miller's name.



  1. ^ "Warren Miller" (1978) Honored Members US National Ski Hall of Fame
  2. ^ Miller, Warren (2012) "Warren's World" The Ski Journal Vol 6 #3:22
  3. ^ Lund, Morten (March 2004) "Warren Miller" Skiing Heritage Vol 16 #1:8-14
  4. ^ Fry, John (2010) The Story of Modern Skiing Hanover: University Press of New England ISBN 978-1584658962 pg 278-280
  5. ^ Blevins, Jason (2013) "The Balance Sheet" The Denver Post retrieved 3 June 2014
  6. ^ WME (2005). "Warren's Story" (Commercial site), warrenmiller.net. Retrieved on 2005-04-11.
  7. ^ "Warren Miller’s Off the Grid: The world’s largest winter sports movie announces 2006 U.S. tour." (Press release, commercial website). Skinet.net. Retrieved on 2007-08-19.
  8. ^ "Warren Miller's Higher Ground." (Press release), PR Newswire, 2005-08-31, via highbeam.com. Retrieved on 2007-08-19.[dead link]
  9. ^ http://community.freeskier.com/articles/article.php?article_id=4114
  10. ^ Blevins, Jason (15 Oct 2010) "Mixed ruling for ski-film icon Warren Miller" The Denver Post retrieved 12 July 2011

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