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Behind the scenes of ‘Suspended in Space,’ a skiing film set in the Yukon

Suspended in Space was a ‘soulful sabbatical’ for L.A. filmmakers Cameron Thuman and Dilan Mistry

“A soulful sabbatical.” That’s how Dilan Mistry, the producer of a recently released backcountry skiing film set in the Yukon, describes the project.

The short film Suspended in Space follows professional skiers Celeste Pomerantz and Kajsa Larsson connecting with the snow-covered, mountainous landscape in the southern Yukon in April 2022. In the six-minute and 30-second film, stunning scenes of the skiers cruising above jagged peaks in a helicopter and skiing down remote mountainsides are juxtaposed with footage of sled dogs and the subjects relaxing in an outdoor hot tub.

Suspended in Space premiered at the Whistler Film Festival in December last year and was made available online at the end of February.

“I coined the term ‘a soulful sabbatical,’ because, for us, these winter films are a sabbatical from being on a large film set with, you know, five agency creatives hovering over your shoulders,” Mistry tells the News.

Mistry and the film’s director, Cameron Thuman, are both Los Angeles-based filmmakers specializing in branded content and commercials.

Thuman was a competitive halfpipe skier in his youth and, from ages 12 to 19, spent 100-plus days per year skiing. However, his passion for skiing and winter landscapes was sidelined when he began his career in the film industry—that is, until Mistry and himself discovered their shared enthusiasm for winter adventures.

“I went from training with the U.S. freeski team and being nationally ranked to starting a film career. And in the first five, six years of the film career, I had nothing to do with snow or winter. And then Dylan and I found this mutual passion to get back into winter films,” Thuman says.

Last year, the duo and their team released their first skiing film, shot in British Columbia, Dreaming of a Better Place, which was screened at film festivals in North America and Europe and won numerous accolades. For Mistry and Thuman, Suspended in Space is a follow-up to their previous effort. The short film was another welcome break from their daily grind and a chance to capture skiing footage in a land that’s fascinated them for some time.

“We’ve been making films in British Columbia for the last few years now, and we’ve always had this concept of shooting something up in the Yukon. You know, it’s so far north, and not a lot of people get an opportunity to visit. So, it’s always sparked an interest in our minds,” Mistry says.

Following the release of Dreaming of a Better Place, Yukon Heliski approached the filmmakers and inquired about having a film made. Mistry saw this as an opportunity to brand the Yukon itself.

Thuman says, “So that’s what got the gears going. Yukon Heliski wanted us to come because they’d seen our work. But rather than just making it about the helicopter operation, Dylan had the vision to turn it into a full Yukon celebration.”

Meet the Yukon

Neither Mistry nor Thuman had visited the Yukon before deciding to pursue a film project in the territory. It turns out they shared this in common with the professional skiers who’d be featured in Suspended in Space.

Twenty-eight-year-old Pomerantz began skiing on the North Shore Mountains of Vancouver at four or five years old. Her family registered her in a ski-racing program when she was seven. Shortly after she quit racing at 17, she discovered backcountry skiing. She is currently based in Squamish, near the B.C. skiing mecca of Whistler.

Larsson, meanwhile, is from Sweden and grew up competitively trampolining and windsurfing before committing to skiing in 2013., according to her biography on the website of French freeski brand Blackcrows

Pomerantz says she got involved in Suspended in Space through the project’s aerial cinematographer, Zachary Moxley, whom she’d previously filmed with in Japan. Moxley reached out to her and Larsson to ask if they wanted to be involved in a skiing film shot in the Yukon, and both jumped at the chance to ski in an area they’d never visited.

“[Moxley] reached out to both of us and asked us to be part of this potential opportunity—a fun film that was going to take place in the Yukon. And I’d never been, and neither had Kajsa, so it was kind of a really cool way to experience a new place with someone not from Canada,” Pomerantz says.

Suspended in Space was Pomerantz’s third professional skiing film. She’s also appeared in the aforementioned skiing video shot in Japan and another video shot in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard.

Speaking about her time filming in the Yukon, Pomerantz notes that the Yukon’s mountains are “really unique” compared to the mountains in southwestern B.C.

“Because of the latitude difference, the tree line [in the Yukon] is so much lower, so it is really nice to be in mountains that don’t have as high of a tree line. Whereas [in B.C.], you’re in the trees for the majority of what you ski, out there it was very cool to be in true alpine, like, an extremely vast environment,” Pomerantz says, adding that the Yukon’s snow is “significantly drier” than what she is used to.

And while Pomerantz says her time in the Yukon flew by quickly due to a busy filming schedule, she notes that she found the territory “stunning” and the people who reside here “extremely kind.”

“It exceeded my expectations in so many ways […] Thank you to the people in the Yukon that we met. They were all wonderful and, like, welcomed us with open arms, which was really magnificent. You don’t get that in a lot of places,” Pomerantz says. She adds, “I really want to go back to spend more time.”

Thuman was also captivated by the Yukon’s beauty and noted its unique landscape compared to the winter vistas he’d previously encountered.

“I’ve spent my whole life in the winter, but mostly in the States. I’ve been to probably 100 ski resorts and had been to British Columbia, but the Yukon was completely on a new level—just the vastness, the giant, long plains surrounded by the mountains and looking into Skagway, Alaska. It’s just absolutely gorgeous,” he says.

Niche filmmaking

Before the filming team arrived in the Yukon, there was a deep research phase that involved connecting with the local community, scouting locations and figuring out the best way to stir an emotional response from the audience.

This last part was incredibly important to their process. Thuman notes that, in the social media age, people are barraged with images and videos of stunning scenery, so figuring out how to make footage resonate with viewers is key to success.

“Anybody could point a camera at those mountains, and it would be a cool photo. But what our team is looking to do is, when an audience watches it, can you make them feel something new? And for us, the title essentially says it all: being suspended in space is this idea that the Yukon represents a place in the world where space and time stop, and you could start truly living,” Thuman says.

Both Thuman and Mistry note that filming in the backcountry in winter is a challenging endeavour due to the conditions, safety considerations and the equipment they must haul with them. The fact that one of the film’s primary components was skiing also meant that the crew had to be skilled skiers in addition to proficient filmmakers.

“Our crew needs to be, you know, excellent filmmakers […] but equally as excellent of a skier. So, our crews for these projects end up being like the best of the best at both skiing and shooting, which is a pretty interesting mix—very niche,” Mistry tells the News.

The film also drew on some unlikely influences. In the introductory moments of Suspended in Space, close-up shots show a helicopter’s flight control panel firing up, along with scenes of snow particles being whipped up the aerial vehicle’s rotors. According to Thuman, this introduction was inspired by the title sequence of Netflix’s psychological crime thriller Mindhunter, which shows a reel-to-reel tape recorder being set up.

“The title sequence of Mindhunter has these beautiful extreme close-up analytical shots of the tape, and in that show, the tape reveals all truth. The tape is kind of the Holy Grail. So, for our film, that catalyst is that helicopter,” Thuman says.

“I wanted to hook the audience through the helicopter booting up because it’s instantly interesting. It’s tactical, suspenseful, there’s an analytical feel to it that’s gripping,” he adds.

Asked if they have more skiing videos coming down the pike, Mistry says they “totally plan to do more of these types of films,” although he notes they’ll have to come about “naturally.”

You can watch Suspended in Space on Vimeo:

Contact Matthew Bossons at