Community December 2, 2014

Local Buzz




A Day in the Life [pg. 2]
Lights. Camera. Action. [pg. 3]
Q&A with SV's Dumb and Dumber [pg.4]
Up & Comers [pg. 5]
Young and Creative in Sun Valley [pg. 6]



A Day in the Life …

Of a Sun Valley Local


Sun Valley is one of those rare places where one’s dream day actually becomes reality more often than not. With an unlimited outdoor playground and a wealth of cultural offerings, the Valley has something for everyone. In our “Day in the Life” series, Valley locals share their favorite haunts and activities for an ideal Sun Valley day, whether lunching mid-mountain, soaking in Frenchman’s hot springs or writing the next great book.

I AM: An author of four books, including “I Heard You Paint Houses,” a nonfiction book “closing the case on Jimmy Hoffa,” which is being made into a film starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci; a retired homicide investigator, prosecutor, Chief Deputy Attorney General of the State of Delaware, junior high English teacher and welfare investigator. 

MY PERFECT WINTER DAY IN SUN VALLEY STARTS WITH: A deep breath of Sun Valley’s fresh air. My mom came out here in 1993, stood on the porch and said, “You don’t even have to breathe here—the air comes to you.”

MY FAVORITE PLACE FOR BREAKFAST IS:  Shorty’s—I grew up in the old-fashioned diner atmosphere. And they make such a fuss over my 2-year-old grandson.

MY FAVORITE PLACE FOR LUNCH IS: Cristina’s. Being half Italian, I like her Mortadella Panini—it’s a form of Italian bologna.

MY AFTERNOON INCLUDES: Writing my fifth book on my laptop for a couple hours in one of the corner cubicles at The Community Library.

MY DAY WOULDN'T BE COMPLETE WITHOUT: Playing with my grandson—I’m the “tickle monster.” Oh, and a visit to The Coffee Grinder—I love the gluten-free goodies there.

MY FAVORITE PLACE TO APRES IS: The Duchin Room—I love listening to Joe Fos.

MY FAVORITE PLACE FOR DINNER IS: Michel’s Christiania—I fell in love with it 30 years ago and they still have great food, great service.

-Interview by Karen Bossick

I AM A: Freelance videographer currently working with Boise filmmaker Karen Day on a full-length film about silent filmmaker Nell Shipman. I was formerly an NBC reporter in Reno and also filmed XGames and other footage for ESPN.

MY PERFECT WINTER DAY IN SUN VALLEY STARTS WITH: Making breakfast with my boyfriend and hiking up Titus Ridge to board down through a foot of fresh powder. Or, catching the first chair on a powder day.

IT IS A: Monday because Mondays are never the same. I’m fortunate enough to have a life that offers so much diversity that I can never anticipate what Monday will bring.

MY FAVORITE PLACE FOR BREAKFAST IS: At home—I love cooking sweet potato hash with elk sausage. I work part-time at NourishMe, so I reap the benefits of the organic produce and meat they sell. 

IT INCLUDES: A midday break at Frenchman’s hot springs, which is 7.2 miles from our front door.

MY AFTERNOON INCLUDES: Sitting on a ridgeline looking over the valley with a Thermos of hot tea and one of my homemade gluten-free muffins or a slice of cinnamon walnut harvest raisin bread.

MY DAY WOULDN'T BE COMPLETE WITHOUT:  Spending time with my family.

MY FAVORITE PLACE TO APRES IS: Sitting on the patio outside Warm Springs Lodge in the sun in my comfortable snowboard boots, Bloody Mary in hand listening to a live band.

MY FAVORITE PLACE FOR DINNER IS: Rickshaw—I love Asian food, and Rickshaw not only offers fresh food but caters to those with food restrictions.

MY FAVORITE MOVIE IS: “Beetlejuice.” I watched it every day until I was 4—my parents had to buy multiple copies of the tape because I wore so many out. I’m drawn to the theatrics, the costumes, the crazy animated storyline. 

IF THEY WERE TO MAKE A MOVIE ABOUT MY LIFE, THIS ACTOR WOULD PLAY ME: Emma Stone—she has a flair for the dramatic but doesn’t take herself too seriously.

-Interview by Karen Bossick

I AM THE: Director of the Sun Valley Film Festival.

MY PERFECT WINTER DAY IN SUN VALLEY STARTS WITH: Sleeping in followed by a leisurely start to the day.

IT IS: Definitely a weekend so the whole family is involved.

MY FAVORITE PLACE FOR BREAKFAST IS: Bigwood Bread for their breakfast burritos.

AFTER BREAKFAST: We drop the kids off to snowboard and then I go up and do some runs with my husband and some friends.

MY FAVORITE PLACE FOR LUNCH IS: Averell’s for fondue and Bloody Marys. Heaven!

APRES SKIING: From the mountain we roll home for a family hot tub and then invite some friends over. I love to entertain and cook in my kitchen, especially slow-cooked meals like a hearty stew. The girls will all huddle around the kitchen and drink wine and the guys will be in front of the TV watching football. There will be a big fire in the fireplace.

MY FAVORITE PLACE FOR DINNER IS: Enoteca. Burke Smith is unbelievably good at matching the perfect wine with their divine food. He’s the consummate professional. 

MY FAVORITE MOVIE IS: Recently, “Silver Linings Playbook.”

IF THEY WERE TO MAKE A MOVIE ABOUT MY LIFE, THIS PERSON WOULD PLAY ME: Oh man, maybe my fellow South African compatriot Charlize Theron? I’ve had people tell me there’s some resemblance; I’m not mad at that!

-Interview by Mike McKenna


I AM A: Bartender at Whiskey Jacques’ and Grumpy’s and thespian specializing in “abridged” plays based on Shakespeare and
the Bible.

MY PERFECT WINTER DAY IN SUN VALLEY STARTS WITH: Having a day off so I can hang out and read a book to my son. Right now, he’s into “I Want My Hat Back.”

IT IS A: Thursday because that’s the day I don’t work at Grumpy’s or Whiskey’s.

MY FAVORITE PLACE FOR BREAKFAST IS: The Kneadery. Home’s good, too—I can whip up a nice ham and spinach omelet with Swiss cheese.

IT INCLUDES: A midday break at Grumpy’s for a beer and a chance to shoot the breeze with my friends and see what everyone’s up to.

MY FAVORITE PLACE FOR LUNCH IS: The ice rink for a noon hockey game with my bartender hockey player friends.

MY AFTERNOON INCLUDES: A walk with my family around Elkhorn—it’s so beautiful and pristine.

I WANT TO SPEND TIME WITH: My wife and son.

MY DAY WOULDN'T BE COMPLETE WITHOUT: Placing a bet on something—I’m a huge gambler. Also, a morning cup of tea—PG Tips is the only kind I drink. I’ve been drinking it since I was a toddler.

MY FAVORITE PLACE TO APRES IS: Grumpy’s—it’s got the coldest Budweiser in town.

MY FAVORITE PLACE FOR DINNER IS: Il Naso—the lamb is excellent.

MY FAVORITE MOVIES IS: “The Princess Bride”—it’s got action, it’s got comedy, it’s got vengeance and it’s got Andre the Giant. I love everything about it.

-Interview by Karen Bossick

I AM A: Film producer, executive of the nonprofit Idaho Base Camp and director of Mountain Adventure Tours summer children’s camps.    

MY PERFECT DAY IN SUN VALLEY STARTS WITH: A cup of coffee from Perry’s topped with a conversation with Keith, followed up with skiing on Baldy and a few hours in the office creating a program that will enhance people’s lives.

IT IS: Any day of the week because every day of the week is a good day.

MY FAVORITE PLACE FOR BREAKFAST IS: Wrapcity, where I can get a veggie wrap.

IT INCLUDES A MIDDAY BREAK AT: Atkinson Park where I can ice skate.

MY FAVORITE PLACE FOR LUNCH IS: The Roundhouse—fondue for two at Averell’s.

MY AFTERNOON INCLUDES: Hot tubbing with my wife.

I WANT TO SPEND TIME WITH: People with a positive attitude towards life.

MY DAY WOULDN'T BE COMPLETE WITHOUT: Spending time with my woman.

MY FAVORITE PLACE TO APRES IS: 5B Garage where I can catch up with Caleb Baukol and other good people around the tuning benches, good music pounding in the background.


MY FAVORITE MOVIES IS: “Braveheart”—it’s a story of courage and tenacity, where you have someone with passion fighting for what he believes. I also like “Avatar” because of how it shows the divine in all of us and addresses living in harmony with our surroundings.

IF THEY WERE TO MAKE A MOVIE ABOUT MY LIFE, THIS PERSON WOULD PLAY ME: Robert Downey, Jr., Matthew McConaughey or Johnny Depp—people say they remind them of me.

-Interview by Karen Bossick


Lights. Camera. Action

​The Life of a Movie Extra


Locals Frank Salvoni (left) and Dave Stone (right) at Grumpy’s with Puffy the dog from “There’s Something About Mary,” another Farrelly Brothers Production.

Dave Stone and Frank Salvoni might just be destined for movie stardom. After all, they were movie extras in the newly released blockbuster film “Dumb and Dumber To,” a sequel to The Farrelly brothers’ original “Dumb and Dumber” comedy that became an instant classic in 1994, rising to number one and grossing $127 million in the U.S. The original “Dumb and Dumber” is also the movie that landed Jim Carrey (who co-starred with Jeff Daniels) into the seven-figure salary range as an actor and helped cement his reputation as a comedic genius. So, could Stone and Salvoni be next?

Why not? Lots of big stars got their start as extras. John Wayne was an extra in silent films before his first starring role in “The Big Trail” in the 1930s, and Clint Eastwood started as an extra in the 1950s. Sylvester Stallone was an extra in Woody Allen’s “Bananas,” (1971) and Brad Pitt was an extra billed as “Partygoer / Preppie guy at fight” in “Less Than Zero” (1987) starring Andrew McCarthy and Robert Downey, Jr. The courtroom scene of “The Verdict”(1981) starring Paul Newman features Bruce Willis as an extra, and both Matt Damon and Ben Affleck were extras in the Fenway Park scenes in “Field of Dreams” (1989). And most of those were not talking parts—the typical role of an extra is to fill in the background on set or become bodies in the crowd. War films and sweeping epics often employ hundreds or thousands of extras. 

Stone and Salvoni, however, were not your typical extras. They were featured extras—they had speaking parts—a fact that inspired one fellow actor on the set of “Dumb and Dumber To” to quip, “Oh, you guys have speaking parts, you’re going to make a lot more money.” Stone and Salvoni made exactly $64 each. “Actually, $54.01 after taxes,” stated Salvoni.

Sun Valley Magazine met the pair at Grumpy’s in Ketchum this past fall, just weeks before the official premiere of “Dumb and Dumber To,” to talk about life as an extra on the sequel to a blockbuster comedy. The two arrived in character, ready to talk about their experiences on set. Salvoni was wearing an early ’90s color-blocked sweater and dark green cords similar to how he was costumed on set. Curiously, the ensemble was topped off with a Speed Racer crash test helmet, which Salvoni was quick to point out was not part of his on-screen character. 

“Really, it was part of my preparation and training as an actor,” Salvoni claimed. “It helped me get into the role.” Stone had a director’s chair emblazoned with his name and the words “Dumb and Dumber To” on the back (a gift, courtesy of Salvoni). He was channeling his inner goober, and was color coordinated in an original SCOTTeVEST multi-pocketed device and early ’90s red terrycloth headband and Smith shades. With the dedication of trained method actors, they never broke character all evening, and the interview was a bit like stepping onto the set of “Dumb and Dumber To.”



Q&A with SV's Dumb and Dumber


Salvoni and Stone relax off set.

As movie extras on “Dumb and Dumber To” (2014), starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels, released this year as the sequel to the blockbuster 1994 comedy “Dumb and Dumber,” Dave Stone and Frank Salvoni provide some insight into the life of a movie extra. In our own version of “Inside the Actor’s Studio,” the Bravo program hosted by James Lipton, we ask our version of the famous 10 questions that have been posed to the likes of Anthony Hopkins, Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep and Cate Blanchett.


Highlight of the experience as a movie extra?

STONE: It was a bucket list item. The cast and crew were amazing and local Mark Charpentier, a producer on set, “hooked us up!”
SALVONI: The catered lunch was out of this world! But do you know that they have a fuel truck that comes around every single day and fills the gas tanks for the cars of everyone involved on set? 


Brush with stardom?

STONE: I ran into Jim Carrey on set … I mean I literally “ran into” him in the hallway in
the first scene.
SALVONI: During filming, the producer called me out in one scene. What he was yelling was something along the lines of “Hey d***head, get out of the scene!” Apparently, I had walked into the line of sight. But, at least, I got noticed.


Who did you channel for your role in this film?

SALVONI: Polly Shore 
STONE: William Shatner

In what ways has stardom changed your life?

STONE: The paychecks. We made close to $54 for our role.
SALVONI: My waistline. It was like being on a cruise. All we did was eat and drink
for four days.


Highlight of filming?

SALVONI: When producer and director Peter Farrelly said, “You brought it!” 
STONE: Was that before or after he yelled “Hey d***head, get out of the line of sight!”


Greatest accomplishment on set?

SALVONI: Doing our scene in two takes. Everybody else did it in five or six.
STONE: Being Frank’s body double.


Strangest moment on set?

SALVONI: When Dave asked for a piece of gum and four different people went
running in every direction … they returned with 16 types of gum in every flavor.
STONE: Being Frank’s body double.


What is your favorite word?

SALVONI: ******
STONE: Riboflavin


What is your least favorite word?

SALVONI: Jailtime … Wait, is that a word?
STONE: Frank 


What turns you on creatively or emotionally?

SALVONI: Janet, my wife 
STONE: Janet, Frank’s wife


What turns you off?

SALVONI: Chest hair on women
STONE: Chest hair


Up & Comers

New Talent Rising in the Film Industry


Reggie Crist, on location for Stellar Media, skiing the last run of the day on “Bell Ringer” in Haines, Alaska. (Photo by Will Wissman)

From ski-film legend Warren Miller shooting his first ski films while camping in the Baldy parking lot, to handfuls of Hollywood’s finest claiming the Valley as home, Sun Valley has been and continues to be fertile ground for those who seek to create and showcase, whether on camera or behind it. Sun Valley is currently burgeoning with young talent. Innovative and ambitious locals are making a name for themselves in the film and TV industry. Here are a few worth keeping up with. 



Capitalizing on decades of experience within the industry, Reggie and Zach Crist, Will Wissman and, most recently, Yancy and Wyatt Caldwell combine their expertise as professional skiers, snowboarders, photographers and videographers in a business that is both a media company and an adventure travel business. The team has found that pairing heli-ski guiding with high-end, extreme backcountry film production works well, as the pros can go out and shoot during the “golden hours” of dawn and dusk, while, during the day, provide expert guiding and filming for their clients. Stellar is currently editing “Migrations,” a film to be followed by an online series. Thanks to Stellar’s business model, the focus of the project is on the art of the athletes rather than on developing sponsorships. 



Bringing two uniquely complementary worlds together over many cups of tea, Pia Saengswang Ayliffe and Gerry Moffatt began brewing up the idea of Thunder Dragon Media (TDM) in Ketchum’s cafés more than 18 months ago.  

Saengswang described TDM as, “an idea borne out of both my experience and Gerry Moffatt’s experience in our respective universes—Gerry being a 32-year veteran in adventure expedition and documentary filmmaking, and my having a 25-year background working in social entrepreneurism, education and documentary filmmaking. The vision of Thunder Dragon Media was born to create a production company that would focus on inspirational stories of what is going on in the world that is good and hopeful, not just extreme, adding a depth of meaning by marrying social change together with adventure.” 

TDM’s first production is a documentary feature film called “Roof of the World,” which follows Moffatt on a 3000-mile journey through the Himalayas on motorcycle, kayak and foot. Along the way, viewers are introduced to a number of social entrepreneurs who are doing work to preserve the future of the Himalayas.

“Roof of the World” will be released on the festival circuit in late 2015.  It is the first of a series of similar films TDM is producing that explore our planet’s greatest adventure destinations through the lens of social change. 

Wyatt Caldwell shooting in the  Hoodoo Mountains of Alaska. (Photo by Yancy Caldwell)



Developed and founded by Ketchum-based team of Eric Dobbie, Connor Duncan, John Prosser and Dan Fuhrman, MOHOC is a specialized military-optimized helmet camera set to hit the world market in February 2015.  Dobbie, Duncan, Prosser and Fuhrman previously worked together at ESS, a combat-specific eyewear company, and so have a strong background in creating and bringing products to government and law enforcement. A year ago, the team harnessed experts in research and development to focus on the camera’s form, function, ruggedization and user experience, all specifically tailored to military users.

Noting some specifics of the development of the MOHOC camera, Dobbie said, “The base has curvature to it because it is designed to mount directly to helmets. When operating in really confined spaces, you can’t have anything get snagged. And when jumping out of an airplane, you need something that is really low profile and sleek. MOHOC also does not interfere with any other equipment already on the helmet, such as lasers or night vision. It can withstand big falls and is waterproof, all aspects that are crucial and come with the nature of the job.”



Ketchum local Spencer Cordovano started Spencer Cordovano Video Productions (SCVP) two years ago. At SCVP, he personally films and edits Internet-specialized brand and product videos.  SCVP has taken Cordovano from Baja for a Smith Optics shoot, to Argentina to film pro skier Michelle Parker. Cordovano specializes in remote location filming and is usually outside and on the move while on the job. With his Idaho-boy skills and expertise, Cordovano is able to get those unique, off-the-beaten-path shots. 



DeSiree’ Fawn, a fifth-generation native of the Sun Valley area, created, owns and operates Fawn Films. Fulfilling a personal desire to learn about and shed light on the local conflict over the re-introduction and hunting of wolves in the West, Fawn set out to make a documentary film on the issue.  “The Phantom Wolves of Sun Valley,” released in 2011, was recognized by multiple film festivals, winning awards at both the Yosemite Film Festival and the Film Festival of Colorado.  Fawn’s latest work, “Capturing Wild Horses,” explores another national issue through an Idaho lens: the conflict over the wild horses living near Challis, Idaho, and the wild horse management program. “Capturing Wild Horses” won “Best of Fest” at the 2014 Sun Valley Film Festival.

DeSiree’ Fawn films a wild horse roundup in Challis, Idaho, for her documentary “Capturing Wild Horses.” (Photo courtesy Fawn Films)



Young and Creative in Sun Valley

The Future Filmmakers Forum


Community School Junior Max Polito working on a film project for the Sun Valley Center for the Arts’ ongoing multidisciplinary program “Under the Influence of Rock and Roll.” (Photo courtesy Future Filmmakers Forum.)

Sun Valley Serenade” is getting a remake—by two dozen teenagers who had never seen the 1941 movie that put Sun Valley on the map for thousands of moviegoers. Community School students are filming a much-abridged, 15-minute version of the film that starred Sonja Henie to enter in the Future Filmmakers Forum of the Sun Valley Film Festival, which runs March 4-8, 2015.

“I’ve seen that movie more times than I can count—I spent many summers and winters in the Sun Valley Lodge where it plays repeatedly on Channel 4,” said Peter Burke, video production teacher at Community School. “It’s good clean fun. It highlights our beautiful valley. It calls for a big mass of people to be involved. And it enables the kids to perform all the physical activities, from ice skating to skiing,” he added.

The Future Filmmakers Forum debuted at last year’s film festival, offering middle and high school students an opportunity to submit films and compete for awards. The Hot Shot Award will be presented for the best national film submitted by a student. The Gem State Junior will be awarded for the best film submitted by an Idaho student. A reception and awards ceremony will follow the screenings.

Bex Wilkinson and Pirie Jones Grossman, a former anchorwoman for “Entertainment Tonight,” co-directed the Future Filmmakers Forum drawing, which was inspired by a few student films Festival Director Candice Pate had shown the year before. Some of those competing in the festival may turn out to be the next Martin Scorsese or George Lucas of tomorrow.

“Filmmaking is a feasible industry for any student—it gives them the chance to do a wide variety of things, from writing to directing,” Wilkinson said. She has worked with Ketchum documentary filmmaker Steve Crisman and once championed an indie film festival in Ketchum.   

“I’ve always been an advocate for film in this valley,” Wilkinson said. “It’s an accessible medium and a world connector. We all communicate through YouTube, et cetera, so I think our future is really dependent on our ability to communicate in this medium. And, in terms of Sun Valley, it’s a no-brainer. We have so many people involved in the craft of film who live here—not just famous actors but people who make films, like Steve Crisman, like Freida Lee Mock.”

Peter Burke in the Community School’s Media Lab. (Photo courtesy Future Filmmakers Forum)

Students and adults alike filled the Community School Theatre last year to watch 30 films running 15 minutes or less. They were chosen from 60 submissions.

The Hot Shot Film Award and a $500 cash prize from Big Wood Ski went to Malone Lumarda of Monrovia, Calif., for her mystical walk along “Black Rock Creek.”

Ethan Holt, a Meridian High School senior, won the Gem State Junior Award and a $250 cash prize for his eight-minute film, “The Mind Absent of Silence.” The film revolves around a teenager who finds someone to quiet his uncomfortably loud inner monologue, only to have to deal with a breakup.

Holt said it took a month to write, six days to shoot and an exhausting string of nights editing it. “The kiss was the toughest part,” he said. “It involved a lot of takes because neither of us wanted to do it.”

Twenty-five Community School students under the guidance of Burke last year weathered inclement winter weather to shoot a documentary film featuring Higher Ground’s therapeutic recreational program for wounded veterans and blind students.

Not only did the students learn about filming and editing, but they learned problem-solving, time management and follow-through, Burke said. 

“There was that moment of, ‘Holy cow! Look what we made!’ as the kids sat on the front row of the theater and appreciated what they’d accomplished,” Burke observed. “Getting to see someone with post-traumatic stress disorder or a physical disability was a reality check, as well. Many of these kids seem to have everything going for them, and they were like, ‘Oh, wow—there are bigger things than me in this world.’ ”

Wilkinson’s son, Travis, now a 16-year-old sophomore at The Sage School, entered a video last year that featured animation superimposed on real-life film in the story of a young man going into a dream world of critters. He plans to submit another video this year.

Last year’s Forum was a turning point, he said. “I’ve been making shorts on skiing and biking and for nonprofits such as Higher Ground, ERC and The Advocates. But I never had an audience before. Sitting there with other filmmakers was awesome. I know now I definitely want to be a filmmaker. It’s a great way to express your opinion and to capture
an experience.”

Bex Wilkinson said she expects this year’s Forum to be bigger and better. “It’s awesome because these students are taken seriously. They’re called filmmakers. They’re treated like filmmakers. And they’re so excited to be included.”








This article appears in the Winter 2015 Issue of Sun Valley Magazine.