Ben Ferguson
© Aaron Blatt/Red Bull Content Pool
Snowboarding

Watch 'Fleeting Time' now on Red Bull TV

Ben Ferguson set out to make a movie that many are calling the apex of his already-astonishing career and two years later, we dig deep into the effort and time he put in to bring it to life.
By Tom Monterosso
7 min readPublished on
Time. It’s a funny thing. Scary, too, when one really dwells on it. What can be a catalyst of hope for so many, is in reality, a measure of one’s lifespan that when depleted means that this ride is all over. We are all running for our lives from time itself, as the clock starts ticking with our first inhale and eventually, the day will come for us all to exhale one final time.
And so, the question remains, what will we do with our time left?

WATCH FLEETING TIME IN ITS ENTIRETY BELOW

42 min

Fleeting Time

Ben Ferguson and a crew of professional snowboarders document two winters of chasing storms.

English

While the answers to that age-old question are infinite, one thing we know is definite. Ben Ferguson is using his wisely. The Bend, Oregon native has spent the better part of two years on the film project of a lifetime, traveling the globe, chasing storms and careening down near-vertical, pow-covered terrain in order to bring us something that’s been a long time coming: his very first feature film where he stands center spotlight to show the world that he is one of the most dominant backcountry riders of his generation.
As a young up-and-comer at the base of the world-renowned Mt. Bachelor, a young Ben Ferguson found himself lapping the chairlifts of a perfectly-sloped, windlip-riddled powder paradise. But the day and age of coming up as a backcountry rider had yet to become an industry standard in snowboarding, and so Ben was drawn to halfpipes and terrain parks to make his name known to the world. Together, with his younger brother Gabe, Ben began his ascent, first at local contests and then graduating to bigger park shoots and events, like the US Open and SNOWBOARDER Magazine’s proving grounds, The Launch. It was there that Ben got the world’s attention for his powerful approach and uncanny edge control. It wasn’t long before Ben was dropping in under the Saturday night lights of the X Games and standing atop podiums on every stop of the Burton Global Open Series.
Ben Ferguson

Ben Ferguson

© Chris Wellhausen/Red Bull Content Pool

In 2018, Ferguson qualified for the U.S. Olympic Halfpipe Team and headed to Pyeongchang to represent the States on a global stage. In the lead-up to the Olympics in previous years, Ben was dipping his toes into the backcountry, setting his bootpack, fully committed to making the transition. Ben says, “When I was doing snowboard contests and ever since I was a young kid, I always wanted to be a snowboarder, but not necessarily a contest snowboarder. The dudes I looked up to were Travis Rice, Nicholas Müller, Mikkel Bang, all these dudes who [were filming] dope video parts. And I always wanted to get more into filming in the backcountry and being on my snowboard in the mountains, not just in contests.” After narrowly missing out on a medal in the 2018 Games (Ben placed 4th), he knew it was time. Ferguson set out to stake his claim on powder-laden terrain and never looked back. The clock keeps ticking and it was officially time for him to stamp his legacy.
In 2020, Ben was granted a unique opportunity from the companies that support him to spearhead his very own two-year project. The time had come, and Ben wasn’t about to let it slip away. He kept his inner circle close, selecting a cadre of riders that would mesh with the crew and push each other to ride as best as they possibly could: his brother Gabe, good friend and superstar-in-the-making Jared Elston, one of Ben’s co-stars in 2019’s Joy, Bend legends Curtis Ciszek and Austin Smith, a handful of Japanese’s newest contingent of elite pros Ayumu Hirano, Kaishu Hirano and Raibu Katayama, female phenoms Hailey Langland and Zoi Sadowski-Synnott and rounding out the roster with three of snowboarding’s biggest names, Mark McMorris, Danny Davis, Mikkel Bang and Travis Rice. Heavy crew assembled. As for the title, it was a process to get it where it needed to be as a film’s title is a film’s ideology. It’s telling the audience subconsciously—in just a few words—what you stand for and what you want them to get out of it.
Gabe Ferguson and Ben Ferguson at Natural Selection Tour in Jackson Hole

Gabe Ferguson and Ben Ferguson at Natural Selection Tour in Jackson Hole

© Dean Blotto Gray/Red Bull Content Pool

The clock's always ticking. Time is fleeting. If you use it poorly you waste a bunch of time and probably money, too.
As Ben explains, “We have wanted to do a two-year film project and two years is a lot of time, but only if you spend it wisely. The clock's always ticking. Time is fleeting. If you use it poorly you waste a bunch of time and probably money, too. So that was—at the simplest form—what I was thinking. And then on a little bit deeper and maybe darker note, you think about the environmental crisis that we're going through right now. And just being a snowboarder and talking to other snowboarders and thinking about how much longer we're really gonna be able to do the things that we've been lucky enough to do. So we wanted to take advantage of those times.” And thus, "Fleeting Time" was born.
Chasing storm systems is time-sensitive. One must be hair-trigger ready to drop what they’re doing and pin it with the hopes of getting prime conditions. From the onset, Ben was dead set on making sure that he put his entire crew in a position to succeed. In the two-year span, Ben and crew hopped around in between Mt. Bachelor, Oregon, Whistler, British Columbia, McCall, Idaho, Jackson, Wyoming, Haines and Valdez, Alaska, Japan, Lake Tahoe, California and Mt. Hood, Oregon trying to find the best snow in order to film iconic clips documented by the team dedicated making this film a reality. A snowboard film of this magnitude requires a crew that can capture the action as organically as the ideology. That goes for the filming of tricks, the coordination of hectic travel, the still photography freezing moments in time, the songs selected to accompany the footage and the editing of the movie. In other words, the filmers, editors and photographers have to be at the same level as the riders themselves, and in this case, it was packed with first ballot Hall of Famers behind the lens. Veteran lensmen fill the roster of "Fleeting Time" with Justin Eeles as DP, Rafe Robinson on aerials and cinematographers Malachi Gerard, Anthony Vitale, Sean Aaron, Tim Manning, Caleb Ely and Zach Nigro documenting all the goings-on. The project will be edited by the industry gold-standard Joe Carlino and the entire project is directed by Ben Ferguson himself and famed photographer Aaron Blatt.
Ben Ferguson

Ben Ferguson

© Aaron Blatt/Red Bull Content Pool

Simply put, it’s an all-star crew bringing "Fleeting Time" to life, backed by Ben’s unique vision for a project of this calib"er. According to Ferg, it was that vision that catalyzed the ideology of the film, as he said, “The goal is to inspire younger generations and inspire people to go snowboard. We also want to tie it back into those older snowboard films. You want it to live up to those standards that were set from the older generation.” It’s a time-tested method that drives this film. Get the best snowboarders possible to go ride the best snow in the world and make sure the film crew is as good as the riders in it…and that’s been a recipe for success in our culture.
Ben Ferguson

Ben Ferguson

© Aaron Blatt/Red Bull Content Pool

What is the end goal of a snowboard film? While those answers will certainly vary in opinion, they are meant to stand the test of time. Because time is fleeting. Time is the most mysterious constant in every human being’s life. And thus, what we do with it matters. Again, it matters in different ways to different people. But to Ben Ferguson, this film is legacy. It’s proof. It’s validation for all the work he has put in. “It goes back to the title of the movie. The time was fleeting," says Ben. "We had time, but we also had COVID and other things to deal with. You know, all the trials and tribulations that come with filming a movie; travel and everything. The clock’s always ticking. You just gotta take advantage and use it to the best of your ability.”
The world premiere for "Fleeting Time" will be in Ben Ferguson’s hometown of Bend, OR on October 1, 2022. From Bend, the film departs on a U.S. screening tour.
"Fleeting Time" will premiere digitally and for free exclusively on Red Bull TV November 3, 2022.
Click here for more information on the film tour, exclusive behind the scenes content and more.

Part of this story

Fleeting Time

Ben Ferguson and a crew of professional snowboarders document two winters of chasing storms.

42 min
Watch Film

Want more of this?