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'Ice The Movie' receives Hollywood premiere

Actress, skater Maddison Bullock brings own skating story to life
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The cast of 'Ice The Movie' -- including screenwriter/star Maddison Bullock (fourth from right) -- shared the red carpet at the film's Hollywood premiere Feb. 20. -Courtesy of Maddison Bullock

Members of the Los Angeles skating community took a break from watching the Olympic Winter Games on Feb. 20 to attend a screening of Ice The Movie, which premiered at the Ricardo Montalbán Theater in Hollywood. Among those gracing the red carpet were Tai Babilonia, Brittany Vise, Tiffany Vise, Sean Rabbitt, costume designer Lisa McKinnon and skater/designer Braden Overett.

Ice The Movie is the creation of Maddison Bullock, whose screenplay reflected her experiences in the sport. The film tracks the journey of two elite skaters who share a coach as they struggle to balance their personal lives with the demands of competitive skating.

"My movie is about how even though figure skating is an individual sport, no other person in your life understands skating quite like another skater does," Bullock said. "So there's this sort of weird friendship that comes with the rivalries. It's heartwarming and it's real. The way it's shot, you feel you're going through the ups and downs of a skating life.

"I was around friends and colleagues who were making their own stuff, so I felt very inspired by that," she added. "I also knew I could make this on a feasible budget because I had 20 years of relationships in skating."

Bullock grew up skating in Denver and Colorado Springs, where Christy Krall and Damon Allen served as her primary coaches. She competed at the U.S. junior championships on more than one occasion and took tests through senior free skating.

While studying at UCLA, she was on the collegiate figure skating team and earned her SAG card by appearing as a background talent in skating scenes for film and TV. She appeared in several school plays, and eventually wrote a film treatment, which she completed soon after graduation.

Bullock finished the script, and hired cast and crew in May 2016. In December of that year, she shot the film in Colorado (a few scenes were shot in Southern California). Peter Paul Basler directed, but Bullock took over that role for the skating sequences.

"Most skaters would agree that there aren't a lot of skating movies that do skating justice," Bullock said. "I understood skating. So I felt, 'Why don't I write a story that I want to watch?'"

Ice The Movie will be available on Amazon this month.

Several well-known skaters appear in the movie, including two-time U.S. champion Alissa Czisny, U.S. champion Max Aaron and Olympic silver medalist Peter Carruthers.

Bullock described the whole experience -- blending skating, producing and acting, and overseeing a crew of more than 30 people -- as a bit terrifying.

"It was really challenging," Bullock said. "It was daunting, but it was really neat."