Interview by Kyle Meyr
Photos by Emil Sollie & Chris Helber
So who are the main men behind Happy Pro?
Christopher Helberg: Originally it was me, Remi Keiseraas, Sebastian Ruud, Anders Halfdansen and some other guys from back home in Jessheim, Norway. We started by filming with a digital camera that only had like 10 seconds of film, so every shot was really bad but we started making edits (laughs). We kept making more friends while we traveled and eventually it ended up with the group we are now.
After you and your friends began making these edits, when did more people start jumping in?
Christopher Helberg: First we started traveling to Hovden and other local resorts, so we got some guys from the south of Norway. Then I started at a school in Oppdal where I met Gaute Silseth, Espen Bergh, Vebjørn Svorkmo and all of those guys.
Peder Bergsland: Basically for the last three years, just after high school, we met each other at different resorts and competitions and just…melted into each other I guess.
(laughs) Was the “Happy Pro” name established before you guys 'melted'?
Christopher Helberg: Yeah (laughs). When we were like 14 or something we were like, “Ok, what are we going to call ourselves?” We tried to get a Happy Productions domain name, but it was occupied and the first alternative they gave us was “Happy Pro”. So we just decided, “yeah ok, whatever” and just took it.
Peder Bergsland: It sounded kind of gay at first, but luckily now people don’t associate it with “happy and gay”. It’s just a name now…finally. (laughs)
Considering everyone who has starred in an episode of your webisode series, TrashParty, the Happy Pro crew seems incredibly large.
Peder Bergsland: Yeah, we always call each other first, but if other people want to join, then why not? For instance, we recently went to Folgefonna and built a backcountry kicker. Then the guys from Ducksjen called us up and asked, “Hey, what are you guys doing? Okay, we’ll come up!” and we had a bangin’ session with like 30 guys!
Sounds like a lot of fun! Describe your newest TrashParty episode, “TrashParty Episode 5”?
Christopher Helberg: The shots are kind of random, but Episode 5 is from European X Games, Megapark and the Disco/Pato Invitational. From Euro X Games there are a lot of random shots with a GoPro and 7D. There’s a lot of partying and not so much skiing because we weren’t allowed to film the event, so we just filmed a lot of random stuff.
Peder Bergsland: A lot of bails (laughs). It’s a collection of lots of random funny shit.
Christopher Helberg: We also have somewhat of a competition called the Disco/Pato Invitational, named after Daniel Jacobsen and Jonas Steen. We call Daniel "Disco" because a disco ball fell and broke over his head at a party one time, and we call Jonas "Pato", but I don’t know why (laughs). They started a competition last year on a pump track they built in a friend’s yard and this year we added more features and invited some people. It was all about making a set up, shredding it, drinking beer and having fun.
The TrashParty Ep. 5 from Happypro on Vimeo.
There seems to be an awful lot of nonsense and craziness in your TrashParty episodes. Do you plan them around that or does it just happen to be the prevailing amount of footage?
Christopher Helberg: I never try to set up things. If I film, then I film. Things like that always happen.
Peder Bergsland: Chris is always filming, the camera is always on record. So people don’t know that in between shots he is actually filming, and then he always gets the spontaneous shit that people don’t want on film and then uses it against you. (laughs)
Christopher Helberg: I know that if I just film the things that I should film, the episodes are going to be very similar to all of the other edits out there. Plus I think it’s so funny to catch stuff like that! Like when we are out on the streets, there are so many crazy people here in Oslo who are going mental and saying crazy stuff. Like the old lady with the kids in the snowstorm who’s just sitting and screaming in Episode 4.
Peder Bergsland: And that one guy who threatened to rip our heads off and fuck us in the neck! (laughs)
Christopher Helberg: When people talk about these episodes, they don’t talk about the skiing; they talk about stuff like the guy who was going to rip our heads off.
The TrashParty Ep. 4 from Happypro on Vimeo.
I’ve talked to a lot of people about you guys to feel out where you are in the eyes of the ski community, and I’ve gotten a lot of varying feedback about your style…
Peder Bergsland: There are so many different styles in the TrashParty. You have us who are tight pants, shred or die ski demons, then you have Gaute Silseth and Espen Bergh who are like X Games riders out there doing the gnarliest doubles with super clean style.
Christopher Helberg: And then we have all the snowboarders as well. I think it’s cool that we have so many different styles of riding in the episodes so no one can say, “This is what TrashParty does”, and everyone can find something about it they enjoy.
What do you guys have planned for TrashParty in the future?
Peder Bergsland: Getting more of the guys together and going some place like France, Switzerland or the US.
Christopher Helberg: I really want to continue getting more creative, funny and banger shots in the streets. I don’t want to make it bigger with tons of slow motion and helicopter shots and stuff like that...
Peder Bergsland: We’re going to keep the same style, just…more. (laughs)
Emil Sollie: There was an idea brought up where we could try some battles or something with other crews, so it’d be cool to hook up with some other people.
Peder Bergsland: Yeah, I saw there was a thread on Newschoolers asking, “Who should the Traveling Circus hook up with for a Euro trip?” That would be really cool to hook up with them, and for that matter, any other crew in Europe or the States.
Christopher Helberg: We could go visit them and they could visit us or something.
Well I look forward to seeing all this come together! Now to finish off the interview, let’s talk about how you guys are always on top of the hottest hip-hop dance crazes.
Christopher Helberg: (laughs) These dances started when we were out partying, where we would always start these battles on the dance floor with really stupid dances, especially Emil. We would be at a party and see someone doing some stupid dance, so he would go up and call them out. Like the other night he started beef with some playboy (laughs). The guy walked past and gave Emil the finger, so Emil walked over to him and started a battle, which eventually ended up outside where the guy brought like four guys ready to start a fight. We just stood there and laughed at them (laughs). Eventually, it ended with one guy saying, “Ok, maybe I could buy you a coffee and you could buy me a coffee?”
To learn more about Happy Pro and to watch all episodes of TrashParty, check them out on Facebook and at http://www.happypro.net.