Interview by Jeff Schmuck
Photos courtesy of Poor Boyz, Dan Carr, Brandon Kelly & Riley Leboe
So you guys had a change of scenery this summer while editing your new film by moving your operation from California to Whistler. What prompted you guys to make the move?
Tyler: Well it's a bit of a long complicated story, but essentially we were just going to pow-wow in LA first and then Jeff wanted to come back up here to edit, so we figured why not switch it up and edit the movie in Whistler for a change of pace. Plus Johnny spent the winter making The Windsurfing Movie 2, so the office in LA was a bit clogged up because of that.
Jeff: Plus in years' past someone has always had to fly up here or to Hood from LA to film interviews with athletes, or the athletes had to fly in to LA. So since most of our athletes are here in Whistler for the summer coaching at summer camp, and it's cool to have them around while we're editing their parts and a fun time with all the skiing, hanging out, partying, etc, we thought it'd be a great way to be a part of the ski scene again in the summer and have a bit of a presence in Whistler.
Cody Carter, Jeff Thomas, Tyler Hamlet & JP Auclair in Whistler.
Has it been motivating for you guys to be much more entrenched in the ski scene here while editing as opposed to being in LA where you're pretty far removed from anything skiing-related?
Jeff: Yeah definitely, and especially because of all the campers. It's pretty cool to see them cruising around the village being so stoked all the time, and having not been here for the past few summers I had kind of forgotten about the vibe of being around them. They're skiing every single day and are so excited to be able to do so in June and July, so it made us that much more pumped to work on the movie, because they're the people we're making it for.
Cody: It's been super awesome for me as well since I'm the newcomer in terms of being in Whistler in the summer, because although I've come here quite often over the years during the winter, this is my first time being here this time of year. I was working on the windsurfing movie for the spring and the first part of the summer, so that kind of took me out of the picture for a bit, so it was great to be able to come up here and see all of the footage from the winter with a fresh pair of eyes.
And how is the movie coming along?
Cody: Really, really well, and I can't say enough about the footage. It's hard to believe, especially after what we accomplished last year, that we could continue to be consistent with the amount of amazing footage we got.
On that note, I know last year you guys were all saying that it was the first time since War that you felt like you had too much banging footage, and that it was a problem, but a good problem to have. Is this year the same, or more or less?
Jeff: Way more actually.
Then how challenging is it to not make the movie three hours long? (laughs)
Jeff: (laughs) Well it's going to be a longer movie this year, but I think it's going to be a way better one. The skiing is ridiculous, and everything is coming together really nicely. The music is really well rounded and there are some new aspects to it and ideas we worked on that will tie everything together really well, particularly the intro.
What's the concept behind this year's film? Because as everyone knows, a few years ago you guys strayed from your somewhat standard ski porn-type formula of old to make Reasons, which was a huge gamble but ended up paying off for you, and then Every Day is a Saturday was a kind of a blend of the two. What can everyone expect from Revolver?
Tyler: I think a big thing for us is that we really aim to keep it fresh for ourselves so we don't get bored with what we're doing, because if we get start getting bored I think that will show. It's going to be a bit similar to what we did last year with the mix of the two formulas again, but it's going to be completely different in a way too. There's a lot more rider segments this year, which I think is good, because it allows us to showcase the athletes' versatility throughout the different aspects of the sport. And as far as the movie as a whole, I don't want to say it's going to be like Reasons, but it's definitely tipping more in that direction with some more rider-based story elements that the general audience will appreciate, while at the same time staying true to our core and showing what I consider to be the most progressive skiing to date.
A lot of people have been talking about the name and what it's all about. Are there going to be some tie in’s to the word revolver?
Tyler: Yeah the whole thing around the name is about how things tend to come and go and then come back again in a circular motion. So there will be some tie in's to where we're at in the sport in terms of progression, technology, people coming up with things and new generations wanting to emulate it, etc…
Jeff: Along with factors that have helped shape the sport and continue to progress it that are kind of the same but at the same time different for that decade or that generation.
Who in your mind is going to really stand out in this year's film?
Jeff: Everybody (laughs). Dane is going to have a really good segment again, Sammy absolutely killed it, along with Charley, Durtschi, there's some great stuff with Pep...I could go on and on. I also saw a thread on NS recently about who the dark horse of 2010 is, and on that note I want to give special mention to Bene Mayr. He's definitely a guy to watch out for. I know a lot of people have already heard of him, but he's new to our crew and we couldn't be happier to have him on board and we're already looking forward to working with more in the future, because he's an all around great person and his footage is mind boggling. LJ Strenio came on board with us this year as well and really stepped it up with some diverse stuff, and in terms of guys who have been around a bit longer, I think people are going to be surprised by Riley Leboe's segment, who has his first full segment with us as opposed to just being part of a trip segment, along with Dumont's, because people seem to consider him much more competition-focused now a days, but he threw down some of the biggest stuff of the year in the backcountry this winter for us, and I think people are going to be stoked on it.
Cody: I think the best way to put it is that the veterans stepped it up, and the newcomers don't disappoint. And then JP Auclair here, one of the OG's of freeskiing, came back and sent it in a big, big way for us.
Yeah JP, talk about what you've been up to for the last two years, because you weren't in Every Day is a Saturday, but I understand you had a bunch of footage in the can?
JP: Yeah two winters ago I made the decision to take some time for myself so I could take some avalanche and guiding courses and ended up spending a lot of time solo and skiing for myself.
That must have been a nice change of pace for you I imagine.
JP: Yeah it was the first time in 10 years, which is crazy. But I felt like I couldn't do that as much as I wanted to and still come up with a good enough segment, so during that season when I was filming in Alaska I decided to not to come out with anything and keep my footage in the vault. If it's freestyle it's a bit more difficult to do that, but if it's AK lines I feel like that type of skiing is a little more timeless, so I hung onto that stuff, which is why I wasn't in Every Day is a Saturday, and then I worked super hard all this winter and am combining my footage.
And now you're up here in Whistler editing with the boys editing your own segment.
JP: Yeah I've been editing my own segments since Session 1242, and it's always great to come out and hang with the guys in the summer and help out with anything else I can.
And how's it going being in Whistler as opposed to LA for you?
JP: Well I miss the surfing, but it was great to be able to go on the glacier and get some skiing in. I was up there for a few days shredding with Turpin, so it was cool to be back up there again.
Tyler: I also want to add that not necessarily in terms of athletes, but I think a standout of the movie overall is the fact that we really put a lot more emphasis this year on big backcountry lines. I think we're bringing a fresh new perspective on that, which is nice, and I also think the intro is going to really stoke people up, because it's so different from anything we've done in the past.
Do you want to tease the intro a bit?
Jeff: Well Tyler and I had the idea for a while, and originally it was only going to be part of the intro, but it sort of spun into becoming the whole thing. I don't want to give away what it is, but it's a point of view-style of thing and has a similar vibe to the intro of the Nicholas Cage movie Lord of War. It's kind of dark and very different from anything Poor Boyz has done in the past, along with any other ski, snowboard or action sports film that I've seen.
You guys have all been editing ski movies for a really long time. What do you do to stay motivated and prevent yourselves from feeling like it's somewhat of a mundane thing you have to do every summer?
Jeff: Actually doing the intro helped me out a ton with that I found. It's something that's so relative to what skiing is, but I had no idea about the process behind the concept of it. And once we figured it out, it was really cool to make it and it ended up motivating me more to work on the movie because it helped me appreciate the sport of skiing that much more.
I look around you guys here and I see stacks of other ski, snowboard and all types of action sports movies. Do you guys look at other companies and/or films for inspiration, or do you try not to pay attention to what other people are doing?
Cody: I try to watch every pro and amateur ski and snowboard trailer that comes out in the spring and summer for sure, so I can get a sense of what people are up to.
Jeff: I try not to watch anything (laughs).
Tyler: For me I don't generally watch other people's stuff while we're editing. I try to keep all of that stuff away because I don't want it to come into what we're trying to do. I obviously watch all of the teasers so I can stay in tune with what other people are doing, but I would say most of my inspiration and people I look to for that are in other sports as opposed to our competition in the ski world. I look at surfing a lot, along with snowboarding and skate videos, because I find it's cool to pay attention to what the different genres are doing.
On a more somber note, it's been a tough year for skiing in that we've lost a few really good people, two of whom were very much a part of the PBP family, with Eric Simard, who was one of your filmers, and of course CR Johnson. Can we expect to see some sort of tributes to those guys from you?
Jeff: Tyler and Cody did one for the beginning of the film that's really cool, so I'm sure we'll do something like that. And we didn't use all of the interview we did with CR last year that was in the trailer for Every Day is a Saturday, and he said some pretty cool stuff that ended up being very relative to the concept of Revolver along with skiing, and life in general, which was really sweet for us to listen to after he passed away. It's not too intense, and it makes you feel really good, so hopefully you'll get to hear some of that in the film.
What are you guys most looking forward to after the movie is done?
Jeff: Going to Hawaii (laughs). I'm actually most looking forward to just getting the movie out, because we've had a bunch of the athletes come by this summer, and they've been pretty shocked by how good the footage is, how much of it we have, and how well it's coming together. So after seeing their reactions I can't wait for people to see it.
Tyler: I'm not sure. It's been a pretty mellow summer so far and I'm usually a bit more stressed out, so it's nice to feel a bit more relaxed, and as a result I don't really feel like I'll need to go on a breather like I have in years' past. But then again there's also another four weeks of editing left, so that could change (laughs). And I'm also looking forward to that three-peat at IF3 (laughs).
Cody: I'm looking forward to December, because that's when the tour is over (laughs).
Photo: Matt Stauble
Yeah tell us a bit about your plans for the tour.
Cody: It's still called the Triple Threat Tour, but the format is going to be different this year. We won't be showing three movies again, because we found it was a bit tedious for some people to sit through three films. We'll obviously be showing Revolver, and in some select cities there will be a partner movie, but the Triple Threat concept now encompasses the movie, an afterparty, and athletes. And that's the big thing that we're pushing on our tour this year. Every PBP tour stop, at least on the super shows, will have a bunch of athletes there, because we think it's really cool to be able to have them there to communicate with their and our fans in an off-season atmosphere. It kicks off in Seattle on September 11th, where we hope to have almost every single person from the movie in attendance, and then we'll cruise on from there. Check out http://www.poorboyz.com/tour for more info.
Talk about the trailer.
Jeff: We swear we weren't purposely trying to be last (laughs).
Tyler: Yeah sorry it's a bit late, but I think it's well worth the wait. Check it out below, and get stoked.
Any last things you want to say to everyone out there about the film?
Jeff: Thank-you so much for all of your support over the many years Poor Boyz has been around, and we're going to continue to try to bring new things and new athletes to our movies while doing our part to help push the sport of skiing as best as we can. Everyone that worked on this movie, from the crew here to the other filmers and all the athletes, are all very, very passionate about this sport, and hopefully that shows in the movie, and that it makes you that much stoked to go skiing.
To pre-order your copy of Revolver, go to http://www.poorboyzstore.com
Revolver (Official Trailer) from Poor Boyz Productions on Vimeo.