Words & photos by Jeff Schmuck
There's some big news in the world of ski filmmaking to announce, as Jeff Thomas of Poor Boyz Productions (and former head of Theory-3 Media) recently announced his decision to leave the ski movie powerhouse to join Mike Douglas as the new co-producer of Salomon Freeski TV.
"It was a really tough decision to leave PBP, because some of my closest friends work and film for the company, but it was time for me to mix things up and move on," says Thomas. "It had always been a dream of mine to work hand in hand with guys like Johnny Decesare and Tyler Hamlet, and it was an absolute pleasure over the last handful of years to have that opportunity, while seeing good friends like Dane Tudor, Charley Ager, Riley Leboe and Mike Henitiuk to name a few thriving and pushing their skiing to whole new levels. The PBP crew is a hard working group of individuals, and Tyler, Johnny, Cody Carter and Pete Alport are all very focused on capturing the most progressive skiing imaginable, and I am stoked to see that Duncan, Sherpa and Big Chuck have been brought on board, as I think their addition will be huge for the crew. I have always been a big fan of Salomon Freeski TV, so the opportunity to work with them was super attractive to me, as I really like the direction Mike Douglas and the crew are going. There have already been some sick episodes out this season and a lot more really great ones to come. We all know things are continuing to move online, and there are so many sick companies and people out there producing such good stuff, so it is pleasure to be working with one of the leaders of that movement with Mike Douglas and Switchback Entertainment."
Jeff Thomas editing Revolver as JP Auclair, Cody Carter and Tyler Hamlet look on.
"I'm super stoked for Jeff," says Johnny Decesare, owner of Poor Boyz Productions. "It's sick to see him move up into the world of producing, because it's something he's been working on for a long time, and I always encourage everyone who works for us or rides for us to continue on in their path in life, whether it's Tanner Hall making his own films or Jeff going to work with Mike Douglas and Salomon Freeski TV. I wish him nothing but the best, and I will continue to help him in any way I possibly can in the future."
Tyler Hamlet, Jeff Thomas, Johnny Decesare and Cody Carter with a fan.
"Since business has gotten better for Switchback Entertainment, Salomon Freeski TV is really taking off and we've started to get some other projects going on, it became pretty clear that we needed some more help while continuing our effort to step up our production game," says Mike Douglas. "I needed a new guy, and Jeff and I were talking this summer about the direction of our personal involvement in video production, and after a few months went by he came to me and said he was really interested in getting involved. So I'm super stoked to have someone of his caliber working with us now, and I think we're going to do some really good things together."
To fill the void, Poor Boyz Productions has recently made some acquisitions of their own by hiring Duncan Lake, Charlie Grinnell and Brandon Kelly. The three will help film for PBP's next movie, which Johnny Decesare, who will direct the film, says will be a high energy offering around 45 minutes long with continuous bangers, while co-director Tyler Hamlet will begin working on a two-year travel based film with some of the biggest names in the sport.
"Bringing on Duncan Lake, Charlie Grinnell and Brandon Kelly is going to bring us the youthful energy I remember having back in the day," says Decesare. "It makes me that much more excited to direct the film from start to finish, knowing how much energy and positivity and value those guys are going to bring to our company. To have three guys like that, who are stoked from the beginning of the day to the very end, is exactly what you want in a production team, and I have no doubt that we're going to make one of the best movies we ever have.
LJ Strenio with Duncan Lake.
"I couldn't be more stoked to be working for Poor Boyz," says Lake. "I still remember being in seventh grade and watching Degenrates and 13 during my lunch break, and knowing from then on that I wanted to make ski movies and be a part of Poor Boyz, so this really is a dream come true for me."
Duncan Lake, who owns and operates Junction 133 Productions, is best known for his mind blowing web edits along with being one of the filmers for Team Newschoolers at Jon Olsson Super Sessions. Lake, who is based out of Colorado, will now act as one of PBP's main park and urban filmers.
Charlie 'Chunk' Grinnell. Photo: Dan Brown
Charlie 'Chunk' Grinnell, who resides in Vancouver, BC and has made numerous entertaining cameos in the popular webisode series Chug Life, has been a freelance videographer for Poor Boyz, Voleurz and Alterna Films, and was the head ski filmer and editor at Camp of Champions this summer.
"I'm super excited to be working for Poor Boyz" says Grinnell. "It's my dream job and I know how lucky I am to have this kind of opportunity at such a young age, so I'm planning on taking full advantage of it by doing everything I can to help Poor Boyz take it to a whole new level of filmmaking."
Charley Ager with Brandon 'Sherpa' Kelly. Photo: Jeff Thomas
After being one of Poor Boyz' featured athletes for the past few years, Brandon 'Sherpa' Kelly had decided to step behind the lens, and along with Grinnell will spend the majority of his winter documenting the backcountry-filled exploits of his fellow Whistler-based crew of Dane Tudor, Charley Ager, Riley Leboe, Mike Henitiuk, Josh Stack and Leigh Powis.
"I got the chance to be a part of Theory-3 and Poor Boyz over the past five years as a skier, which I feel will help make the transition to filming for PBP perfect," says Kelly. "We're going to have a banger season in the PNW with lots of snow, so I'm stoked to get things rolling."
With new blood flowing through the veins at Salomon Freeski TV and Poor Boyz Productions, expect their next year's offerings to be more orgasmic to the eyes than ever before, and join us in congratulating Jeff, Duncan, Charlie and Brandon on their new positions.