words: T. Bird
photos: Oli Gagnon
captions: Pat Bridges
Seven years ago, eight kids from Québec City, Canada exploded onto the scene with a low-budget cult classic, called “Bandwagon.” Today, they are viewed as arguably the best jibbers of our generation as a collective. A year-and-a-half ago, they pulled the trigger on their dream project and set forth on a project that’s been widely hailed as “Bandwagon 2,” and it is by far one of the most talked-about films in the past few years.
One of those eight kids from Québec City, Canada is Will Lavigne. Will, with the help of his friends Louif Paradis, Phil Jacques, Laurent-Nicolas Paquin, Alex Cantin, Nic Sauve, Frank April, and Ben Bilocq, re-wrote the textbook for street-influenced snowboarders across the globe by executing their tricks to near-perfection, and partly because of that, their influence has been so impactful. Will is an amicable guy who blends into a crowd, but once he straps in, it’s a gloves-off battle until he rides away with a shot. He’s an incredibly hard worker, driven by perfection, and a personification of the crew’s uniform ideology that if there’s even a question of legitimacy on the playback, just do it again.
With “Déjà Vu” premiering this Friday in their home city, we gave Will a quick call while he was in the editing bay with Greg Desjardins and Hayden Rensch putting the finishing touches on his part. Read below for a little glimpse into “Déjà Vu,” and trust me when I tell you that it would be in your very best interest to go incredibly far out of your way to see this film.
Obviously, the anticipation surrounding “Déjà Vu” is astronomical. As the premiere gets closer, how do you guys feel that it’s coming along?
We think it’s coming along pretty well. Everyone had a solid year but at the same time it’s kinda stressful because we know people are waiting to see it and we hope they like it. Hayden [Rensch] and Greg [Desjardins] are working really hard to finish it, and all the riders feel like they have good stuff, so I’m pretty sure people will he hyped. We’ll see.
A lot of people think that “Déjà Vu” was a two-year project but that’s not necessarily correct. The footage is from last season and a trip to Sherbrooke, Canada the year before?
Yeah, it’s not a two-year movie. We just wanted to create a hype with those “Prologue” videos, and we didn’t put any footage from that trip in the movie. That winter, we all had different movie projects we were working on and we all took eight days off and went on the trip to Sherbrooke to make those “Prologue” edits to hype the movie, but yeah, we haven’t kept anything from that trip.
Were there any instances during the filming of “Déjà Vu” where the pressure got to the crew, or was it a relatively mellow process overall?
Everyone felt the pressure, I think. In the beginning it was kinda weird because everyone wanted to do so well. We would spend so much time trying to find the perfect spot to get the perfect shot because everyone wanted every trick to be sick. At some point, we all decided we’d just do what we’ve always done and ride the stuff we like. December was kinda weird like that, but then January, February, and March were really good. It took us a while to figure it out but it ended up going really well.
That’s the stereotype that’s always been associated with the eight of you guys. Everything is proper and perfect.
Yeah, and I think these days it’s not just about the tricks but also about how creative you get and figuring out what trick works for what spot. That’s what stands out, so that’s what we tried to do.
How long is the movie going to be?
We’d like to keep it kinda short. Sometimes, movies are a little too long and people get lost or lose focus, so we tried to keep it short and put in just the stuff that needs to go in. I think it’s gonna be around thirty-five minutes max. We’ve put a lot of stuff online already, like little teasers and stuff and we tried to use new stuff in those teasers that we’re not gonna use in the movie. But yeah, we’re gonna keep it short.
Are there any surprise cameos?
A little bit, yeah. We all wish we could include all of our friends. That was one of the goals, was to have a strong friends section and have cameos from everyone but then we realized that if we wanted to keep the movie short, we don’t have a lot of room. But there’s a few dudes, like Chris Grenier has a shot in Frank’s part and Takaharu Nakai has like three or four shots in Louif’s part.
Yeah, and I’m not too sure if there’s other people because we’re still editing the movie. The intro is getting put together right now, so maybe in the intro. We’re gonna try to use some stuff in there because we have some cool shots of our friends and it would be cool to use it.
On a personal level, how do you feel that your part is coming along now that you’ve seen all your footage?
I’m just hyped that I didn’t get hurt and everything went well for me last season. I think it’s one of the best years I’ve had in a while and I’m pretty hyped on how everything is coming together. I’m stoked.
Where is the premiere?
It’s this Friday, the 30th in downtown Québec City at the Theatre de la Bordée and then on September 5th, we’re doing one in downtown Montreal. We’re still trying to do some premieres in New York, Boston, and Burlington, maybe. There’s gonna be other stops, too, like Denver, So Cal, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, Whistler, Calgary, all that. But we still have to figure out all that stuff. We’re a little late because we’re editing the movie but we’ll figure it out once the movie is done.
For more information on “Déjà Vu,” go to dejavumovie.com.