Words: Laura Austin
Photos: Mike Yoshida
The SoCal snowboard world converged upon the Oakley fortress for yet another snowboard movie premiere in Southern California last night. Not only did People show their new flick “Good Look”, but the night opened up with “The Rascals”. Contrary to how the event announcement made it sound, the late 60’s band with hits such as “Good Lovin” did not play that evening. Instead it was Bryan Fox and Scotty Wittlake’s side project, which they filmed and edited themselves.
The drive behind making a snowboard movie seems to have shifted over the years. More focus has been placed on working with the most advanced equipment, riding the gnarliest terrain, and simply pushing the limits of what can be done in film-making and riding. This is progression, and I am not saying it is a bad thing. But Fox and Wittlake’s “The Rascals” is a refreshing portrayal of just plain snowboarding. If their objective was to make people want to go ride then they nailed it on a head with a sledgehammer.
The whole movie gave you the feeling of snowboarding with homies on a good powder day at your local resort. And not just any homies, the likes of Jake Blauvelt, Austin Smith, Curtis Ciszek, Pat McCarthy, Forrest Burki, Shaun McKay, and countless others. And not just any resort, but the one and only Mt. Baker. Intermixed between old-school, grainy, Super 8 clips were pow slashes, cliff drops, jumps, and technical lines filmed solely by Bryan, Scotty, and friends. Some of my favorite shots were Wittlake’s POV footage through the trees. So far if I had to pick one movie to watch before I went riding, at least on a powder day… this one would be it. Much respect for Fox and Wittlake proving with “The Rascals” that you don’t need all the fancy bells and whistles to make a quality snowboard film.
Pierre Minhondo and Justin Eeles introduced People’s new film, “Good Look” as their best movie they have made in years, and I think most people would agree with that. Unlike most film crews these days, you don’t see People put out many web edits, leaving their final product a complete mystery. This year’s flick was definitely a pleasant surprise.
“Good Look” opened up with Finland’s Lauri Heiskari. Lauri came out with a segment proving once again that he is a very well rounded rider with a healthy mix of shots in the streets and off backcountry booters. Next up was Joe Sexton. It would obviously be difficult to top his ender in last year’s film but he still came out with some heavy rail shots, with his part opening and closing with two different very aggressive triple-kinks. Shaun McKay and Eero Niemela shared a part with a good vibe backcountry section. JP Walker proved once again that he can keep up with the best of them with a part littered with rails and few surprise backcountry shots.
The story of the night was definitely Eric Jackson coming away with not only the ender, but a two-song ender. The crowd was hooting and hollering throughout the whole thing, which may have been fueled by his massive airs or the open bar. Regardless everyone was hyped to see E-Jack shine after being put out of commission due to injuries the past few seasons. Throwing down serious backcountry lines, effortlessly buttering off rocks midway through, and honestly boosting higher off backcountry jumps than most guys out there. I overheard someone claim that Jackson’s section was a “Man’s Part”. He definitely showed the snowboard world that he can step out of his brother’s shadow, and into the spotlight.