words and photos: T. Bird
The formula of boardsports cinema mandates that the number one rule is that mixing surf, skate, and snow on the silver screen is sacrilege, a rule not to be broken, and if so, ensuring failure. However, Volcom has been breaking rules and doing it their way since founder Richard Woolcott was selling their original merchandise out of the trunk of his car. Last night they premiered their surf/skate/snow film True To This at their world headquarters in Costa Mesa, California and once again, Volcom proved to the entire industry that if a trend exists, they will not follow it, they will do it their way, and they will make it extremely successful.
While I can't necessarily comment on the skate and surf footage as a true expert, I can say that as a layman of those respective industries, the footage is incredible and even the most novice surfing and skateboarding enthusiast will appreciate how gnarly the clips in True To This truly are. I can say with certainty that on the snow side, there's no B footage. It's all A-grade, and as I mentioned earlier about not being an expert off the snow, it seems that the same mentality was taken into the editing bay when the skate and surf sections were edited.
As for the snowboarding, True To This has slight hints and nods of former concepts seen in iconic films such as The Garden, Subjekt: Haakonsen, Luminous Llama, Escramble, and 9191 in the sense that the editing matches the music which matches the footage which matches the entire feel of the film, giving it that classic Volcom distinctiveness that has made their brand one of the most powerful in the world with an endemic audience.
While their team is one of the most talented and respected in the snowboard world, simply having a great squad doesn't necessarily guarantee success, but what Volcom has always done so well is put riders on the team who represent the ideology of their brand and that has always translated in their film projects. Be it Pat Moore's versatility, Scott Blum's skate-inspired street riding, Curtis Ciszek's powder lines, chutes, and pillows, Bryan Iguchi's backcountry wizardry, Mark Landvik's now-legendary methods and unorthodox off-piste tricks like cornice handplants, Johnny Lazz's urbans technicality, Dylan Alito's hell-for-leather approach to snowboarding, Jamie Lynn's timeless style, and much much more, True To This delivers one of the most complete packages of shredding that I have ever seen…and that's not even including the surf and skate footage.
I fear giving away too much of this film because it's so much more than just a snowboard movie. It's a retrospective of one of the most influential brands that not just snowboarding, but action sports as a whole, has ever known. True To This is a mission statement, and one that is backed up by the brand, its employees, and its riders, and even the premiere itself–packed with fans of the brand–had a feel that seemed to be a nod to the early days, before corporate America caught on to the fact that we were in fact a money-making industry.
Plainly put, I urge you to watch True To This, regardless of if you're a first year skateboarder, surfer, or snowboarder, or if you've been an avid enthusiast since before Volcom was a company, as it's fun, informative, and highly entertaining. It's hard to take snowboard films for more than they are these days, but I can assure you that True To This is so much more than a snowboard movie. It's a celebration of a lifestyle that so many people have dedicated their lives to, and that's precisely why Volcom has been so successful since their inception. It's because they've consistently refused to compromise their integrity while making it a priority to nurture our culture. In other words, they really are true to this.
Watch the making of Volcom’s True to This:
The Making of True to This – Episode 1: 20 Year Itch
The Making of True to This – Episode 2: It's Not You, It's We
The Making of True to This – Episode 3: Not New to This
The Making of True to This – Episode 4: The Indefinite Ride