The Snowboarder Movie Resolution

Ted Borland

words: Desiree Melancon

photos: Huggy, Mike Yoshida, Oli Gagnon, and Tom Monterosso

Fall has arrived and we came to give cheer to the changing season. We gathered to celebrate. It was Thursday, September 22nd, the first day of the Equinox. SNOWBOARDER Magazine’s feature film, 'The SNOWBOARDER Movie: Resolution' was scheduled to hit Laurelhurst Theater's big screen at 9 PM. According to word of mouth, SNOWBOARDER had attempted to hold the premiere in Salt Lake City, Utah, however, thanks to SNOWBOARDER Editor Tom Monterosso, the entire snowboarding community is banned due to the damage done at his wedding last month. Either way, they couldn’t have picked a better night or location. The first evening that really leads into winter in a rare industry hub where urban meets alpine: beautiful Portland, Oregon.

Chris Grenier and Scott Blum

Scott Blum, Colin Langlois, and Chris Grenier outside the Laurelhurt Theater. p: T. Bird

Mikey Rencz

Mikey Rencz. Whistler. p: Oli Gagnon

The Fourth Phase World Premiere

Aaron Leyland, Mikey Rencz, Chris Owen, and Jameson Keegan. p: T. Bird

For many of the riders in 'Resolution' who made the trek to the Pacific Northwest for the first look at their season's effort, the night started early at Harmon’s bar. If you had happened to walk into the restaurant side that night, you would find yourself face to face with a posse of snowboarding industry heads and pros, including 'Resolution' riders Chris Grenier, Harrison Gordon, Scott Blum, 'Resolution' Co-Director John Cavan, T. Bird, Pat Bridges, Salomon's Kevin Stevenson and Greg Covello, and 'Resolution' cinematographer Kyle Schwartz, all messily crammed into the center of the dining area, jackets shed, drinks amassed on the tables. Laughter echoed off the walls and the remnants of Pat’s fried clams lingered in between good company. We had arrived at seven, which gave ample time for football to be watched. Grenier paid no mind to the individuals trying to enjoy their dinner; if a touchdown was about to happen, everyone knew because of Chris’ standing chants and hand claps. East Coast’s finest. While we finished drinks and the game's clock ticked down, we were moments away from a winter's worth of this crew's work being displayed before an audience--a year of collectively toiling in the street, in the backcountry and in front of the computer screen--but there was no weight in the air. This was about people who really enjoyed one another's company, friends, who had gotten the opportunity to spend time collaborating on something together. Pressure was absent; before the intro titling rolled, this was a celebration.

Chris Grenier

Time was passing, beers were slippery, wine warmed the soul, and it was almost nine o’clock. Laurelhurst Theater was about one left turn and twenty steps across the street away. In my pocket I had three spare ticket stubs, just in case any friends hadn’t RSVP’d ahead of time. It was predicted that every seat would be filled and that was not far off. The timely crowd was an assortment of familiar and unfamiliar faces including Curtis Ciszek, Bryan Fox, Jesse Grandkoski, Evan Lefevre, Cale Meyer, Austin Smith, Tyler Orton, Mikey Rencz, Jake Blauvelt, Colin Langlois, Andy Wright, Trent Ludwig, Lucas Magoon’s Aunt Kim, Jon Ray, Kurt Heine, Beef, Richie Konklin, Andy Adams, Mattie Casey and Luisa--the usual Portland guys who work for shoe companies, kids carrying cruiser boards, fans of snowboarding, Washington natives, plus many more. I eventually walked inside and ordered a glass of wine. A movie theater that serves booze. It really suited the situation. They had chalkboard-illustrated signs and I immediately thought of Pinterest and was put off. Classic Portland.

Chris Grenier

Grendies. Southborough, MA. p: T. Bird

Lucas Magoon

Gooner. p: Huggy

Mikkel Bang

Mikkel. Whistler. p: Oli Gagnon

Scott Blum

Blum. Otaru, Japan. p: Mike Yoshida

Frank April

Frank April. Eastern Canada. P: Huggy

Jake Blauvelt

Blauvelt. Haines. P: Mike Yoshida

Sitting down in the theater two things were made available to entertain you before the movie began. First, a wonderfully curated slideshow of photographs from the past year spent filming looped on the big screen. My favorite image was a photo of Harrison holding up an old sweater and Scott holding his belly in a funny way. Friendship. Second, on every armrest of the theater was a copy of SNOWBOARDER’s ‘Resolution’ Special Issue, an entire magazine dedicated to the movie, showcasing the personalities and annual accomplishments of each of the riders through insightful interviews and photos. It’s done in a classic zine-style layout, but stays true to the monthly edition of the magazine in terms of size. I know I’m writing an article about SNOWBOARDER Magazine, on SNOWBOARDER Magazine’s website, and now I am saying how exciting is it to be given a free issue of SNOWBOARDER Magazine…but all bullshit aside, the printed issue is that good. I flipped through the pages and the on-screen slideshow looped through about seven times while I sat in my seat. If you’re on time, you aren’t a snowboarder. The show got going around 9:45. Pat Bridges lined up the riders embarrassingly in front of the crowd, introducing them like amateur wrestlers going into the ring and tossing them across the stage with each name, fist pumps and vocal inflections getting the crowed hyped. The lights dimmed. The movie played.

Ben Ferguson

Three is often called 'the magic number.' In this case it started with 'Foreword', SNOWBOARDER’s ‘up and comer’ film, which offered a production through which a hand-selected crew of rising rookies could stake their claim in the industry. Then came 'SFD', a film dedicated to those who devote their lives to snowboarding's counter culture philosophy--those who choose to point it Straight Fucking Down. That second effort served as a bridge--a documented demonstration of the purpose in why we ride--to tonight’s third film, 'Resolution'. Not necessarily the end, but a showcase that provides closure to the arc, set up by the previous two films and of course, another play on words by the punny SNOWBOARDER crew. Via the filmers, the riders, and the crew's actions, 'Resolution' seeks to bring to life the like-minded drive that a group possesses in order to work together and create something, based solely on their collaboration and their shared seasonal affliction.”

Louif Paradis

Louif. Haines, AK. p: Oli Gagnon

Jake Blauvelt

Kristin Blauvelt, her husband Jake, and Kyle Schwartz. photo: T. Bird

Ben Ferguson

Ben Ferg. Whistler. p: Oli Gagnon

Danny Davis

Gallery

Harrison Gordon

Harry. Quebec. P: Oli Gagnon

Danny Davis

Danny. Tahoe. P: T. Bird

Scott Blum

Louif Paradis and Chris Grenier

Louif and Grendies. Quebec. p: Oli Gagnon

I am not going to walk you through each part of the movie or the standout rider segments. If you want to see the movie, go to a premier or buy it. The Internet is too leaky these days and the experience of watching it in person is better than reading about who got first or last part. 'Resolution' is a good snowboard film. I have so much respect for that entire roster of riders. It’s a film for everybody, more so than anything else out there currently. It’s reminiscent of what Mack Dawg was trying to do ten years ago. The only current prestige alternative to say, 'The Art of Flight' or Videograss. Let’s face it though, every movie has its downside. Pat Bridges, Producer of 'Resolution' conceded, “The rail fans will think there are too many powder shots and not enough rails. The powder fans will think there are too many rail shots and not enough powder riding.” SNOWBOARDER Magazine could have put more time and effort into the music selection. It runs too long--like every other snowboarding film--and my favorite riders didn’t have long enough parts. The reality is that snowboarding is diverse and you can’t please every viewing eye, but when it comes down to it, this is a good movie. It’s impossible to dictate the tricks landed, the weather, and the snowfall in a given winter. It’s becoming ridiculous to keep making these high production snowboarding films within a single season. There just isn’t enough time made available to the crews to deliver what we are expecting, which is always something different. I would kill to see Resolution filmed as a two-year project.

In addition to the snowboarding itself, I was entertained by the movie in its entirety thanks to the editing style of John Cavan and Colton Morgan. They managed to make it funny. Not only funny, but relatable. Then there’s David Steigerwald, aka Davidaisy, SNOWBOARDER's Art Director and the man behind the aesthetic of the film. He finally gave a SNOWBOARDER Magazine film some sort of artistic direction aside from the usual snow porn. It was a mixed media showcase, involving photographs, popular gifs, and three colors: red, green and blue. RGB color space. The scheme for representing colors through digital devices such as TV screens, monitors and projectors, i.e., the way you see color digitally.

The Snowboarder Movie

Grenier, John Cavan, and Bryan Fox. p: T. Bird

Lucas Magoon

Gooner. Big Bear. p: Huggy

Blake Paul

Austin Smith and Cale Meyer. p: T. Bird

'Resolution' features Ben Ferguson, Danny Davis, Frank April, Jake Blauvelt, Harrison Gordon, Scott Blum, Mikey Rencz, Brian Iguchi, Mikkel Bang, Jamie Lynn, Terje Haakonsen, Lucas Magoon, Chris Grenier, and Louif Paradis. You can put each part at any place in the movie. Ender, opener, it wouldn’t matter, it would all work the same.

Thank you to each of the riders who filmed for this project. Snowboarding is nothing without the snowboarders. Thank you to everyone at SNOWBOARDER for taking the time, resources, and effort to make three movies that we can all watch, rewatch, obsess over, look back on, and appreciate. Thanks for supporting the passion within snowboarding, for rooting for the underdogs, celebrating the legends, and still trying to share the magic.

The Snowboarder Movie

The SNOWBOARDER Movie: Resolution. p: T. Bird