Basti Pirates

Interview by Laura Austin

The typical life of a pirate might include Rum, Scallywags, and Booty. Though these things might be typical for Basti Balser, he deals more with Euros, snow, and Final Cut Pro as the filmer and producer for Pirate Movie Productions. I happened to cross paths with him in Burlington, VT while he was making the rounds of North American premieres for their latest movie HOOKED and got the chance to ask him a few questions…

What is your role with Pirates?

I guess I am a bit of the nanny for everything…..Starting from founding the money, coordinating the different crews during the winter and then editing the movie. If I am lucky I can squeeze some filming trips in as well where I can get my super8 out….

Basti blood

Pirate Movie Productions are known for their extravagent intros to their movies and video parts. Here Basti is getting into character while filming an intro for a part in "HOOKED". Photo: Ludschi

How long have you been filming?

Our first full-length snowboard movie we produced nine years ago called DECENT FRAMES, I guess a couple of years before that we started to play around with our super8mm cameras and brought them along on our trips.

Hardest part about your job…..

When the weather and the snow is not cooperating…..and music rights are a bitch….

Basti Blotto BTV

If Basti is the Pirate captain than Blotto is a first mate, being a loyal Pirate supporter for years. Pick up an copy of "HOOKED" to see Blotto's and many other pieces in the 100 page artBOOK that comes with each DVD. Blotto and Basti at the Burlington premiere. Photo: Laura Austin

Best part about your job…..

Being able to have a creative outlet and getting people stoked on what we love….

What are you doing in the states right now?

I have been to a couple of premiere shows and visited friends on the way….basement jamz is the place to be…:)

Basti Basement Jamz

Basti, Travis, Tom, and Blotto hanging out in Basement Jamz. A staple whenever rolling through Burlington, VT. Photo: Laura Austin

What are the advantages and disadvantages of shooting mostly film?

Film looks great, you think more about what you are actually shooting than shooting digital I guess….but it is a longer process, the riders and filmers can't double check the shots on the spot and you have to wait to see the results a couple of weeks later.

Favorite trip while filming HOOKED….

I had the chance to visit Halldor, Eiki and there good friend Gulli in their hometown Akureyri last winter. We stayed at the Helgason’s family home and their parents took super good care of us. Two weeks of bangers every day and having so much fun…..

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Who is an up and coming European rider that we need to watch out for?

There is so many….Gulli Gudmundson from Iceland and Teo Konttinen from Finland to name a few.

What is your favorite snowboard movie of all time?

I have to go for The Garden from Volcom.

Anything you think that needs to change about snowboard movies these days?

I think it is important that movies remain something special that kids are waiting for the whole season. You remember the feeling when you passed by your local shop everyday during fall to see if the new movies arrived? That's how it is supposed to be and we as filmmakers have to make sure it stays that way.

In case you haven’t seen the latest movie HOOKED or any of the other Pirate movies for that matter get yourself a copy on, from your local core shop, or download the movie on iTunes.