You never now what’s going to happen when you throw a new person into the mix with a tight knit film crew while grindin’ in the streets. I’m always skeptical of how the dynamic with change when new people are added but hooking up with Matt on a recent film trip to Ontario was a positive experience. Matt works at the local shred shop Wild Rock in Peterborough as well as shooting snowboarding and skateboarding. He dropped everything last minute to come shoot with us for a quick trip around his home town. Matt’s local knowledge and resources helped us tool up some dope spots. Hit up Matt here if you are in the area and got something legit you need a good shot of.
Do you have a specific type of shredding you like to shoot?
I like to shoot all types of shredding. I don’t get the chance to go into the backcountry much living in Ontario, so most of my stuff is shot in the streets.
What are the differences between shooting skateboarding and snowboarding?
Snowboard spots tend to be a lot bigger than skate spots so you have to approach lighting and composition a little differently. The cold is also a serious factor. I don’t usually carry all my batteries around in my pocket at a skate spot, but if you want fully charged batteries for your camera/lights, you have to keep those baby’s warm in the winter.
Does shooting skate help you come up with ideas for snow or vice versa?
Yes, I draw a lot of inspiration from skateboarding, and try to incorporate that into snowboard photo concepts and vice versa. Tricks and spots/features can be very similar between the two. Sometimes a lighting/composition concept won’t work out at a skate spot but will look great at a snowboard spot.
You shoot a cover for snowboard Canada last year. When you got in to photography did you ever see that happening?
I got into photography after breaking my wrist severely for the second time snowboarding. I love to ride and you can’t match the feeling of stomping a trick bolts or setting down into a perfect pow landing. I get that same feeling when I shoot a photo. So when I started shooting I was just chasing that same feeling. I’m really stoked it has turned into more than a hobby for me, and to get a cover was amazing. Now with that success, it just makes me strive for more!◆
If you told me that my first trip to Finland this year one of our filmers was a Finnish rap star I would have balked at the claim. Enter Rico Wamos. Our friend Ilari hooked us up with him and he has became a solid assets for rail shredding in Helsinki. Rico hooked us up with some new spots and pointed us in the direction of his favorite leaf steaks. When Rico isn’t spitting hot fire he’s out grinding with DigiStyles for shred clips.
Can you rap in Finnish and English?
I can only rap in Finnish, but I would love to be able to rap in English some day.
What’s the hip hop scene in Finland all about?
Hip Hop scene in Finland is at very good at the moment. Lots of new artists coming up and theres something for everybody who likes rap, r’n’b ect. Now days theres lots of gigs and festivals just for hip hop in Finland.
Does filming snowboarding have any relation to being a rapper?
Being a filmer and a rapper doesn’t really have that much in common, but it is pretty handy when you can shoot and edit music videos for homies. For me snowboarding and rap has always been important because the best videoparts used to have rap in them and I we used to rip the audio from Dawger VHS’s and record it to tapes and cd’s. Snowboarding movies are good way to promote music and music industry should realize this.
Rap groupies or shred groupies?
Ilari has been a key figure in almost every Finnish pro snowboarders career and any shred that comes to Finland to ride rails, whether they know it or not. He’s had the city on lock for over 15 years. We used to land in Helsinki and look through racks of photos from spots he had sniffed out over the summers and take our pick of the best stuff. I got the chance to work a full season with him on This Video Sucks and he killed it for us behind the lens and in front of the computer. He’s been grinding on other exploits lately but we were stoked to get him back for a few months of rail filming this season.
Whats you fav snow project you have ever worked on?
I’d never heard of Mason Mashon before but after looking at some of his photography I’m surprised I haven’t yet. He’s got a different perspective than most and he’s been a solid addition to our crew. Mason has been working double time with us popping still photos while at the same time rolling video. I’ve seen some steady hands but that would take a steady soul as well. He’s a quiet guy from what I can tell but when he gets behind his sled he chews into the mountain and although I haven’t seen it I’m sure he’s the same way with his other exploits like mountain biking, surfing and scotch drinking.
Still photos or video, what’s your favorite to shoot?
Stills. I think a really good still image can be timeless, and I find that a video image of the same stature is much harder to come by. If I had to choose one or the other, I’d shoot stills.
Does your bike skills help with snowmobiling or vice-versa?
Bike skills go hand in hand with the snowmobile. I sensed the similarities immediately when I started snowmobiling, and it wasn’t long before I had the hang of it. If only my snowmobile was 35 lbs like my downhill bike, and not a decade old piece of shit.
How important is The Scotch Cave to your lifestyle?
Crucial. It’s always below zero inside, which is optimum scotch consumption temperature. Some of my best ideas have come under the influence of scotch, so having a zone in which I can harbor my creative energy is essential to my winter lifestyle. I should also mention that the scotch cave is placed 3 feet from my front door, allowing easy access to ice cold scotch at any time. ♦
Pasi has been one of our Finnish connections for many years now. He is an awesome photographer with and even awesomer van. He’s always refreshing to work with in the fact that he is so dialed with whatever tool you could ever need to get shot. From a screwdriver to a winch and everything you can think of in between, its at your disposal when you are working with Pasi. I love the fact that he has to ride solo to all the spots because there so much gear in his ride. I think I am going to give his van its own post actually. Look out for that soon.
How has the rails scene in Helsinki changed in the last 10 years?
Hard to say from 10 years since on that time I was shooting purely skateboarding, but from 8 years ago to this day I have to say first years local riders were young and hungry - every year they need to do bigger and better tricks. Same continues till 3 years back when I did build winch. I could say that was some kind of turning point in rail scene. It let us to hit same stuff upwards what guys have done before. Also new kind of weird obstacles could be potential spots. Also last 2 seasons have been good for Helsinki since we have had so much snow that we have been able to do stuff that we haven’t even dream..
Every time we come over are you dreading the constant Hesburger and gas station dining we always end up eating?
I guess that I have been eating that hessen stuff past 20 years so now that I am trying to keep my stomach even in some shape. Now I don’t mean that I am afraid to be fatty, but just cant forever eat that trash food. But still I am loving it, panini’s at late night after sessions.
What inspired you to kit out your van the way you have?
I guess I looked too much inspector gadget when I was young. Just cant fit those to my hat so its kind a easier to use van… I just love to have everything with me!
Are the spots in Helsinki starting to become tapped out or is there more new stuff out there still?
For sure there is more new stuff and not that many rails been tapped. Peetu Piiroinen just won TTR so snowboarding is more and more “allowed” here in streets of Helsinki.♦
Until this latest trip to Halifax I had only shot once with Ethan, but it paid off good. It was the cover for the Snowboarder Magazine Guest Editor Issue. Not bad for a first try. I would like to shoot more with Ethan but he just can’t sit still long enough to get into the groove of how I roll. I tried to wait him out on our last trip but he changed his ticket. It worked out in his favor and he got a photo of me. If he would just play smart and invite me over to his place for a few summer time pool parties I might be down to get in front of the camera for him more often. Let’s see if he takes the hint.
What’s it like to be back on the grind with The Unit?
Its good man. The NFL trip was all time so it was good to be back out with you guys. I missed Seth and Jeremy on this trip but at least I got to catch up with the rest of you. The unit is a dope crew but it is hard to catch up with you. You are on the road all winter grinding it out non stop. I don’t ever see you when you are in SLC so the only way to link up is to do a feature. Hopefully we can do one every year. Big snacking, Lots of movie nights and a bit of shooting too. Where are we going to go next year?
Is it hard to shoot photos and constantly try to hustle our crew into your latest sales pitch?
It’s real hard to shoot photos for sure. You guys spend more time steeping your Tea and eating than riding so it is hard for a hustler like me.. hahah just kidding. You guys have a lot of influence in snowboarding and I have lots of respect for you. So I like to tell you about other riders I shoot with that are killing it. I’m a natural born hustler so I cant really help it.
Why do you have such a hard time trying to get a photo of me?
I don’t know man. I think you do it just to mess with me. Try to wait for me to panic and leave so you dont strap in. This year I changed my ticket just to get a photo of you. It worked out so I’m stoked. You know exactly what you want to hit and what type of stuff you want in your video part so it’s easy for you to wait me out. You have earned the right to be picky after all these years so I guess I just have to be more patient. Maybe if you called me to go shot in SLC we would have better luck.
Are you impatient?
I have all the patience in the world man. Well at least until my flight takes off. The real deal is Im used to flying in to a spot and grinding 24/7 and getting out and on to the next spot as soon as I can. You guys like to roll up and take your time. Really post up at a spot and get acclimated. I have to learn how to chill a little more with you guys. You always get it done in the end. This was the first trip that I played mini gold and went to the movie theater 3 times. You guys like to eat a 1 hour breakfast then go get coffee for an hour. It is the exact opposite as I normally do it. I have learned not to fight it and just roll with it. The last day in Halifax we shot 4 different spots and saw a movie as well as had drinks and a nice dinner. Next year lets make sure we check out the off riding activity’s before we go on a story. I would love to get go carting and lazer tag in the mix.♦
Rob is the onwer of Entity Boardshop and a solid guy that opened up his home and city to bunch of dudes that he had never even met just for the love of snowboarding. He helped take our trip to the next level with his hospitality and even came out on the grind a few times to help setup some rails. His shop is a huge supporter of StepChild and ThirtyTwo and we were all really stoked to have Rob host our trip to Nova Scotia. Thanks homie!
How do you feel about peeps starting to go out to halifax for rails filming?
I think it is bad ass that Halifax is finally on the map for an urban trip from some heavy hitters, we have a few solid winters now and it has giving the opportunity to hit our city up. With Halifax its all about timing to make sure you get the snow.
What’s it like having a film crew take over you house? any regrets?
At first i had no clue what to expect but everyone was super chill and respectful, and to be honest i never really saw to much of you guys as you were all out jibbing into the wee hours of the night every day. I do think Harley my one eyed cat was having the most fun getting all the attention and his picture taken for everyone (mainly Joe) and for sure, No regrets at all i am stoked that I had enough room to put everyone up and help you guys out with a home base that wasn’t a hotel room.
Did you get a different perspective on urban filming after being part of it and hang with our crew?
Well you guys diffidently got to see all aspects of our weather that we have to contend with. The main thing that stands out is, I think it is awesome that you know when you leave the house which rails your hitting and who is hitting them instead of having a free for all on each rail, and your all there to help set up and encourage each other until they get the shot no matter if it takes 2 outings to get it or you get it first try.
Will you ever allow us back?
For sure you guys are always welcome back and cant say thank you enough for the surprise you all left in my fridge.♦
Simon’s good friend Owen Bonnar did our crew a huge service by lining us up with all the critical details for a rail trip to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Owen is a local their and provided us with a book full of rail spots, dinning suggestions as well as putting in work with us in the streets shoveling and working second angle just to make sure we had a good trip. He even put on an impromptu bag pipe show while his mother made us a home cooked meal for the entire crew. Maximum respect to Owen for putting in the time and effort for us to get some shots. Thanks bud.
How do you feel about peeps starting to come to Halifax for rails filming?
I think its awesome! Growing up in Halifax I’ve had the opportunity first hand to experience its magic. Theres something about this place that I can’t get enough of. I’m not sure if its the people, or the ocean, or our easy going way of living but I feel that it’s a spot that everyone needs to check out. But all we ask is that you leave her how you found her, or will hunt you down and ask politely for you to never come back.
Did you get a different perspective on urban filming after being part of it and hanging with our crew?
Ya, its slightly more intense than what I expected. I’m used to seeing more than one or two people hitting a feature but I completely understand why its done this way. It also gives you a better appreciation for what you guys do because its so easy to watch a video and either say it was good or bad not knowing that to make the video happen its lots of hours, lots of shoveling, the possibility of getting busted and told to leave, late nights, early mornings, and potentially a couple hundred trys later to get the trick that you were hoping for all just to repeat the process the following day. You guys are tanks.
Did you feel any responsibility for our trip to go well because it was your home town?
I definitely carried the weight of this trip. From trying to line you guys up with a good place to lay your head, taking you to spots, and feeling horrible hearing that in one day you got busted three different times. Its just easy to base the productivity of a trip souly on how many clips people got, rather than soaking up the entire experience for what it is. A couple of different times I was getting frustrated because I felt like I let you guys down, or that maybe the photos I sent out to you through Simon were misleading which stressed me out. But you said something that stuck with me when we were waiting on the boys who were buying beer. You affirmed me that the trip was going well (even though you hadn’t even hit a rail at this point) and that a trip was more than simply getting shots, and filming 8 hours a day, so after that I started to chill out a bit and left the stressing for E. Stone.
Any shocking revelations about our crew after meeting everyone?
I don’t kiss and tell. Your secrets are safe with me.
Holler at your boy when you wanna come surf. Daremoulth love.♦
Surprised I landed Justin for a Real In The Field interview? Not as surprised as he is. I hit him with a few question back at the first of the season but he never got back to me. That’s cool, you know me, gotta keep that blog updated. So without further delay, The elusive Justin Eeles.
How’s being back on the rail grind?
I hated it. Thanks goodness its over now. I think I came off pretty good though and had most the guys fooled that I could hang but I was second guessing my decision to work on those real snow videos
Are you already thinking about backcountry filming?
It’s on now. I’m taking pow runs tooling up fresh brewed coffee in the jet boil and ripping around on my sled on someone else’s dime.
What are the biggest differences between filming pow and rails?
I can’t lay out on my sled and tan while I’m in the streets. Plus we only go out filming in the backcountry on sunny days so I get lots of time to chill and surf or fish. No rest in the streets because It’s sunny every day because of the fucking generator and lights.♦