On July 19, pro snowboarder Aaron Robinson passed away in a snowboarding accident in Chile. He was riding with his friend Blake Paul, who had been working on a movie with him called "Manifest." The teaser for the movie was just released this week, so we asked Paul to tell us a little more about it. This his story.
This project started out as a movie called "Of Life and Love." Aaron wanted to make a different kind of movie, one that was more travel-style movie, not just a bunch of part sections. In his words, it was "going to be a look at the life of snowboarders trying to make it happen." The whole thing kind of fizzled out because he just couldn't get enough money together.
I met Aaron at the North Face Masters, but we really hit it off when he came to Jackson. I just rode around with him and Alex Yoder on this mellow day. He ended up staying at my house, and I showed him a bunch of footage that I had. He'd also just been traveling around filming on his own, so we decided to team up.
He decided to call the new project "Manifest" because... well, that was just Aaron's style. He was all about making something out of nothing and always being positive. We had filmer and no budget and were just cruising around on our own, making it up as we went along.
Aaron had the idea to go to Chile and bring the whole crew down to make a cool section for the movie, but we just couldn't get enough money together. Sam [Tuor], our filmer, traveled with us all season, but he didn't get paid. He makes his money in the summer firefighting and couldn't just give that up. And all the other riders couldn't go because they were all so broke. And they weren't like him. Aaron was broke, too, but that never stopped him. He attacked everything positively and always just made it happen.
We went anyways, just to go to Chile and ride powder. We thought if we could get enough money together, just to pay for Sam's trip and give him money to make up for missing work, we could just bring him down for a couple weeks to film. It was just the beginning of a plan, really. But then the accident happened.
I didn't know what to do. We had only been there four days and I didn't really know anyone. I just wanted to come home. But I thought about it and was like, okay, what would Aaron have wanted us to do? All Aaron wanted was to bring everyone to Chile to do this section.
I wrote an email that said: this isn't about us being broke, this is about Aaron. It's time to stop mourning death and start celebrating his life. We have to do this for him. Yoder took the email and posted it on this social fundraising thing on Facebook, asking for help to get the crew down to Chile. We raised about four thousand dollars. It basically paid for everyone to get down there. We're still in a little bit of debt, but it doesn't matter. We made it happen with what we had.
Aaron and I went to the Snowboarder Magazine office to talk to Pat Bridges on our way to Chile. Aaron was cool like that -- he kind of took me under his wing and took me to all these places and introduced me so many people. After the accident Bridges emailed me to tell me how sorry he was. He was stunned by the accident and just said, you know, "However I can help."
I told him we were still going to try to bring the crew down for the movie, and Bridges decided to send a photographer to come down with us -- Jeff Hawe, who shot a lot with Aaron. Bridges paid for all of his expenses, and then committed to running a story in the magazine. It really helped out so much. Every person who was in the movie came down to help finish it for Aaron, just like he would have wanted.
Bridges is having me write the article, just about everything, about the accident and about Aaron and how he lived his life. It's awesome that he's doing that, even though we're not the most known snowboarders. I'm just trying to make it the best it can be. I hope it comes out okay. That would make Aaron happy.