When Videograss burst out of the gates in 2008, the crew came out swinging. Fueled by a passion for skateboarding and rock and roll, they poured everything they had into putting together a movie based on the skate-video formula of good friends doing radical tricks to great music. They haven't slowed down one bit since.
VG's new movie, "The Last Ones," was just released on DVD and iTunes and premiered Sunday at Snowboard on the Block. We sat down with VG's Justin Meyer to talk back in the day and what to expect next from this vivacious crew of street shreds.
XGames.com: Videograss movies have always had a definite a skate vibe. What was it about skate videos that you wanted to emulate?
Meyer: We wanted to create something we could relate to. You can't make snowboarding feel 100 percent like a skate video, so we just wanted to end up with the same feeling that you get from watching a good skate video -- something that makes you want to snowboard.
Snowboard videos at the time were pushing a lot of dance music craziness that wasn't what we were into at all. So we just set out to capture our friends in their true light and not clown them up with neon kits and dance music.
It seems like VG found instant success. Was that a trip for you?
To us it certainly didn't feel like instant success. I guess when you are in it and doing it, you lose the outsider's perspective and it always feels small.
I feel like the average snowboard kid may have been drawn to the videos for the simple fact that we made videos just for that kid. We didn't set out to impress other filmers by showing everyone how expensive our cameras were, or how fancy our filming and editing [is]. Instead we made videos, from day one, for the kids and for snowboarding. That will always be at the core of our values.
I think we have shown more and more that snowboarders, aside from being hammer hungry, really just want to be able to relate, get motivated and laugh at the same time.
What is the biggest difference between where you are now and where you started?
The biggest difference from the start to current day would be our budget, for sure. The first year we had next to nothing, but we stuck it out. Now we have a strong working relationship with our sponsors. They know what we are going to put out for them and they support their team riders to the fullest. We still struggle with budget, but we are at least able to pay our filmers these days.
VG has been making two videos for the past few years, why did you transition into one movie this year?
We got to a point where all our friends were left without a project to film for, so we were either going to make a really long movie with 30 guys in it, or make two.
It just so happened that, at the same time we started making two videos, Joe Carlino was leaving TransWorld. So he came on with us for a year to direct the other movie. Last year Hayden Rensch and Gary Milton took on the job of directing the "Enlighten" project so we were able to keep the two-movie thing alive.
This year Hayden went on to work on "Déjà Vu" and a lot of the riders were pulled into team projects, so we cut back to a single movie. We still produced two movies this year, but the other is an all-Am movie directed by the Keep The Change crew.
Who is a standout this year? Did anyone surprise you?
There are a lot of standouts. I try to judge it off of other people's reaction after they see the movie since I become so numb to the footage.
From the little feedback I have heard so far, people are really going to like Joe Sexton, Chris Bradshaw, Nick Dirks, Jake OE, Jonas and Danimals, Scott Stevens, and Justin Fronius' parts.
I like them all. If I could detach myself and be a kid buying the video I don't think I could pick a favorite part -- there's something for everyone.
Any plans going into this coming season, or stick with the tried and true VG formula?
We are going to keep on doing our thing for as long as this industry lets us, and probably even long after that. As far as style goes, you never know. We certainly don't want to be the band that came out with that one experimental album that sucked. We will most likely keep putting out our "old stuff" that people like and add a few twists here and there.
As far as the formula goes, we don't know on that yet. We could end up with another single-movie year, or a two movie year -- or, with the Keep The Change crew, maybe a three-movie year. You never can tell until the last minute.