Last season was business as usual for 23-year-old professional skier Clayton Vila. The Rhode Island native filmed alongside Stept Productions, hitting urban features around the Eastern United States and Canada. When the season ended, he purchased his footage from Stept and began further production on a solo project called "Five." ESPN Freeskiing caught up with Vila about it while he was returning to the United States from a Costa Rican surf trip. The following words are all his.
[This project] is something I've been thinking of for a long time. The decision to do it this year was spontaneous.
I'm already actively involved with editing my own segments in the Stept movies. I want to edit and control everything that's put out for me. Every single piece of video content out there is usually 100-percent edited by me, or I oversaw it.
The next step was to fully direct and produce my own film and have 100-percent control.
People have called me a control freak. I irritate myself with it. That's exactly what I am. There are positives and negatives to it.
Every one wants to do their own project, but the difference with me is that I have experience editing and being behind the lens and directing. I want to do this from a filmmaking creative side of things.
If you're going to make a ski segment then you should do the whole thing, not just part of it.
The skiing is a small part of it. Every step of the way should be under your control. That's how I feel. I want to do my thing. The whole package is interesting to me.
I'm releasing the film for free. I'm a pro skier. I get paid to ski. I don't get paid to ask for more paychecks for selling my movie. If I'm not on NBC and on the Olympics then I should probably give my movie away for free.
I'd like to give the skiing demographic a kick in the butt.
I spent the skiing section on the East Coast. There's a whole lot more than skiing in the film. I started in Providence, Rhode Island, Quebec City, Montreal, Boston, Chicago... And then I dislocated my shoulder.
I'm pretty good about not getting hurt. I tried some really crazy stuff and dislocated my shoulder. I was out a month and a half. I got back at it at the end of the year.
I'm never stoked on my segment at the end of the year. We only have four months. You're just never going to finish all the things you want to do.
I did a shoot with a bunch of random stuff, made a side story that juxtaposes my skiing. This film is going to be experimental as far as a ski short goes. It's different, that's for sure.