Jesse Burtner has been producing snowboard movies for well over a decade -- first with Jason Borgstead as JB Deuce Productions, and then under the Think Thank label. Nine years deep into the Think Thank volume, Burtner and company have released the trailer for their latest effort, "Mind the Video Man." Burtner's creative approach to filming and riding have created, or at least popularized, the mixed bag, ride-anything, with or without bindings genre of shredding.
A perpetual student of the snowboard film format, Burtner is finding himself in the position of commenting on the constantly shifting landscape of the venerable video part. With the teaser out, we sat Burtner down to find out who the video man is and what he's got to say.
Who is the video man and how will he be investigating the state and the future of the snowboard video?
The video man is a representative of the snowboard movie and those who produce and star in them. He's a progression of communication technologies and methods. Also the video man is those of us who put our years into making snowboard videos, the rider who lives or dies by his video part, the guys that hide out in the streets, resorts and backcountry with their group of friends quietly pushing their limits and stumbling upon snowboarding's next big breakthroughs.
In "Mind The Video Man" we'll be taking his temperature seeing how he is standing up in this storm. We'll be weighing culture against convenience and asking the viewer to "mind the video, man."
Any chance the video man might be somewhat autobiographical?
I'm partly the video man, he's close to my heart and bringing him to light here is my concept, but it's not a story about me. It's just an artistic representation of our present day collision course with changing technologies and a media market where each viewer is a star in their own show (Facebook, etc.) that plays on an extremely oversaturated channel. How he deals with it is subsequently how I'm dealing with it, so in that way I am him.
What's your take on how snowboard videos impact snowboard culture? Any way to preview how that will come out in the film?
It has a huge impact everywhere in snowboarding. For most people, it's still about getting it on camera and in a movie of importance meant to be enjoyed, loved, hated, made fun of or envied by thousands of riders on their couches next fall. It's history; it's where we've been, where we are and where we are going.
You're known for working with some relatively low-profile riders, and have a bunch of new riders on the roster this year -- how does that add to the stoke?
It's been rad so far. At first it was two or three new guys, brought in carefully, then with the Dino video becoming a reality and losing some bros to other projects and web series we had spaces for new guys. Next thing you know we have a crew that's almost entirely new, and it was crazy, because I've been with my crew forever. But then you ride with these guys and see their fire and stoke and it just makes perfect sense.
Who are you most excited to be filming with this year? Any completely unknown shredders that we can expect to bust out with unprecedented riding?
I'm really excited for all the new guys. Obviously Ryan Paul is amazing, he's not new to filming video parts, but hopefully we can shed some new light on his riding. This kid Nial Romanek, I didn't know anything about him really, but he's been amazing. Super smooth and technical and has a different approach. Brandon Hammid, aka Buff Moose, he's been on the radar in the Salt Lake City jib scene for years now and is so deserving of a chance to shine on a bigger stage.
Same with Brandon Reis -- he's just been sitting in the wings waiting. Kyle Lopiccolo I wanted because he does crazy airtime tricks, like grabs, not even triple corks but just tweaks. And Jaeger Bailey is our wild card young gun, he's fearless, like in that stage where no trick scares him.
You've got a lot of the season still ahead for filming and riding. Any trips you are pumped to go on?
Pumped on getting back over to Japan twice this year. I love Japan -- the people, the place, the rice triangles. Other than that it's AK and Canada and just finding fun stuff to steer our boards down.