By David MacKinnon, photos by Ryan Pappas
When Torstein Horgmo and Craig Gouweloos dropped BTS Whistler, it took us right back to the days of Standard Films’ Aesthetica. Then, Torstein changed the way we think about filming park riding with a mind-bending Northstar top-to-bottom. Now, with Craig behind the lens, he’s showing us that the park follow-cam genre is still ripe for innovation. For this week’s Tuesday TwoSix, we hit up Craig and Torstein to chat about the BTS project, their dynamic, and their plans for the season. You know what to do.
Torstein: It’s been a really mellow but good start. We started in Colorado, Craig came over around Dew Tour and we shredded around and hit some jumps. Right after that I came to Whistler- that’s when we filmed the edit- and then I was in Japan. So yeah, pretty epic start to the season.
Craig: It’s been great– when I went to Colorado for Dew Tour we were just feeling out how we worked together, seeing how the communication was, and starting to produce a little bit. We were pretty stoked on it! There wasn’t a tonne of snow at the time, but we did what we could. And now I’m living in BC, which has been amazing. We pumped out that Whistler edit with two days riding; I’m stoked on how it turned out considering. It got me pumped for Japan, which was an amazing trip. It was my first time there, so a bit of a reality check on what that’s all about. That edit will be coming out at the end of February– there will be a BTS edit every month, something sweet to look forward to.
So you two are working together on BTS through the whole season?
Torstein: Yeah– I was looking for somebody to run point for Shred Bots, and Craig and I go pretty far back. I knew that he was pretty heavy interested in the cinematography game, and I wanted to work with him. The whole Colorado thing was a way to test it out, I don’t want to say try-outs but a chance to hang and see how it would be. It was just too easy– we decided then that Craig would come to Japan and do everything Shred Bots. So he’s not just doing BTS, he’s doing all of our social and everything.
Craig: It’s pretty well a dream set-up! It’s good too because when we’re not together I can produce a bit myself and work with some other crews. It’s kind of best of all the worlds. I get to go to all the places I’ve always wanted to go and ride with some of my childhood idols. It’s pretty crazy!
Hell yeah! Can you tell me more about BTS? What’s the concept, what are your plans?
Torstein: The first episode wasn’t so much Behind the Scenes, which is where the series is going, but more just me and Craig working hard for two days to establish the dynamic. The coming episodes will have way more narrative and insight into the actual process. We want to show everybody what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and how we’re doing it.
Craig: The main premise is following the DC Transitors tour throughout the year, going to the same places and collaborating a bit with what they’ve got going on. But we’ll also be doing our own thing at times, and branching off. We’ll have to see what happens. But we want to show a bit more of what’s going on between runs, kind of blog style. And then mash up some runs and get some cool vibes, play around and shoot in new ways. We want to tell a story bleeding from trip to trip.
In the first edit there are a lot of cross-courts and creative follows. How do you plan those shots? How do you guys coordinate everything?
Torstein: I’ve always been into the filming side, and trying to find creative ways to capture what we’re doing. Craig’s on the same page. We’ll try something, and if it doesn’t work we’ll adjust and try again– there’s always a new way to shoot. I think of it as another element that makes the process more fun, and I want the filming to compliment the trick. The dynamic between me and Craig is a big part of that.
Craig: You never want to miss anything, so it can be a little stressful taking the risks on the creative shots. But I grew up watching snowboarding movies, and watching each new thing as it came out I’ve seen the progression of the filming and I notice when a project is mostly made up of ordinary shots. I don’t want my work to have that predictable feel, and I get inspiration from what I haven’t seen done yet. The risk involved with experimenting is worth it, even though sometimes you miss the shot. What you end up with speaks for itself, especially when you think about how much content there is now. You need a way to stand out. Torstein is so creative, riding in ways that people don’t usually think of, and if I can capture it in ways that aren’t usually seen that’s a really good compliment.
A lot of crews focus on riding in the streets or the backcountry. What does it mean to you guys to highlight what goes on in the park?
Craig: It’s so accessible– when I’m watching park riding I know I can go out and try similar things. Backcountry and street riding is sweet, but you can’t necessarily go do it. Even if you have access to the backcountry or snow in your city, there’s so much work you have to do before you can ride. In the park you just show up and start riding, and your imagination is the limit rather than something like weather or cops.
Torstein: I love riding park, I’ve done it for so long and I’ve always enjoyed connecting lines and finding new ways to flow. That’s how I have the most fun. I look for lines that work, lines that aren’t necessarily supposed to work, and that gives me more than just hitting what’s right in front of you. I try to ride like that in the backcountry too, just do things differently. Sometimes it’s as simple as doing a nollie instead of an ollie, that can set you up to approach what’s next in a completely new way. It all connects back to flow for me, not stopping too much and connecting things as much as possible. Riding the park is the easiest way to get in the flow state.
Torstein: Shout-out to Craig!
Craig: I’m just excited to have the opportunity to do this. Even before I met Tor I followed his riding, movies like Horgasm that were insane in terms of the riding but also showed the good times and made fun of snowboarding. Now I get to be a part of it– big thanks Torstein, not just for the opportunity but also for being open to experiment.
Torstein: Hell yeah. I definitely want to thank everyone who supports Shred Bots, not just our videos but also the other edits we host. It’s a great community and it motivates us to keep things fresh. And thanks to Snowboard Canada!
Shout-out to Whistler for hosting and keeping the best vibes and putting a high-speed quad above the park!