Calling the Mile High City their home is SixEleven Productions a film company that has always made it important to showcase what the Colorado shred scene has to offer. Steven Waters was awesome enough to answer a few questions about what is going down with their new flick Stop… Hammer Time and what it takes to work in the snowboard film arena.
Fun at SIA
This is your fourth full-length snowboard film, what have you learned from the past and where do you see SixEleven in the future?
Steven Waters: We have learned so much from doing past videos, every year we are progressing and learning new techniques. We would like to be a company that people anticipate projects from, a company that inspires people to pick up a camera and go film their friends, or even just a company that makes people want to go snowboard everyday and make them realize how much fun the sport is suppose to be.
It seems like you guys have a pretty solid relationship with your sponsors, how integral to Stop Hammer Time was landing some bigger sponsors and what has this allowed you to do as movie-makers?
SW: Our sponsors are huge for us, we like to build long lasting relationships with them rather then the usual “you give us money and we will put your logo on our stuff” It’s all about partnering up and doing as much as we can to benefit each and every one of them. We wouldn’t be where we are without the support from them and we think we provide a good creative outlet to showcase their riders and products. Having these partnerships helped us a ton with STOP…Hammertime! It allowed us to do individualized work with each one and forced us to get more creative in the things we did. It also allowed us to have some great experiences like road tripping with some of the crew to Seattle for the Ride Shakedown.
Some film makers are claiming that people giving away free movies on the Internet is leading to the death of the snowboard film culture. Where do you stand on the free on the Internet vs. buying the movie debate? Can there be a happy medium between the two?
SW: I don’t think that free videos will ever ruin the snowboard film culture. Kids are always going to buy their favorite videos and continue to support them, even if everything moves to digital download. In fact, that would just make it cheaper for distribution companies because there is no cost to print the disks, covers etc. I personally think having free viral media is wonderful, we have actually grown tremendously off of it, while putting exactly $0 into our marketing we have achieved over a million views, there’s no way we could have done that with print. There is no shortage of kids just like us filming their friends and putting it online so the world can watch it and I think that’s what snowboarding is all about; having fun and making people see just how great it really is.
How important is it to capture what’s going on with the new crop of Colorado riders?
SW: Colorado has always produced some really strong talent; kids just seem to kill it here. The fact that there is so many different types of terrain and truly great resorts in the state just makes it that much easier for kids to push themselves everyday. It’s nice to be able to film with some of these kids and show the world what Colorado is coming with.
You guys spent a month down in Silverton this year how hard was it working in that backcountry setting and how did you deal with the downtime between good riding days?
SW: We truly scored for February this last season, we had the sickest house in downtown with room for the whole crew. It wasn’t the greatest month weather wise but you always have to make due. One day it would dump and then we would build and shape the next day and then the day after it was too sun baked to do anything at all with, then it would dump again and we would have to wait a few days to let the new snow settle and build ect… During those down days I think a lot of the crew discovered just how many man-parts they could see on chatroulette. Haha. On those days we would usually setup little jibs, or tow behind the car downtown, we even built a bicycle style rhythm section in our front yard and almost killed the neighbors kid on it, he sent it to the flats off the bungee.
How many double corks can people expect to see in the film this year? And does that trick legitimize a rider’s part more?
SW: There won’t be a ton in the video but they are in there. Scott’s got a good one and is even working on a few variations, and Joe’s got some tricks up his sleeve. For the most part we like to keep some variety, too many flippies just gets repetitive. I’d rather watch a video with tons of rad creative riding than people just hucking meat all over the place.
Any truth to the rumor Celia Miller stomped a double cork out in the backcountry?
SW: I didn’t know that was even a rumor, but what I will say is that Celia is killing it. Not only does she charge harder than most any girl out there but even more so than a lot of guys. I think she will have some good surprises for people in the near future. But, she does have some tricks she has been working on that will turn some heads!
Urban spots seem to get blown out at an alarming rate with multiple crews vying for fresh locations, how did the hunt go this season to getting new spots that people haven’t seen yet and what’s it take to keep from having a spot blown out?
SW: We always find tons of spots and then once snow flies we can’t decide what to hit, luckily we have Denver pretty much on lock. We have literally books of features that we haven’t seen any footage from, and haven’t hit yet, it’s just about finding stuff that people wouldn’t normally look at as a feature. It also doesn’t hurt to have Greg Baker on our side, he always serves us up a few gems! Love that guy. It does suck though when you find a spot and then someone else gives it away, we are super big on that, we don’t ever go to other peoples spots without them there and it really pisses us off when people give away ours. Some people like to talk shit and say its selfish and to share the love blah blah blah, but ya know what, when we are the ones putting in our hard work and driving around for hours on end looking for something new why shouldn’t we get to be the ones to have that first session? It’s no different then spending your hard earned money to buy a new car and you don’t even get to drive it first. Or spend all day building a backcountry jump to go back the next day and someone else is bombing out your hard work! Which definitely happened this year. It’s our work, basically the same thing as people using photos from photographers without their permission. Once someone blows out one of our spots we don’t like to go back.
Along the same lines how many run ins with Johnny Law have you had when doing urban shoots?
SW: Way too many, I think all of us have received trespassing tickets. Usually cops are pretty cool about it, they just tell us we can’t be there and to leave, then we clean up and are out. We know the area well enough now that we can judge when we can and cant hit spots without getting the boot. I think that’s the best way, know about the spot and get it when you can have some time to slay a bunch of tricks and stack shots, even though it doesn’t always work that way. But we definitely have had significantly less run ins than previous years, we are just getting a little smarter I guess.
When it comes to picking your crew what do you look for in a rider and are there any people you foresee adding to the roster down the road?
SW: A lot of it is just about how you mesh with the crew. Everybody pushes each other and has relationships outside of filming. We give each other a lot of crap but it’s all in good fun. We don’t usually seek out riders or new people on the crew, they just kind of come around and if it works then they’re in. You defiantly have to have a positive attitude though, we are not about to be a part of people talking shit about other riders or crews or hating just to hate. Each person is stoked just to be doing what they love and not to bring other people down. We are all about helping out other peeps and crews when we can. I can’t tell you how many times we have swapped footy with other film crews!
Part of the crew at Silverton
The crew we have now are loyal and we are loyal to them! They are very appreciative of us as we are of them. But we have for sure been stabbed in the back a few times. Those are blessings in disguise though, it makes room for better more positive people!
Craziest things you’ve seen while filming for this movie?
SW: Mango was for sure sorry for partying in Seattle this season, he earned a great nickname for it as well. We basically have pretty crazy experiences just about every time we all get together, when you put that many different personalities and creative people together things are bound to get wild.
Words of wisdom for any up and coming filmers trying to get into the game?
SW: Follow the dream, not the money. If you ever stop having fun while doing it then you’ve gone wrong somewhere, if you’re not enjoying what you do then there is no point in doing it. If people are hating and talking shit… Then you are doing something RIGHT!!! Most the people that hate are not doing anything anyways. So if you’re out there filming and making something happen you have already showed them up!
Top 3 places to film?
SW: Anywhere new, Denver never gets old when there is snow, we would like to go back to Idaho, the mountains are sick out there and the locals charge.
Top 3 places you want to shoot?
SW: Japan is at the top, basically anywhere is Europe.
Thanks and shout outs?
SW: This could be a really long list that is just way too long. We have had so many people help us along the way and we couldn’t do it without each and everyone of them. TS Boardshop! This is where we came from and where we started filming. Filming the snow team for the shop has spawned off into a great group of people from all over that is now SixEleven. Bryan and Kendra, we love you guys! Also mainly our sponsors and the people we work with at them, and the people that keep watching our videos. Ride (Penrod, Mave, Joe, Sickels, and Casey), Smith (Axel, Danny, Jake, Jp and Cory), Boa (Garrett and Dax), Quiksilver (Nicole and Dan), InkMonstr (Reed and Zac), Larry Castle and Arlene Briody, and all the online peeps that keep posting our vids every week. Then definitely have to thank Greg Baker of course for just being…well…Greg Baker! And to all the other people that have helped us along the way, we couldn’t do it without ya!….Doug and Brooke Woolman (you guys are alright).