If last seasons Powder and Rails was a small dose of a Flintstones chewables then this season we’ve been taking horse tranquilizers. Trevar Cushing has a natural talent with cinematic story telling in these documentaries. Here are his words on what working on this season was like and what we can expect down the road.
The format changed from mini episodes to full blown documentaries, what was the cause behind this format change?
Brushie and Borgstede at Legends of Tahoe
The season two format is definitely what I had in mind since Powder & Rails started, to have more comprehensive episodes. Basically, the reason for the change is just really wanting to do it and time. Powder & Rails has been around for two years now and it took that long to collect the information needed to make those bigger episodes. Everyone involved with the show is happy with the response we’ve gotten from the new episodes. For me, I’m very proud of those episodes because they’re the kind of storytelling I’ve always wanted to make. Thanks to everyone who has been watching it.
How much credit do you think the freestyle snowboard community truly owes to Roach and Salasnek? Would you say they laid the groundwork for the super progression of the mid to late 90’s led by the likes of Kevin Jones and Peter Line?
In my opinion, Chris Roach has probably the coolest style ever and Noah Salasnek is the best all around rider ever. I’m sure it’s probably possible to tie those two into every progressive thing that’s ever been done in snowboarding. Chris cared so much about style and that directly influenced Noah. At the same time Chris was influenced by Noah because Noah was a pro skater and Chris respected skating more than anything. Chris and Noah were in all those first FLF videos doing skate style tricks that influenced so many people. Mack Dawg might’ve never filmed snowboarding if it wasn’t for knowing Noah because of the H-Street videos, so videos wouldn’t have been the same. Chris and Noah’s riding style would inspire Mack Dawg to make the first all freestyle snowboard videos. Later Noah is in the Standard movies because of relationships that were built while making FLF and Mack Dawg videos. Standard introduces Noah to big mountain that he ends up ruling. The list is probably endless and someone could make different connections all day.
The Don talking about whose style influenced him.
I’ve never talked to Kevin Jones or Peter Line but they must’ve been influenced by Noah and Chris somehow. All those late 90’s guys definitely reaped the benefits of the how popular video parts would become. Those guys were huge corner stones of the late 90’s and early 2000’s videos. I can’t imagine what the sales numbers were like of those videos from that era. Everyone has a MDP or Standard video from that time.
Why was it so hard to get Noah to be open to do an interview and how important do you feel his opening up to the snowboard world is?
Well one reason that is actually kind of funny is that Noah thought I sounded way too business like on the phone, haha. When I finally did meet up with Noah he said he was really surprised because he thought I would be some executive type that was going to show up in a suit and be all about business. I remember when he pulled up in his car he said couldn’t believe I was just some normal looking kid, haha. I thought it was an interesting first impression maybe I have a future in phone sales, or not.
Also, I don’t think Noah was too eager to relive his pro snowboarding days on camera to a person he never met. He was in a different place when I first started calling him. I’m thankful he came around though. We ended up shooting a really good interview and he’s very happy with the finished product. I’m glad I could make something that he thinks is good. It feels pretty awesome to have made something that a legend like Noah has enjoyed watching.
You ended season one with showing Snowboarders in Exile in its entirety, any chance you’ll be bringing another great piece of snowboarding cinematic history to us? And if so what movie do you think you’ll showcase?
Back to the question, the answer is yes. We will be showing “Roadkill” on VBS Feb. 9th. “Roadkill” was the first FLF video that Dave Seoane directed so we figured it would be a good follow up to Dave’s episode which airs on Feb. 2nd, aka Groundhog Day. “Roadkill” is a fun one; it has an awesome early 90’s style vibe. A lot of the people in it were at pre-legends status at the time like Terje Haakonsen, John Cardiel, Shaun Palmer, Bryan Iguchi, and Jamie Lynn. Also, for better or for worse that video has an almost all Epitaph soundtrack.
Tom Burt and Dave Seone
Finally what can we expect for season three? Anything hidden up that magical sleeve of story telling you have?
I just hope season three happens. I was able to produce a lot of content while shooting the other episodes and I hope that we can get that stuff out there. So yeah, I got all kinds of tricks up my sleeve. It will be exciting to try and one up season two.
Thanks to everyone who helped me in anyway.
Dana Lavoie filming Jason Borgsted at Legends of Tahoe
All Photos courtesy of Trevar Cushing