Vague Upbringing: The History Of The Whiskey VideosLauren Graham’s new documentary tells the truth about the truth. By Jennifer Sherowski
It was the late 90s. Snowboarding was exploding, and way up north in a place called Whistler, B.C., a pair of hellions named Sean Kearns and Sean Johnson were simultaneously shredding, destroying, getting f-ked up, and getting it all on tape. Out of the mayhem came four classic snowboard films: Whiskey I, II, III, and IV. Called by some “the most entertaining snowboard videos every made,” the Whiskey series were the first shred films to take a lifestyle approach-to show what was really happening on and off the hill, which was a raw mix of inebriation, broken bottles, and broken noses. Now, at long last, up-and-coming filmmaker Lauren Graham is telling the real, behind-the-scenes story of Johnson, Kearns, and Boozy The Clown Productions.
No stranger to documentary filmmaking, Graham attended film school in North Vancouver and worked for several snowboard production companies before running her own tiny company called Shot In The Dark and producing a few all-female snowboard flicks. “I’m stoked on her doing it-there’s quite a story to be told there,” says Kearns. “She’s not doing it for the money-she was brought up on these movies, and she’s got a legitimate stake in this.”
Graham spent this past summer working her fingers to the bone on Vague Upbringing, embarking on an epic fact-finding journey from Vancouver to Southern California and interviewing a colorful cast of Whiskey characters along the way. “The Whiskey videos brought up a lot of riders all over the world, and their style inspired a new type of filmmaking,” she says. “It was a new perspective to snowboarding-it was the truth.”
Keeping in tune with that spirit of honesty, Vague Upbringing promises to be chock full of hating, loving, bad memories and good ones, and-most of all-reality. It’s like Kearns says, “In the Whiskey days, we were just exploring losing our minds. It was all about riding pow and getting drunk. There was no structure to being a professional snowboarder. Now, you have to do all your nines, your tens. There was no way you were going to get drunk f-kin’ Sean Kearns to do anything more than go straight down the hill to the bar, you know what I mean?”