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Cole Taylor: Freelance Videographer – Snowboarding’s 30 Under 30

Freelance Videographer/Cinematographer for SNOWBOARDER Magazine's 2017 release Pepper

We'll admit it. In today's day and age of snowboard media, it's all about video. Over the past few years, we've watched this shift and if tasked to come up with a list of up-and-coming filmers versus photographers or writers, the film list would look like a reel of 16mm while the photo and writer list would be slim pickins. That said, this shift in dynamic made it highly beneficial for a young kid from Salt Lake City, Utah named Cole Taylor to really make his presence felt in the video world, and he certainly has. Cole is not only endlessly talented, but he's got the vision of a filmmaker ten years his senior and to top it all off, he's one of the happiest, kindest and most genuine people that I've had the pleasure of meeting in my tenure in snowboarding. I've worked closely with Cole on various projects for SNOWBOARDER over the past few years and not only does he put out polished edits with amazing music, he simply makes the process easy, and that's exactly why he's on this list, because Cole Taylor is one of the next great filmmakers of our generation and I personally couldn't be more proud to call him my friend and co-worker.

—T. Bird

A natural born filmmaker with positive energy, Cole Taylor makes the process effortless. PHOTO: Itsuki

What does your current position in the snowboarding industry entail? Describe a typical day on the job.

Recently, I have been spending my days in the editing dungeon, working on a web series titled Prefix in anticipation of Pepper. However, a more exciting example would entail traveling, filming snowboarding and everything that comes along with it. Last winter I shot for the Pepper video and got to experience new places while working with amazing people. Those days are generally spent shoveling, filming, shoveling and so on. But the best thing that accompanies this process is the unpredictable moments I get to document along the way.

 Where are you from and where do you currently call home?

I am originally from Salt Lake City, Utah and now residing in Portland, Oregon.

How did you start snowboarding?

Somehow I ended up with a copy of Forum's The Resistance when I was 12. That was the first thing that put it on the map for me. The following winter I wanted to give it a shot and I switched over from skiing. My dad and I took lessons together, so I suppose he's responsible for facilitating my interest in getting up the hill and onto a board.

 At what point did you realize that you wanted to work in the snowboard industry?

Seeing the first snowboard edits make their way on to TransWorld and other websites in 2008 or so fascinated me. That was the first moment that I decided I wanted to buy a camera, learn to use it and challenge myself to get my work posted on those same websites.

And how did you make that happen?

The first person to give me a chance to take my camera hobby and turn it in to a job was Jared Winkler at Brighton Resort. At that point the internet video fad was still somewhat new so I began making web videos between college classes. Following this I began spending my summers working at Camp of Champions until I graduated. After working a few different jobs, I worked on SNOWBOARDER's Video Magazine for something like 18 episodes. I have pretty much worked for SNOWBOARDER on and off since, in addition to working with a few different brands on projects such as the L1 movie.

No matter the weather, Cole is stoked to be out there making it happen. PHOTO: Itsuki

Who did you look up to in the industry for inspiration? 

I loved all of the usual videos in high school: KidsKnow, Kingpin, Robot Food, etc. However, to be honest I think it was the Team Thunder crew that really left the biggest impact on me. A couple of them went to my school and were a few grades above me. Seeing them bridge the gap between homie crews and full movies with support from sponsors was something I really admired. I figured that if they could do it, why couldn't I? I played my Timid and Tame DVD over and over until it finally got too scratched up. As I got a little older, I took inspiration from Eddie Grams and the local Salt Lake snowboard kids. I loved seeing how they took a grassroots project and built it in to something bigger. Eddie taught me a lot over the years.

What do you feel has been your biggest impact in your line of work?

There are a lot of people out there offering different perspectives to the world of snowboarding in too many ways to count. This is especially true to those who do so with a video camera in hand. I suppose that if my work leaves people with something to take away that makes them want to go snowboarding then I've done something right.

What do you want to accomplish that you haven't yet?

I've still never learned to backflip on a snowboard. So maybe that? Or more traveling. That would be nice too.

Anyone you'd like to thank?

Mom, Dad, Hannah, Lizzy, everyone. You know who you are.

 

Check out more 30 Under 30 stories here.