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Jake Durham: Videographer, RIDE Snowboards and Videograss – Snowboarding’s 30 Under 30

Videographer, RIDE Snowboards and Videograss

Jake Durham is quiet, introspective, wildly imaginative and highly intelligent, attributes that many videographers and editors would want as their own, but Jake truly possesses all of these traits and the evidence lies in his rapidly-amassing body of work. Bursting out onto the scene via the makeshift homey crew Makefriendsordie, Jake's edits started popping up, featuring a growing list of Minnesota-based up-and-comers, and since then, he's graduated to become the videographer for RIDE Snowboards and Videograss, leaving his mark on many throughout the industry. The kid's making moves, albeit quietly, and that's exactly how Jake likes it because while he may be demure in his approach in person, his edits are pieces of art that resonate with his audience, and that's set to make him one of the most successful snowboard filmmakers of this era.

—T. Bird

Behind the peace sign is a wild imagination and a lot of passion. PHOTO: T. Bird

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

For me, everyday is pretty different. In the winter, a typical day could be waking up and going to Hyland for an hour then trying to hit a spot with a crew. Or waking up in god knows where Connecticut and having to wait for Danimals to get ready while everyone waits in the van to go hit a spot, only to find him trying to learn acoustic guitar upstairs. Waking up at LAAX resort after a heavy night of raving in the basement to film pipe and drink beers to ease the headache. Sometimes it’s just working in my studio apartment on edits, scanning magazines, drawing, playing with my puppy. The worst is flying hungover.

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

I am from Minnesota, grew up in the suburbs, but now I live in Minneapolis.

How did you start snowboarding?

My neighbor Elliot and I grew up doing everything together. He introduced me to skateboarding and snowboarding. We used to ride those plastic tie-dyed snowboards in our backyard. The ones you slip your boot into the bindings. We would build little jumps, bomb the hill and eject. That was probably around 3rd or 4th grade. Then he got a snowboard with metal edges and took lessons. I joined him the next winter and took lessons at Hyland Hills. It was Thanksgiving and super, super cold. I remember on the last lesson I finally rode the chairlift and was so hyped. Soon after in 5th grade I went on a ski trip and met my good friend Matt Boudreaux (Boody). We have been friends ever since.

Getting the shot at Mission Ridge. PHOTO: T. Bird

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

Oh, it took a long time to understand that the industry was something I could be a part of. Fast-forward to my senior year of high school. I made a snowboarding video, DVDs, and had a premiere. At that point I felt capable of producing snowboard videos, but didn't know how to fund it. It felt like a hobby. Then I went to college. My senior year I skipped some school to go to Japan with Signal Snowboards, did a trip with VG during my winter break, and kept doing my web series, Makefriendsordie. None of it felt like work and that's when I realized I wanted to work with my friends, travel and work on cool projects. I will admit there was a little hesitation committing to working for snowboard companies because I had heard many stories of people not getting paid and I didn't want to get taken advantage of.

A taste of makefriendsordie here.

And how did you make that happen?

Right out of school I was lucky enough to work for Videograss. Ever since VG started that was the company I wanted to work with. So I made it a point to hit up Justin Meyer every now and then. My friend Riley Erickson worked for them too and I would try and go out with them to get second angles and see how they worked. But all in all I think it was word of mouth. My personal project, Makefriendsordie, also got my name out there.

Here’s a messier work of art for Videograss.

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

At that time I was super hyped on Videograss, anything Skylar Brent was working on, the Team Vacation edits by Tanner Pendleton, the TransWorld videos Hayden Rensch and Joe Carlino made, Kevin Castanhiera, Colton Feldman and Keep The Change, Jonas Michilot's photos, Pete Harvieux, Java Fernandez, Shelby Menzel, Corey Smith, Nick Lipton, Mikey LeBlanc, etc. etc. I was down for anything these guys were into.

This is what happens when adidas collaborates with Videograss, worth the watch.

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

Off the top of my head, the Makefriendsordie series seems like it had the biggest impact. That series was so fun to make. I would ride resorts with my friends and if they did anything cool I would grab the camera, film it, then continue riding. After the first couple the homies were so down and really made it happen. Thanks, brothers.

Always strapped with a camera and a smile. PHOTO: T. Bird

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

It would be cool to mix some of my other interests into the picture; design, photography, painting, drawing, fashion, music, marketing, etc. I think the position for that would be Art Director? I'm not sure. Right now, I'm working with RIDE Snowboards and they have used some of my photos and ideas for board graphics. I'm hyped on that, thank you :)

Anyone you'd like to thank?

All of my sponsors.

 

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