(Editors note: In order to properly enjoy the following article please read all narrative parts while thinking of that one English teacher you had in the sixth grade. You know, the one who talked with a pseudo-English accent¢even though she was from Long Island¢and over-pronounced everything while making references to things that had nothing to do with the subject.)

Welcome, boys and girls, to Freshman Shred Production. Please have a seat. Is every one settled in? Great. Have we got a treat for you¢some former students of ours who’ve hit the big time stopped by to answer some questions. In just a second I’m going to introduce Justin Eeles and Pierre Minhondo from Neoproto. But before I do, let me tell you a little bit about the boys from the north shore of Lake Tahoe for those of you who are unfamiliar.

Justin and Pierre met up while working on different projects in the winter of 2001/02. Pierre was working on a video he made by himself entitled Mixed Elements, and Justin was filming for a movie called Declaration with Brian Oliver. Both realized they wanted the same things from a snowboard video, and fed up with what they’d been seeing, the two decided to join forces. Finding talent wasn’t tough, because both had logged more than their share of hours in Tahoe and could easily rustle up some of the best talent from the area. What they needed was a little help in the finance department. Pierre approached Brad Kremer (formerly of Kingpin Productions, now with Mack Dawg), who gave them a big thumbs up¢and Neoproto was born.

That year, during the TransWorld SNOWboarding Team Challenge, the duo showed a short teaser of their freshman debut¢the self-titled Neoproto¢to the TWS editorial staff, who quickly swooped up a sponsorship spot. So, as their second release Everyday Something hits the shelves, let’s give a big warm TransWorld çhelloॠto Justin and Pierre before we discuss some of the finer points of the world they live in.

If You’re Not Part Of The Solution, You’re Part Of The Problem

There seem to be thousands of people complaining about çwhat’s wrong with snowboarding today.ॠYet no one does anything about it. They grumble to one another or write to the companies in disgust, but do they ever actively search for outlets of change? In most cases¢no.

So let’s ask the boys what put the fire under their buttocks. Pierre: I didn’t understand that old format of having a couple great snowboarders and putting some music down underneath their snowboarding. I respect the older production companies greatly, and I’m doing what I do now because I grew up watching their films, but I think what we’re all making can be pushed so much further. We want to show who the riders are as individuals, not just their snowboarding. I think the format of snowboard movies is going to drastically change in the future, and I hope I’m still around to see it. Justin: I was always weirded out by all the major companies that made snow flicks using all sixteen-millimeter film. Don’t get me wrong, sixteen-millimeter is awesome, and I love to shoot it, but the fact is, it makes snowboarding dreamy and unreal in my eyes. I like the true-to-life feel you get from a digi skate video¢it just feels more real to me.

Also we want to showcase the riders as individuals who snowboard, not just a robot that does textbook tricks all day long.

D.I.Y.

Throwing a video together and burning a few copies for your chums is one thing, but taking that step from your mother’s garage to the world market must have been huge. Now you’re dealing with sponsors, distributors, and deadlines¢all types of pressures.

Please tell us what kind of ups and downs you went through.

Justin: The ups are that we have creative control¢we get to call all the shots. The downs would be that it’s a lot of work for two people. Luckily, we get tons of help from others¢but in the end, it’s just Pierre and me. It’s a learning experience for sure.

Pierre: The downside is thaI just work. It seems like that’s all I do. Two people do everything in this company¢ads, the box cover, business, editing, filming, and graphics. I love it, but sometimes it gets so hard.

On the up, I love snowboarding, which is the reason why I’m doing this. I get the same feeling every summer¢waiting ’til September to watch all the new flicks. I’m so lucky to be doing this¢it’s my dream. I get to film snowboarders all around the world¢that’s my job! I get to hang out with my friends and create something out of nothing. When I meet kids who are stoked on the movies I made ô those are some of the best memories.

Family

It would seem that the whole çwe’re just a bunch of friends who love to snowboard togetherॠis the proverbial horse that’s been beat to death in snowboard movies. But seeing as you guys all grew up riding in the same areas with little or no money to journey outward, you have been çdownॠfor years. It’s a diversified group as well¢Robbie Sell, Stephen Duke, True Love, Sean Tedore, Nima Jalali, Aaron Keene, Curtis Woodman, Tim Eddy, Fillipo Kratter, Shaun Mckay ô the list goes on and on.

And if Shakespeare taught us anything, it’s that all families have their issues. Justin, Pierre¢tell us about your group dynamic.

Pierre: You know how brothers and sisters squabble and fight with each other a lot? Imagine living in one house with ten friends you know like brothers. That was the Neoproto house this winter. But looking past all the bullshit, I’m truly lucky to know these guys and say that they’re my friends¢I can rely on every one of them for help with anything. They’re just as much of a part of Neoproto as we are.

Justin: The difference in styles must look funny from the outside¢tight jeans and leather jackets hanging out with baggy pants or one-piece suits, all of them riding together. In the end, the guys form sub crews within the crew. It usually has to do with work ethic. The sleep-in guys film together, and the early-bird dudes film together.

Scouting For Talent

As you can see, instead of trying to chase down _ber-pros, the boys stuck to the pool of talent right in their own backyard¢with great results. While some might use that as a stepping-stone on the way to getting a bunch of big names on their film roster, the Neoproto boys stuck with çtheir crew.

J-man and Frenchy¢may I call you that? Oh, I can’t? Sorry. Could you tell the class what made you stay with çyour homeys?

Pierre: We want to continue working with these riders and watch them turn pro, as well as bringing new ams into the fold every year. This is what Neoproto has been about from the beginning¢giving opportunities to riders, and us, that in the past haven’t been there. Everyone’s working together, investing in our future and trying to make it happen.

This all started because Brad Kremer gave us an opportunity as amateur filmers. I want to give the same opportunity to new kids, as well as watch the people who began with Neoproto move up in the snowboarding world.

Justin: I think Pierre’s answer sums it up.

Work Hard/Play Harder

Let’s end on a lighter note. It has come to our attention that most of your group tends to çlive it upॠoff the hill, forgoing the gym for the likes of a bar or house party. Would you be kind enough to share one of your favorite adventures with us?

Justin: First of all, you have to understand, South Shore (Taho) is the land of casinos and all-night drinking. That being said, one night the crew went out for some fun. Every one was drinking and doing their thing. Sometime around eleven p.m. Filippo sat down at a slot machine. We found him around two a.m. at the same machine with a big bucket of coins, and he’s going on and on about how çthis is the machine.ॠWe kept on partying and totally forget about Filippo. When we woke up the next morning, Filippo still wasn’t home.

Pierre: Yeah, we called him, and sure enough he was still at the same slot machine and had no clue what time it was. It was 10:30 in the morning! He told us to give him two more hours before picking him up. Thirteen hours of straight gambling and he only came up 1,500 dollars.

Outro

That story is absolutely sublime. Thank you for joining us today, best of luck with Everyday Something and come see us again as soon as possible. Class, don’t forget, next Wednesday you have an assignment due about the effects of goggle sag on today’s youth. Class dismissed.

Tools Of The Trade

Pierre: The Panasonic 24p would have to be my favorite Digi Camera right now. The look it gives is the perfect medium between film and digital. Justin: I swear by Sony for anything digi. The Pd150 has been my tool for a while now and a Bolex RX5 for the 16mm. Someday I’ll have to let her go for an Arri.

P.S. To the dickhead who stole all my shit in Portland, I hope you get cancer of the eye.

What They’re Watching

Pierre: Every Film by Jon Holland (Transworld SKATEboarding videos), the Clich

Video Bon Appetite by French Fred, all of Brad Kremer’s films, Menikmati, Yeah Right too many to list.

Justin: Anything from Jon Holland, as far as skate goes. For snow, New Kids On the Twock stays with me¢it was the first snowboard video I ever saw. The Ring really impressed me. Also, Floria Sigismondi’s work is amazing. at time it was. It was 10:30 in the morning! He told us to give him two more hours before picking him up. Thirteen hours of straight gambling and he only came up 1,500 dollars.

Outro

That story is absolutely sublime. Thank you for joining us today, best of luck with Everyday Something and come see us again as soon as possible. Class, don’t forget, next Wednesday you have an assignment due about the effects of goggle sag on today’s youth. Class dismissed.

Tools Of The Trade

Pierre: The Panasonic 24p would have to be my favorite Digi Camera right now. The look it gives is the perfect medium between film and digital. Justin: I swear by Sony for anything digi. The Pd150 has been my tool for a while now and a Bolex RX5 for the 16mm. Someday I’ll have to let her go for an Arri.

P.S. To the dickhead who stole all my shit in Portland, I hope you get cancer of the eye.

What They’re Watching

Pierre: Every Film by Jon Holland (Transworld SKATEboarding videos), the Clich

Video Bon Appetite by French Fred, all of Brad Kremer’s films, Menikmati, Yeah Right too many to list.

Justin: Anything from Jon Holland, as far as skate goes. For snow, New Kids On the Twock stays with me¢it was the first snowboard video I ever saw. The Ring really impressed me. Also, Floria Sigismondi’s work is amazing.