By Shelby Menzel
Call me crazy, but I don’t really “get off” on all the newest near-Rollerblading moves my friends can do on their snowboards down handrails. It’s the good times we have in the strange places we go, like Ohio, that I really love. And for me, the driving force behind all my hard work as a filmer is returning to the hotel hot tub at the end of the day to regain all the joyous warmth of youth I lost to frigid air. It’s for that reason that, as we drove around looking for a hotel, I kept yelling from the back of the car, “Get one with a hot tub!” It was probably a Days Inn or the like that we ended up at-you know, the type of place with fresh cookies and watery coffee in the morning-but that’s neither here nor there. I loved the hell out of that hot tub, just like all the goddamn rail trips I’ve been on-that hot tub was my life force.
Moving on. Ohio is a diamond in the rough if riding rails is your thing. However, I didn’t see one attractive woman while I was there, found the place otherwise boring as all hell, and most of the kids in the snowboard scene seemed weird and sort of stuck in a time warp. That’s not to say that they weren’t some of the nicest fellows ever, though. In fact, everywhere we went we were told of spectacular rail feats accomplished by the locals. Crazy shit like, “Guy backflipped the first roof and dropped to flat off the second half!” Or, “My buddy back lipped that one for our new video.” It was almost as if they were taunting us-daring the crew to top their wondrous feats. They also laid down tidbits from Neoproto’s visit earlier in the winter. That only sparked angst and spite in our gang’s one-track filming mind.
Of course, I didn’t give a rat’s ass either way-I was out of town on someone else’s tab with my friends Jordan Mendenhall, Jon Kooley, Eric Christensen, Justin Hebbel, and photographer Kevin Zacher-who, I might add, was getting calls all weekend from his agent to shoot celebrities at a film festival, yet he still stayed. As long as they were having fun, so was I. Jordan had fun texting his wife every hot minute, EC had fun shredding everything in sight, Hebbel had lots of salads but didn’t seem to have much fun, Kooley had fun saying, “Where can a honky find some hot wings?” and Zacher had fun climbing trees and ordering at least five different beverages at any given meal. To be honest, I never remember much from these trips other than how cold I was and who freaked out, so watch Burning Bridges and look at these photos.
Zacher shooting one regular photo and then spending the next two hours climbing various trees around the jib site and ordering small children around for his “artsy shot.”
Eating candy in the hot tub every night-then being overwhelmed with anxiety as talk of a night session developed.
Meeting a local shred crew named the CFB: Crazy F-kin’ Boarders.
Zacher ordering the following drinks at T.G.I. Friday’s over the course of one dinner sitting: water, diet Coke, herbal tea, Jameson whisky, coffee.
When we all bought snacks at a gas station for lunch and Hebbel just got a bottle of water and one of those little packets of vitamins-it’s a space-age lunch.
Filmer Jake Price showing up with plastic bags and rubber bands on his feet for boots and yellow felt gloves. He also had an amazing microphone and possibly a satellite dish.
Meeting up with our local guides at noon and hearing them taunt us with comments like, “I can’t believe you guys just got up-we already filmed two shots this morning.”
Going to a shabby little resort and getting accused of filming children in the parking lot. Actually, I was filming children-I have the DVD available on my Web site.
Seeing some deer.