The groundwork for Aurora Boardealis was laid in 2012 when Warp Wave launched. Now, the spaceship has landed, and the crew has released their largest project to date, welcoming new riders who embody the same motivated and unconventional spirit, eager to experience the Sierra by snowboard.
Aurora Boardealis is a backcountry film unlike any you’ve seen—save perhaps Warp Wave’s previous movies, Warp Dü Looké and A Place Called Kookabunga. It is the documentation of snowboarding in a pure form.
Warp Wave co-founder Gray Thompson explains.
What led you here? Here being Aurora Boardealis.
Eric Messier and I created Warp Wave in the summer of 2012. What started as a funky art project centered around snowboarding has since morphed into a full creative platform and outlet for the both of us and a solid roster of ripping boarders. We began by making short web videos which we filmed on these retro VHS and Hi-8 cameras acquired from childhood basements—the vibe was dreamy, psychedelic and authentic, and I think a lot of people connected with that. As we started to pick up steam and a following, we began bringing more of our friends into the mix and upping the production value. This past year shooting for Aurora Boardealis we had more committed riders than ever: Eric and I, Tucker Andrews, Nick Russell, Johnny Brady, Felix Mobarg, Curtis Woodman, Taylor Carlton, Jackson Fowler, Zander Blackmon, Wyatt Stasinos and Griffin Siebert. In addition, we were very fortunate to ride and shoot with Tim and Hannah Eddy, Harry Kearney, Alex Scott, Randy Vannurden, Danny Davis, Desiree Melancon, Chas Guldemond and Jeremy Jones.
Who filmed Aurora Boardealis?
Sam Tuor was a huge addition to the Warp Wave family—he’s the first dedicated cinematographer we have brought on a project, and we couldn’t have made this film without him. Sam came down to Tahoe in Early January, and we immediately put him to work. He followed the crew around nearly every day, splitboard under his feet and 40 pounds of camera gear on his back. Coming off a couple knee surgeries, I joined Sam in sporting the “filmer guy” title many days of the season. Between the both of us we were able to spend more time outside than ever before, shooting this wild bunch of boarders and capturing some of my favorite shots Warp Wave has ever displayed. Sean Kerrick Sullivan is another key player in the production of Aurora Boardealis; we’ve been working with Sean almost since day one, and his photography falls right in line with our style of riding. This season Sean became a certified drone pilot extraordinaire and was able to capture some beautiful angles and ripping moments for the film.
How did the editing process work?
Once we put the cameras away for the season in May, Sam and I immediately began the process of going through hours of footage, listening to thousands of songs, and formulating the idea, vibe and flow of Aurora Boardealis. Starting the editing process is the hardest part of making a film, and it took many edits and re-edits to get on a path that we could groove with. Warp Wave has never been about highlighting individual rider parts; it’s always been about the sessions—we always go out and ride as a crew, so translating that into the final edit is crucial in our films. Whilst editing Aurora Boardealis, the mantra we worked by was ‘keep the audience on their toes.’ We wanted to create a visual journey that was never predictable. The film flows from low-angle trees and Tahoe tranny-finder grooving, then works its way into a stylistic freestyle dimension and culminates in higher, exposed peaks and big mountain lines.
Where was the movie filmed?
One of the most powerful things about Aurora Boardealis is how we were able to hunker down in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, never board an airplane and never step into a helicopter. The majority of the 38-minute film was shot in our Sierra backyard—Mammoth to Lake Tahoe. Then we filmed a bit around Mt. Bachelor and the middle of Nevada, as well as the wonderful Wasatch range in Utah. We discovered new terrain, revisited classic zones, slept under snowy peaks and woke up in paradise everyday.