Big Winter Happening

The Volcom Stone snowboard-movie saga may span thirteen years, but the library’s only a handful of videos deep. It’s the quality and not the quantity, however, that’s made videos like Alive We Ride, The Garden, and Subjekt Haakonsen the stuff of legend and a crucial part of the shred-film cannon. What makes them so special? Each Volcom film has a pathos, its own way of capturing the emotion of an experience-the mind-blowingly magical thing that is the act of snowboarding.

Now, for the first time since 2001’s Luminous Llama, we’re getting another taste of the strange, art-infused genius of the Stone. Introducing Escramble, the culmination of a relentlessly devoted two years’ worth of laughing, loving, living-and riding. We’ve taken you behind the scenes to get the real, gritty stories that went into making this movie-the tales, trials, and tribulations of three generations’ worth of snowboarders in pursuit of the ultimate shred.-Jennifer Sherowski

Midwest Rail Session

December, 2006

Having Seth Huot, and Bjorn and Erik Leines come slide rails in Minneapolis was a great time. I looked up to all those guys when I was growing up in Minnesota and was so happy to be able to ride with the real heavy hitters on the team. It feels really good to step it up from grom status.

Anyway, I had quite a few rails stored in my head from living there my whole life, so we had endless possibilities. It was really cold the whole time, but we had a good system. We started off every session with coffee. Then we’d set up the generator, lights, flashes, and drop-in ramp. We’d make sure Chris Owen and Nathan Yant had their camera gear all set. Then we’d let the tricks fly. Some crazy stuff went down, for sure. It was loads of fun, but exhausting, too.-Zac Marben

Shaun White’s June Mountain Slaughterfest

January, 2005

Shaun was coming off his wins at Vail’s Session and sticking all four nines in the slopestyle for the first time. Needless to say, he was confident in his riding. We showed up at June, and the atmosphere was just fun. The mountain was pretty empty. Shaun, Pat Moore, Billy Anderson, and I were taking laps and having a good time. Owen and Yant were shooting and making everyone laugh-it was just an upbeat time, not a lot of pressure.

We started off riding pipe, but it was a little under-vert, so we weren’t getting much footage. Then Pat started doing handplants, and then he and Shaun started doing doubles-lines. Shaun went front five over Pat’s handplants-everyone freaked over that. What started off as a really mellow day turned right around with some imagination.

When the park was ready, we had a session with Pat, BJ Leines, and some little kid. The jumps were sick-two channel gaps with smooth landings and great run-ins. You could just see Shaun start picking apart lines. He’d swing by, rap off another combo, stick it first try, and move on to something harder. He went Cab nine to front nine-that was the banger. Switch backside fives the hard way over the channel, Cab fives, backside fives, backside 180s, sevens-basically almost every spin possible, normal and the hard way. Shit, I wish I could remember more.

The whole shoot lasted three days, but it could have been done on the second. I don’t think anyone was expecting Shaun to be that on it-this was just a normal couple days, but people weren’t used to filming with Shaun, so they were a bit taken aback. He got a TransWorld cover, a Three Days article, and a bunch more editorial photos out of it-not to mention an entire video part.-Burton Team Manager (and Shaun’s big brother) Jesse White

Claymation Station

To get one second of stop-motion film, you need to take 30 frames. To create the illusion of life, we move the claymation character a tiny fraction of an inch and then take a frame, move it a tiny bit more and then take another frame-do this 30 times, and you have one second of video. Since we had to create 2.5 minutes of film with multiiple locations and characters, you can start to see how much work goes into it.

It all started as a story outline brought to me by Escramble Co-Director Ryan Thomas, followed by the generation of an animatic, which is a series of storyboards set to a rough soundtrack. Then we started building sets and sculpting the necessary characters. We sculpt the characters by hand out of clay and build the sets out of whatever materials we can find-cotton for clouds, clay for snow, fake gems for ice, colored corn syrup for lava, et cetera.

We wanted it to feel like this animation might have been made by a grom at his parents’ house-not too rough, but still a really handmade feeling-so we shot everything in my garage. Once the sets and characters were built, we brought in the camera and set up the lights. It’s just like a miniature movie set with the same gear, except since we’re really taking a series of still images, we used a high-quality still camera (a digital Nikon D200). It’s how they shot Corpse Bride, and it’s a big time-saver over film because you can see the images you’re taking as you animate.

A lot of people think we must be crazy because of how tedious this type of animation seems-but I really have a lot of fun doing stop-motion. We get paid to sculpt and paint and play with dolls all day-it’s a blast.-Animator Cameron Gray

Battling The Tahoe Blizzards

March, 2006