Terje Haakonsen, Travis Rice, Shaun White, Jeremy Jones, Bjorn Leines… Not many snowboarders have had full movies dedicated just to themselves, but the list is one comprised of legends.
No surprises then that in 2010 Volcom finally put Gigi Ruf into that top bracket of legends with 9191, a belter of a shred flick filmed exclusively on 16mm and Super 8, a concious move away from the rapidly encroaching world of ultra high definition and super slo mo.
This back to basics approach took the team to New Zealand, Austria, Switzerland, Jackson Hole, Chile and Alaska, but rather than stretch the movie into a feature length presentation, the final cut came in at just over 23 minutes, making it one of the most banger packed snowboard movies ever.
Also of note was the soundtrack: an original composition mixed by Piers Baron (also responsible for a similar approach to sound tracking Flip Skateboards’ Extremely Sorry).
Volcom left it up to Gigi himself to decide who else featured in the film, not focusing on who’s sponsors are paying the most money but instead on who would bring the most to the table.
Finally, Volcom left it up to Gigi himself to decide who else featured in the film (a move they’re repeating with Pat Moore‘s forthcoming movie Mr Plant), not focusing on who’s sponsors are paying the most money but instead on who would bring the most to the table. That allowed for the inclusion of Wolle Nyvelt, Nicolas Muller and Jake Blauvelt, producing on of the most stylish and fluid freeride collaborations of all time.
It’s a gorgeous movie, definitely one every shred head worth their mental has to watch, so we’re stoked that Volcom have re-released it online as part of the run up to the première of their latest movie: Veeco: A Volcom Filmmaking Documentary, out on the 26th August.
To celebrate, we’ve included an extract from a WL interview that coincided with the original launch. So here’s Gigi Ruf himself,talking about the process of creating 9191:
This interview originally appeared in WL92.
It must be pretty cool being the subject of a Volcom movie. Like following in the footsteps of Terje…
Yeah, I’ve always tried to follow those footsteps! [laughs]
So what should we expect from the movie?
Hopefully nothing! [laughs] That’s always my biggest question, what do people expect me to do…? Erm, expect a Volcom movie. That’s what I want it to be. I didn’t want it to be all about me, I wanted it to be about Volcom Snowboarding and what they’re about. Basically they gave me the freedom to do what I wanted to do, and to ride with who I wanted to ride with. So we were basically using Volcom’s money so I could go ride with Wolle [Nyvelt, Billabong and Salomon pro] or with Jake [Blauvelt, sponsored by Oakley and Ride] or Nicholas [Muller, who rides for Nike and Burton]. I was the only rider assigned to the production by sponsors and stuff. The [other] guys that are in it are like free spirits. They were down for the cause and like: “Fuck yeah, let’s just go ride!”
So no sponsor pressure or anything?
No. It just happened like that. That was my season. And Volcom just said: “Right, have as much fun as you can” and that just took the pressure right off my shoulders. I could film where I wanted, whatever. In fact in many ways it was a dream come true for myself. Like you mentioned with Haakonsen earlier, having a Volcom movie just about me is something mind-boggling! At first it caused a lot of nervousness for me like: “Oh shit, I have to deliver this in one year, like a full movie.” But Billy from Volcom just said: “Have fun with it”.
Did you have any control over the artistic direction?
Well I brought my camera along. I have a super-8 millimetre camera, that’s my travelling cam. I filmed a bunch of the travel stuff like time-lapses of airplanes (sic) taking off and stuff.
And were you sat in the editing suite overseeing stuff?
Yeah, we were at the Volcom house in Hawaii. On the North Shore. We were there for three weeks and I got to bring my family. But I couldn’t hang with the computer. I had to go outside [laughs]. I let Jake do it, he’s the director – I’d already finished my part by then! [laughs].