Words: Laura Austin
Photos: From as many people who were willing to donate to the “Laura’s camera went missing fund”
With the amount of online videos these days, I have started to question the impact of full-length snowboard films on the audience. Today you can see tidbits of what riders are doing throughout the whole winter, right as it is happening. Whereas back in the day kids had to wait an entire year to see what their favorite riders pulled off that season. But last weekend "Bon Voyage" restored my faith that there is still excitement and anticipation in watching a snowboard flick for the first time.
The Videograss crew knows how to have a good time. It is evident in their movies, their weekly Videograssaturdays edits, and they definitely proved it again at the premieres of their newest movie, "Bon Voyage". The first showing was held up at High Cascade Snowboard Camp in Mt. Hood during the Videograss signature session. The kids were hyped, roaring after every rider's part, and proceeding to talk about it with their friends the next few days of camp.
After the movie was shown the campers dispersed and the after parties began. I don't need to go into detail, but some highlights included people stage diving from the second floor of a house into a crowd who didn't actually catch them, broken tables, and people fighting over beers like hobos at a product toss of McDonalds cheeseburgers.
Round 2 was held down in Portland, which was their more official premiere and was open to the public. So many people showed up for the movie that the theater hit max capacity…three times. Crowds were waiting out front hoping that a few would leave so that they could get in. Videograss had to have three different showings because all the seats filled up so quickly. And there were still people who couldn't see the third showing because it reached capacity once again. Luckily the movie was shown at the Living Room Theater which had a full on bar in the lobby. So while people were watching "Bon Voyage", the others were able to hang out in the bar and rub elbows with all the riders and the crew behind the film.
After the premiere the crowd moved to the Beauty Bar for the after party, which even more people showed up to. Picture the NBA all star team packed into this house. But no one seemed to mind, it just meant for tighter dancing quarters and a reason for people to take their shirts off. It was a wild night that ended in my camera disappearing with all the photos from the premiere (thank you to everyone who donated to the cause… and whoever has my camera, enjoy… I hope you know enough about photography to appreciate it) and a whole fleet of cops having to usher people away from the bar because it turned into a block party. It isn't a party until someone gets arrested, and that night there were many that did.
The movie itself was a hit. Videograss claims that it is "A video about what snowboarders want to do. Not about what filmers and team managers think snowboarders should do." And that was evident in the film. I am not going to give too much away because you have to see it for yourself. But with a rider list of Justin Bennee, Mikey Leblanc, Jed Anderson, Nima Jalali, Gus Engle, Jon Kooley, Laurent Nicolas Paquin, Louif Paradis, Alex Cantin, Jordan Mendenhall, Johnny Miller, Will Tuddenham, Ben Bilocq, Jonas Michilot, Chris Grenier, Darrell Mathes, Nick Dirks, and friends it was filled with some very entertaining snowboarding. Jed Anderson had enough footage to take up a part and a half, filled with some of the most technical riding out there. And the ending shot of Mikey Leblanc will blow your mind and make you question why it didn't do the same thing to his knees. If you missed the premieres in Oregon, "Bon Voyage" will be on tour throughout the US and Canada so be on the lookout for one near you. It is well worth it.