On filming, Hoppipolla, & the Helgasons: Behind the lens with Petter Foshaug
From the early days of filming Horgmo and the Helgasons on picnic benches, to co-founding Hoppipolla Headwear and filming Eiki’s hammer edit for 2014 X Games Real Snow, Petter Foshaug is a crucial cog in the machine that is Norwegian snowboarding. Born and bred in the small town of Bardu, Petter learned to snowboard wearing ‘snow-jogger’ shoes strapped to a bright pink board, and learned to film simply by picking up a camera and pointing it at a few of his insanely talented friends.
Foshaug’s work is currently crushing it in Real Snow, as his edit of Eiki Helgason is duking it out (and winning) against the top urban riders in the game. Though still filming, Foshaug now works as a photographer inside and outside of the industry, while also working alongside Halldor and Eiki Helgason in running Hoppipolla Headwear.
We sat down and got to know this eclectic filmer, photographer and entrepreneur, from Northern Norway to now.
Where in Norway did you grow up?
I grew up in a small place called Bardu, far up in Northern Norway. It’s where Norway’s biggest military camp is, and where wolves and bears are running around in the woods hanging out.
Where did you learn to snowboard?
In the woods behind my cousin’s house. In some old snow-jogger shoes strapped in to way too big of bindings, on a pink Oxygen board. I thought it was so sick! I think I ended up buying the board from him.
Who did you grow up riding with?
My cousin and my friends that I went to school with. Not too many guys were snowboarding, but a few.
How old were you when you first started filming your friends?
I’m pretty sure I was 15. If I remember correctly, I used money I got from my “confirmation” (age ceremony) to buy this old camera from a local electronics shop. I ended up making a short skate edit with my friends, and when winter came I ended up making a snowboard movie.
Tell me about the first movie you made… where was it? Who was in it? How long did it take to film?
I pretty much made a snowboard movie as soon as I got a video camera. It was called Nordalliansen and was shot in Norway, mostly at different snowboard contests (I have no idea why), and the rest I filmed on picnic tables close to home with some guys who lived close to my city. I actually can’t remember anything from shooting it, except from a couple of days, on some picnic tables. As far as I can remember it only took a few weeks to shoot, like a few contests. Then for some reason I didn’t release it before wintertime the year after, I guess I didn’t know too much about how things were working back then.
I remember Afterbang came out a like a year or two after that, that’s what made me really stoked on making snowboard movies. That movie is so sick!
Of the films you’ve made, which would you say is your favorite?
I actually really kind of dislike all the movies I’ve made. Like… I haven’t seen any of them since I finished them. If I would have to pick one it might be this one called Up in the sky, it came out about 7 years ago. Eiki Helgason had the opener, and Torstein Horgmo had the ender, a part he shot in less then a week probably.
Which are you more into, filming or photography?
Well, right now probably photography. For snowboarding, I’ve probably only shot photos like 14-15 days total in my life. And every time I’ve done it at the same time as filming (day job, yo!) so there has been some multitasking going on. I’ve been lucky enough that a bunch of magazines wanted the few photos I shot, so I guess they got around a bit. I’m still really stoked on filming too though. I’m still going to be filming more, but it’s fun to mix it up shooting photos as well. I’m stoked on working with everything that is creative, and I hate everything that comes with it, such as accounting, bills and boring shit (laughs).
Outside of snowboarding, what are some of the projects you’ve been involved with?
Been doing everything from designing ads and other graphic work, to filming and directing stuff for mainstream companies. It’s fun to mix it up.
Do you work mainly in Norway, or have you been able to travel to other places to shoot?
I would say I work mostly outside Norway… been shooting a lot in Iceland (12 times I think), in the US, down in Europe, China. Everywhere kind of…
You work with the Helgasons in running Hoppipolla Headwear – how did the brand get started? Were you part of founding it, or did you join later on?
I guess it was kind of my idea. At least I had an idea of a beanie brand, I got some random samples made, just some beanies with stripes, with no logo or anything. I got those samples shipped out to Aspen when I was at X-Games with Halldor. As far as I can remember the beanies arrived on a Friday, and then Halldor won X-Games Big Air the day after, wearing a beanie. “Then the ball started rolling…”
What are you up to at the moment?
Just finished filming and editing Eiki Helgason’s X-Games Real Snow part. Now I’m in Norway, working with Hoppipolla, doing a few smaller projects and trying to plan out the winter.
Any big things planned for 2014?
No big plans set yet, hopefully shoot a lot of fun and different stuff.