Premiere season has been in full swing across the country, and after a year of missed events, some are deciding that online premieres aren’t going to cut it. There is still plenty of risk involved around Covid (we just hit 5,000,000 deaths worldwide), but as vaccination levels rise and state parameters are lifted, snowboarding has been living vicariously through those streaming their attendance on IG. Alongside a string of premieres in Salt Lake City the past two weeks, there have been plenty of new cases, but there is also plenty of snowboarding to talk about. We hit up Denver Orr, who happens to fall into both categories, premiering a highly anticipated project this past week (HOW DARK BLUE FEELS), and catching a case along the way. The full movie will debut online in a little under a month, but we thought we’d catch up with Denver while he was in one place recouping from a few big weeks.
Where are you doing this interview from?
From my girlfriend’s bed. We both have COVID.
It’s pretty early in premiere season and it’s already kicking SLC’s ass. How are you going to make it through the next month of movies?
Dude, I don’t know. I’m going to watch them from my room in my bed. I guess her bed, actually. Utah is pretty loose.
How are you and your partner feeling today?
She’s way better than I am. I’m good. I got a cough and runny nose.
Glad you are doing alright. What’s your movie called?
Our movie is How Dark Blue Feels.
How did you name it?
That’s a good question. We were trying to figure out a title forever. We had like, No Pain and Nail to the Hand and goofy shit. Bryden [Bowley] came up with How Dark Blue Feels–it’s really all based around the emotion of just dealing with shit, I think. At least for me. I had it pretty hard mentally for the past two years just trying to figure out what I’m doing with snowboarding, in general, and how it’s going to work out. You know, it’s a fucking crazy industry to figure out. I think that title is based around just like the emotion of feeling lost in the world I guess, but trying to find your way.
Did you guys get lost a lot while filming?
Not really. Our crew last year was really insane because it was the four of us and we’ve been filming and hanging out and boarding together for years. I don’t know if it’s lost…but we’re all just kids trying to figure it out. I think Miles [Fallon] is definitely a lot more collected.
Oh, I meant in the literal sense.
Oh ha, we did not.
You have your program dialed?
We had that shit dialed. We were on it all season, for sure. Dylan [Okurowski] is the spot god, and then all of us are so hyped and stoked to be out there. I mean, I know how to run that Google Earth shit so well.
Where were you filming? Did you guys go to New York during that storm last winter?
Our timeline is kind of crazy. We went to Pittsburgh and then I hurt my knee there, third or second day, so I flew back to Salt Lake. We went to Jamestown, New York, which is the outskirts of New York City, very close to Bryden’s hometown. That was one of our big, productive trips. After I got hurt, Keegan [Hosefros], Miles, and Dylan were in Jamestown filming for a little and then they went to Minnesota. Keegan got hurt in Minnesota and flew home, and Miles, Bryden, and Dylan were filming in Minnesota and then drove back to Salt Lake. After that, we were filming in Park City and Salt Lake for a little, just a week or two or something, and then we went back to Pittsburgh. That was when we filmed most of our shit, our second trip to Pittsburgh. We got so lucky dude, it was crazy. So much snow the second time. I think it snowed three times while we were there, and we got there when there was already snow.
Have you ever heard of Pittsburgh referred to as the Venice of Appalachia?
Haha, I haven’t. That’s sick, though.
I’m gonna coin it. I always ask that question and nobody calls it that. When you were in Pittsburgh, did you have a Primanti Brothers sandwich?
I did not.
Looks like you’re going to have to film again in Pittsburgh this year.
Yeah, there’s like three definite spots that I hit that I didn’t get.
Who is all in the movie?
Me, Miles Fallon, Dylan Okurowski, Keegan Hosefross, Caleb Kinnear, Justin Phipps, and Luke Lund.
That’s a pretty heavy rollout of up-and-comers. Do you feel like you put some of your best stuff out there?
Oh, definitely. I think after every video, every snowboarder is like, “Well, I can’t wait until next year so I can do more,” you know? And that’s how I’m feeling, but I’m also like, this is next level shit that I’m so hyped on. Especially with hurting my knee. That threw me off at the beginning of the season and then it didn’t really affect me too much, which I’m super lucky about, because I could’ve fucking tore that shit to shreds. I scorpioned at the bottom of a giant ledge. I have a clip of that fall in the video and the land is right after it haha.
Are you guys working on another project this year?
Yeah, hopefully. Bryden’s got a lot of offers now. I’m so hyped for him. That was what I envisioned for him doing it all by himself, you know? Trying to make the best shit we could, so Bryden could get the best offers that he could possibly get. I think he’s trying to balance it all and figure out what he wants to do, but I want to film with him again because he’s just one of the best dudes I know. So hopefully, that.
You’re Tahoe-born, grew up kind of in the contest scene, and some good results and some not so good results.
Yeah, mostly not so good!
How do you like riding in the streets?
It’s pretty funny. I didn’t grow up in a city when I was younger, but my brother was a huge skater and lived in San Francisco for awhile. I wanted to do everything he was doing, and street snowboarding translated the most to me. I figured it is so much money to get all the backcountry shit going, and I’d like to film in the streets anyway. It’s badass, and hopefully when I am older, I can get in the backcountry. Half and half, like Mack Dawg shit!
Here’s a stock question. With Instagram, TikTok, and the short clip life everything is on, why are projects like this important to snowboarding?
I love that question because I think filming a project is the MOST important thing in snowboarding. Contests are dope as fuck. I’m not bagging on those guys at all. I wanted to be in the fucking Olympics and shit, but I love movies–just like regular movies, in general. And snowboard movies are close to that. It’s hard to say why, I just think they’re so special. They stay around forever. You can still watch all these legends in like Mack Dawg, and half of them are not even around anymore. I just think it’s the most important thing in snowboarding because these videos were the first thing you could watch, and to just be able to add to that legacy is just so important for snowboarding. At some point, people are going to get so fucking bored of Instagram, dude. I know I am.
They’re saying it’s becoming this dissociated thing like Facebook because you don’t see your friends’ posts. They don’t know what’s coming next, but they say Instagram is going to slowly be on it’s downfall.
I’d be so stoked if I could just film a part and not have to worry about all that social media shit. Obviously that’s not a thing, but…
Would you film a part for the Facebook Metaverse?
I don’t even…
They just announced it last week. Zuckerberg is making some fully digital world for everyone to exist in.
That sounds awful.
So you’d rather go to the real Pittsburgh than a fake Facebook Metaverse Pittsburgh?
Oh dude, 100%. I like walking around in new places and experiencing the world for what it is. I hate staying in my bed. I fucking lose my mind. I didn’t even want to get on this call because I’m like, I’m not even me right now.
You are you right now. You also look like me right now. Same hair.
I do. We should take a side-by-side photo.