Q&A: Simon Chamberlain & JP Walker discuss filming their first independent parts
Simon Chamberlain & JP Walker together in Finland | Photo: Andre Chamberlain
For the first time JP Walker and Simon Chamberlain will drop their full parts independent of a big production company. We sat down with these two urban ninjas to see how their season went despite the lack of snow across the country, the difficulties they faced and who has more bangers.
You guys launched absolutejibberish.com at the beginning of the year. What sparked the idea to create a video blog in the first place?
JP: We had been talking about the idea for a while and when a series of events took place, and the crew we were originally filming with fell through, it just seemed like it was the best thing we could do at that time. We had to hustle pretty hard to pull it off because the decision came later in the fall after we had already started riding.
Simon: Most of our sponsors have wanted us to do something different for years. This year it ended up happening and gave us a chance to try something new.
It was a tough snow season all around the States. How did this affect the success of creating new edits for the site, or did you find yourselves chasing snow most of the year?
JP: We always chase snow, so that’s not too different than usual. The real problem was that there was no snow to chase until much later in the season. Our first film trip started on Jan. 2nd, which is about two months later than usual. This made it hard to have a lot of good content right off the bat. We had planned to drop videos every other week and have an updated blog site. That was hard to do and still hold good stuff for our final parts. And with one filmer, who was also editing and our producer, it made us work harder and try to do way more with way less.
JP Walker picnic table 5-0 | Photo: Bradley Fitzmaurice
You’re about to launch your 2012 full video parts at the beginning of July. Why go the independent route and not team up with a large-scale production for a full feature film?
Simon: We wanted to put our stuff out for free for the kids. It’s cool with us because we wanted to do something fun and new. It brought us back to the old days of cramming into small hotel rooms and making trips as cheap as possible. It brought us back to our roots for sure.
JP: If we were paired up with a larger production we would be at the mercy of whatever direction they wanted to take. We have done that year after year since we started filming. I think we just decided it was time for a change.
What was one of the more memorable moments from this past season of filming?
JP: Every day has it moments. The fact that we pulled the whole thing off is the best.
Simon: The whole season was amazing and memorable. This year I got to work with my brother Andre and my child hood Hero JP.
Photo: Mason Mashon
Did you always try to film together or did you find yourselves on solo missions with your own videographers?
JP: We were together about 90% of the time. I had a big European tour mid-season with 32 that pulled me away from the project for a few weeks but that was about it. Simon’s brother Andre filmed about 95% of everything and I never did any solo stuff.
Simon: Yeah, we always filmed together. We seem to work better as a team.
What can we expect from the two parts? Did you guys mainly focus on your strong urban abilities or did you set out to create more rounded parts?
JP: We focused mainly on the urban. We got out in to the backcountry for a bit but we love rails and had a lot of new stuff we wanted to film. We always start with rail stuff and go until the end of February trying to get it before we settle into the backcountry. We found some new spots and Simon got some hams.
Who has the better part and why?
JP: Simon, he’s a beast and he racks it up every spot we go to.
Simon: JP for sure, he got two tricks in the street that no one has done before, so that will blow some minds. He seems to always do that, which is amazing to watch.
For people who might think filming a part is easy, what are some of the difficulties you guys faced this past season while working on your full parts?
Simon: When you film with a small crew like we had it can be hard at times because you get tired. We didn't have a big crew to pull a bungee or shovel up huge landings; but we worked together, efficiently, and most importantly had fun so everything went smooth. Sunny days in Whistler for the backcountry parts are always a frustrating thing, because they never happen.
JP: It’s just a big chess game. It’s all about weighing the options and making the best choices to maximize your productivity. If you think about it, it’s a small window of time to rack up quality footage. You have roughly 4 months of good snow to get enough footage for a full part. If you make a few bad calls you fall behind schedule. Sometimes you get hurt or get pulled away for other obligations and that’s going to make it harder to get into the right situations to get hammers.
Simon & Andre checking the shot | Photo: JP Walker
Any major injuries or bails that might have set you back?
Simon: I bruised my stomach really good that put me out for 10 days, but that was it.
JP: Just the usual stuff but nothing too harsh for me.
Can we expect the always-popular slam section to be releases after the full parts come out?
Simon: Probably not, JP didn't fall that much this year, haha.
Any talks of putting out a full length video with just the two of you; something similar to Eddie Wall and Peter Line’s The Peddie Files?
JP: No plans of a full-length film. I’ll follow Peter’s steps in the direction of his Decade or Stomping Grounds part, but the latest attempt is a little soft.
We'll be dropping both Simon Chamberlain's (July 1) and JP Walker (July 4) full parts next week right here on snowboardmag.com.
For now you can check out their official double teaser right here.
*Vertical photo: Mason Mashon