Vans LANDLINE.: Tales from the Road
There is much more to a great snowboard film than what makes the cut. The many stories and anecdotes that together tell the tale of the shots you see in the finished product. The character of the film and its lifestyle component.
While at the LANDLINE. premiere in Vancouver, we pulled Dillon Ojo, Danimals, Cole Navin, Mike Rav, Darrell Mathes, and Blake Paul aside to listen to some of their favorite stories from the past two years. We asked each rider their favorite aspects of filming for the movie, what challenged them, and what they thought some of the more hilarious moments were. From drunk Russians passing out in the drop-in, to having the police block off a road for them to shoot, here are their tales from life on the road filming for Vans’ LANDLINE.
All photography by Owen Ringwall
Aaron Blatt fully stole my birthday. He birthday bandit-ed me. It was my birthday and we had nothing to do. It was a Tuesday in Revelstoke, and we didn’t want to go out so we just drank whiskey in this garage and blacked out. Jamie was painting and Guch was painting, and everybody was drinking whiskey and blacking. Blatt also made pancakes for two years straight. He was always bringing pancake mix out. That was awesome.
Overall, I was excited to be a part of the project as a whole. Looking back on it, when I started filming for it, even though it was two years ago, everybody that’s been involved is a good friend and we have a project we can look back on and be like, Yeah, at this part of my life, this was a big deal.
Favorite part was Pat Moore. Watching him I was just so blown away because he was doing things I’d never seen before. And Pat is a snowboarder that I’ve always looked up to as a kid. It blew me away, and he blew me away more than the video. My favorite snowboard parts aren’t necessarily how banging it is or the tricks, but for me, it’s about the vibe, the song, and the person. Pat’s part was amazing and crazy.
One of the funnier things that happened was at this spot that Darrell and I tried to hit in Germany. It was through this alleyway to go into this tennis court, and it was in between a bunch of apartment buildings. So it was a confined area with a bunch of windows and people. In order to hit the spot, we had to do a little maintenance so that it would work. We woke up in the morning, went to the store, and bought pliers, saws, everything.
The guys took off, parked somewhere else, and let me and Darrell go so it wouldn’t cause too much attention. He and I went at it at this spot to try to make it work. Before we got out of the truck, as a joke, Darrell mentioned, “If anything happens, we should have a safe word like hoody-hoo.”
So we are setting up, and at one point I looked at my phone and saw 10 missed calls from Harry Hagan [filmer]. We thought he was trying to see if the spot was ready. As I go to text him, I hear hoody-hoo in the distance. I get another call from Harry as the phone is in my hand, and I answer, and he’s like, “Yo, you guys need to leave right now. Just above you, there are cops circling around and trying to figure out where you are. They’re looking for you guys.”
But they didn’t know where we were because there were a bunch of apartment buildings, like a maze. So we took off running and hid all the tools in a bush, I met Harry on a lower road and we took off.
Dan “Danimals” Liedahl
My favorite part was honestly just being with the crew every day. The crew was sick. Every day when you’re on that adventure with them, whether or not you’re getting shots, you’re still with the crew.
We had a lot of funny things to overcome, like people trying to kick us out. We don’t speak the same language, but when we’d be there with someone who does know the language, they could talk to them, then all of the sudden, we were all good, and it was no big deal.
One time a couple called the cops on us, and instead of kicking us out the cops blocked the road for us which was pretty crazy. I was with Benny Urban, who is from Germany and who can talk to them, and then the cops were super cool about it. They were like, “Oh, we’ll just block the road off for you and you will be good.” So we hurried up and did it real quick and that was it.
I was friends with part of the crew beforehand, and then by the end of it, the relationships really developed and became so strong.
Each trip has its challenges. Sometimes it’s just logistics of finding a place to sleep for the night in a town that you showed up to an hour before. And sometimes it’s trying to set up as many spots as you can in the window of time that you’re there. Those are usually the biggest issues. There have never been any issues about people getting along. Everyone’s in good spirits, but I think the logistics and the timing of trips back to back is the only real challenging part.
You’re with the same guys on trips, so there are so many funny, random, embarrassing things that happen. The more you have to remember, the more you have to talk about or share. I can throw Dillon under the bus here though. On our last night in Germany, he went to Berlin to party with some friends that he knew were going to be in town. We were sharing the same hotel room. He came back so late he got six minutes of sleep before we went on our flight the next morning. Before we went to the airport, he got six minutes of sleep! I heard him come in and I was like, “Woah, it’s really late.”
Collectively my favorite part was settling into all the new houses, AirBnBs, and hotels we went to because you literally just settle into a new environment. There’s a lot of energy. There’s something about showing up and figuring out where your stuff goes and getting acclimated to a new environment. I like to rearrange a little bit, and maybe put a drawing on the wall. I can scribble on paper and it’s art. We always have art supplies and notebooks.
During a cold night, for one of Jake’s clips, there was this car in the middle of the landing before we started setting up. And we were like, “Oh, we’re not going to be able to do this.” Then someone said, “What if we move the car?” It was all ice on the parking ground. So we literally pushed this car over 30 feet. We don’t know whose it was, but we moved the car and thought that was pretty cool. That was some determination shit.
For me, it’s being a part of this next generation of kids. I’ve always been a big fan of these guys, and there’s a pretty big gap between my age and their’s. Their process, way of looking at things, building jumps – they’re always trying to have a unique approach to whatever they’re hitting. I’d never look at something that way, and they’d go and hit it and do an amazing trick on it.
I think the craziest thing that happened was one year we were in Russia in Bermisk. I was setting up a spot and an older gentleman came over and started drinking and wanted to hang out with us. He found out that we were American and spoke English, and he hasn’t been able to speak English in 10 years, so he was really excited.
The entire time we were at this spot, he was like, “Here’s a bottle of vodka, let’s just have some fun.” So here I am, trying to focus to hit this spot, and I’m like alright this would be fun, let me get my trick, and then we’ll do this type of thing. So I kind of pawned him off to Mike Rav, and Mike starts talking to him, and this guy is like pounding vodka over and over. He starts slurring his words, and no joke, 15 minutes later, he passed out in the snow right next to our filmer while I’m trying to hit this spot.
It was like 10 degrees. Super cold. Everyone stopped and was like, “We need to help this dude.” They literally had to pick him up by his arms and feet and drag him out of the snow and onto the normal gravel. But he was so heavy they had to drop him.
I was already strapped in, and he was literally in the line of what I was hitting – just passed out. It was insane. So they picked him back up and took him to his apartment, and called the police just to make sure he was okay. It was pretty wild to experience that and deal with a drunken Russian dude.