[Mobile: OG DD bossman Mr Sebi Geiger gets his tailbone. Photo: Sebi Madlener]
Riding with your crew, pushing each other and having a blast is one of the cornerstones of this fun old experience we call snowboarding. Now, since the democratisation of videography, more and more crews are producing edits from their exploits and some of them have gone beyond the traditional ‘bro-cam’ cuts to produce entertaining, imaginative, or just downright hammer heavy video content on the regs. We’re stoked on that, so over the season we’ll be throwing the virtual Shakas to some of our favourite Euro crews. Taking centre stage this time is the Different Direction crew – a bunch of friends snowboarding that started making edits loosely around Sebi Geiger's seasonal exploits but that have grown to become a full-on web/movie crew with riders from Austria and beyond. We bombarded Different Direction filmers Sebi Madlener and Theo Acworth with some questions...
You guys have been filming as Different Direction for three winters now, and have produced three sick full movies. Can you tell me how it all got started? Where did you all meet?
Sebi Madlener: Different Direction has been running since 2011/12, when Sebi Geiger was looking for a video production he had the idea to start his own project. Sebi G and me met in young years through snowboarding, the train to the mountains and the schoolbus. Silvretta Montafon might be the home base of Different Direction. I’d say we’ve been snowboarding together for more than 10 years. After filming the first ever DD Episode in America, Sebi G got me on board to edit and film all future stuff. At that time it was all about episodes and after the first season we started working together on the project as partners. Theo [Acworth] got involved through a festival in the UK, where Sebi G met him. Next season he did visit us for a week to film on an episode (I think it was called "Wall Street", with Steve Grumser and Christian Geiger). Same game for another season until he did two whole seasons with us now.
Theo Acworth: I met Sebi Geiger at a festival in Wales a few years ago. I was filming there and he was working for an airbag company. We hung out for a windy week and he told me a bit about his project and said that if I could get myself to Austria then I was welcome to come and shoot for a bit and see what was up. Four years later and I now live here... nice how things work out!
Were there any new additions to the crew this past winter?
SM: Last season Lukas Ellensohn and Joris Doorn joined the crew – two young guns from Vorarlberg – and both been killing it. Simon Pircher joined us also for a trip to Japan. For next season we will see, but the crew might grow again.
TA: Joris and Luki are both rad. Shooting with them is always fun and there’s more to come from them for sure, and hopefully a few others this winter too. There are lots of nice people around us here and some really good snowboarders, too, so we’ll see what happens.
One of my favourite things about the stuff you guys create is all the behind the scenes stuff, it really helps bring all the stories together. Why do you think most of other snowboard crews or bigger movie producers choose to leave that stuff out?
SM: The amount of footage after a full season filming is insane. It’s hard to keep an overview and it’s more hard to see B footage as gold when there are so many "A" shots. Maybe bigger productions also have more pressure and they need to show their sponsors and riders in the "right" way which doesn’t leave much for behind the scenes shots. I don’t know if it’s to their disadvantage but I think it’s good that not everybody does the same stuff.
TA: Thanks, stoked you like what we do! I guess it comes down to what floats your boat and what you want to make. I love watching something that’s full of character and personality, and for me that means seeing everything and not just the gnarly riding. Tricks are cool but if all I see are people spinning on and off jumps and rails then I lose interest pretty rapidly. At the end of the day as long as other people are doing what they want and we’re doing what we want then it’s all good!
If Different Direction had to call one place home, where would that be?
SM: The Forests.
TA: Yeah, we hang out in the woods a lot. There are definitely worse places to be.
Where have you been filming this winter for the next movie?
SM: Silvretta Montanfon, Arlberg, different resorts in Tirol, Bregenzerwald, Japan, Sweden, Italy.
TA: What he said. Japan was good fun, completely last minute and we sort of made things up as we went along. The snow was so light there it just sort of floats around rather than actually falling, pretty rad.
Who does what when it comes to making a full movie? Are you all pitching in together at spots, filming each other or have you guys developed more individual roles now you’ve been doing it for a few years?
SM: Each year I try to swap roles and get Sebi G behind the camera but he’s never allowed it. "Maybe next season," he keeps saying.
TA: We handle the creative end of things. None of the others can focus a camera well enough for us to trust them to get shots of us, but at some point in the future Sebi and I plan to release a joint part, so keep your eyes open for that one.
What do you do as a crew when not snowboarding, say over the summer months?
SM: Yesterday we had a bbq and watched the raw cut of GFTS... usually we get split up little more in summer, especially straight after the season, but we get together from time to time.
TA: Last summer I went back England and drove tractors but no one came out to visit me. I guess I was the only one who thought it was cool.
What are your plans for this winter and the future of Different Direction?
SM: We’re putting together a concept for next season at the moment… everything is still quite open at this point but it will be focussing on the fun side of snowboarding again.
TA: I’d like to keep it simple and mellow, loosen things up a bit. Just ride and shoot whatever conditions we get really. I’m pretty excited about it actually, definitely down to make something fun.
Which crews or movie productions inspire you?
SM: Mostly I’ve been looking at the work of my friends Basti Funk and Pirmin Juffinger, who helped me get the idea of making a video.
TA: Anything stylish and fun. I really liked the Airblaster videos. Lucas Magoon. Also Group Effect by Skeleton Crew, that was a good movie.
What have you learnt as a crew and individually while making your movies?
SM: Filmers shovel harder than riders!
TA: It’s quite eye opening seeing how different riders approach snowboarding. Everyone has their own thing going on and it’s nice to watch it all happening together.
What one piece of advice would you give to a crew just starting out?
SM: Think about what you want to do, and go for it.
TA: Don’t forget your snacks.
Is Different Direction a way to pay the bills?
SM: It is the way to happiness.
TA: Yes, we’re millionaires.