Miniview: Gigi Rüf

Gigi and his personal trophy at the Reels ceremony.

We met Gigi Rüf just after the Reels ceremony, where he won the Golden Reels Award for Best Backcountry section. A good timing to sit down with him and talk about projects, film and industry.

You just won another personal trophy at the Golden Reels Award for Best backcountry section, how does this one feel?

The Reels for me is somewhere that everything comes together because it’s the filmers here, the riders, and the spectators. It’s a great honor to get a prize like that in front of the whole industry, and especially in front of other very talented riders. Backcountry is what I’m all about so I couldn’t be more happy about that recognition.

With Nike and The Pirates also winning a prize (respectively Best movie and best cinematography), that’s like 3 prizes for you right?

Ahah well not really, I went up on stage with the Pirates because I was really happy for my friends. Last year they didn’t get a prize, and I think this year everybody was very happy.

Would you like to be involved with them again in a near future?

I do what I can, and for sure the Pirates have always played a big role for me. I progressed with them and we’ve come a long way together, and I feel it’s my stomping ground if I could say so. Looking back at what we did the last 13 years together is a real pleasure and I’m stoked they are recognized as one of the best cinema crew out there.

Tell us a bit more how was it to film with Nike this past winter?

From the beginning I had to decide on priorities. I like to do different stuff in a season but I consider that it’s important to prioritize your actions so you don’t get lost trying to do too many things. Nike offered me the chance to go out with a filmer following me all the time, go ride here and there, with different people. SO this organization was new for me, I was used to go from crew to crew, with Absinthe abroad, the Pirates at home. Generally that’s what happened. But this time with the support of Nike, I had another form of freedom to film that paid off in the end.

Gigi in his natural environment.

So how did you organized your trips then?

Well we started in Laax at Nico Müller’s house with Flo, filmer from the Pirates who followed me, the Nike crew was there also. And from there we just moved from spot to spot where the conditions were good. I still managed to spend a fair bit of time at home so all in all it went super well. I’m so glad to be in a situation where I can talk to people to organize stuff as I want it in order to have my own agenda and have the most fun possible.

If Nike does another movie project this winter, is this going to be your priority again?

I don’t think so… I just look back when Burton started to do their own movie, now it became a bit of a rule from companies. But the problem is that it really affected the independent film crews like Standard, Mack Dawg etc. So basically on the long run I think it’s important that snowboarding is showed not from a brand’s perspective, but from a pure snowboarding perspective, and that necessarely involve different riders, from different companies and different backgrounds. And the whole mix should evolve and change every year, because too much planning makes the whole thing too sterile. I’m always up for the spontaneous approach on everything. Nowadays the whole movie industry has become hugely important for brands, but we shouldn’t forget that a snowboard film belong to the people who watch it, that’s it. So it should represent snowboarding as it is in essence. I mean Nike have done a pretty good job about this, especially with the documentary Never Not Part 2. As riders we want to film for video parts, but having also this documentary in the project was a nice insight, a form of tribute to snowboarding, that I really liked. They care about snowboarding and about their riders, and I think that shows. Now for this season, we will see! But from a film perspective again, I’m glad to see that some new crews are emerging, doing great stuff, like Postland Theory for example.

And for another example, the Pirates invested a lot in new cameras, new equipment since last year, and they have the recognition for it, isn’t it?

Yes it’s well deserved, they put a lot of effort and investment for sure. The creativity is always there too, I’m still involved and want to stay involved in the future!

Gigi and the Nike posse on the podium for Best movie: Nike’s Never Not Part 1.

Check out our extensive film review, including Nike’s Never Not and Pirate’s Distorted Reality.



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